Class A North team capsules
MT. ARARAT/LISBON (11-6-1)
The Mt. Ararat/Lisbon Eagles have a veteran-laden lineup in 2016-17 as they boast four players with 20-plus points. Sophomore forward Noah Austin had 20 goals and 14 assists as a freshman last season. Senior Mark Abreau also had a 30-point season as he had 11 goals and 19 assists. Tyler LaCascio also had 11 goals while potting 15 assists.
Defensively, Tyler Halls had 17 goals from the blue line while chipping in seven assists. Ryley Austin had 13 points in 18 games. After missing the playoffs in 2015-16, the Eagles have their sights on the playoffs in 2016-17.
ST. DOMINIC ACADEMY (11-8-1)
The St. Dominic Academy Saints don’t bring a lot scoring back this season as Noah Toussaint is the only player returning with a double-digit point total. He had 11 goals and 19 assists. Senior Justin Keaney is a key returner as well up front.
They have plenty of freshmen and sophomores that are expected to step in this season and make a contribution to the team as the season wears on. Kyle Welsh has experience in goal as a senior. He had a 2.79 goals against average last year.
The Saints will have to find an anchor on the blue line as would-be junior Gavin Bates transferred to Kents Hill. Sam Blaisdell does return on the back end for coach Bob Parker.
Windham/Westbrook will be in a rebuilding year in 2016-17 after a very good season in 15-16. Graduation claimed 12 players which includes 75 percent of their goal scoring.
Returning are Matt Kelley (senior), Keegan Pock (junior), Logan Heckman (junior) who each had nine points. Sean White who saw limited time in goal as freshmen will see more time this season.
The Cony/Hall-Dale/Monmouth Rams will have a veteran squad in 2016-17. They bring back three seniors in forward Cam Wilson and defensemen Nate Foye and Thomas Arps.
The Rams will have a plethora of juniors in defensemen Logan Leadbetter and Tyler Dostie while Avery Pomerleau, Riley Dowe and Cole Lockhart bring experience up front. Dalton Bowie will see plenty time in goal as he sat behind Tom Small his first two years. Small graduated last year.
Coach Chad Foye is also expecting influx of younger talent to help the efforts this upcoming year.
The defending Class A State Champions look like the odds-on favorite again this year. They didn’t lose much talent from last year’s championship squad.
Up front they will be led by seniors Jeromey Rancourt, Cody Doyon, Jean-Luc Dostie, andJoe Bisson (Junior), Alex Rivet (Junior), Dustin Larochelle (Junior), Sam Frechette (Sophomore) and Alex Robert (Sophomore) will also contribute on a nightly basis.
Defensively they return five defensemen in Cole Ouellette (Senior), Sam Story (Senior), Bradley McClellan (Senior), Ryan Bosse (Junior) and Nick Bisson (Sophomore). Jacob Strout will man the pipes. With a full JV team last season, coach Jamie Belleau expects a couple of them to fill the holes in the line up.
The Rams will be looking for offense this season, but they have one of the better goalies in the state in senior Derek Fournier. He was drafted by the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and attended their training camp before leaving to preserve his NCAA eligibility.
Nick Cowperthwaite and Gary Farnham will be the team’s top two defensemen. They will be relying on sophomore forward to be an offensive leader along with transfers Kodi Lagassie from John Bapst and Daniel Bean of Brewer to jump right in.
Class A South Team Capsules
The Tigers will be relying on three seniors in forwards Ricky Ruck and Brady Crepeau and defenseman Joey Curit. Ruck had 13 goals and 10 assists in 17 games while Crepeau had 13 goals and seven assists.
Jason Tremblay has taken the reins of head coach from Rich Reissfelder. Tremblay spent 2010-2015 as an assistant coach at the University of New England men’s hockey team.
MASSABESIC/OLD ORCHARD BEACH/BONNY EAGLE (9-9-0)
The Massabesic/Old Orchard Beach/Bonny Eagle Mob expects to mix in some veterans and rookies this upcoming season.
Tanner McClure had 43 points last year while fellow forward Cam Roy had 21 points. Defenseman Brandon Caron had 33 points last year. Fifteen freshmen are expected to play this year as they added a junior varsity team also for 2016-17.
The Knights are coming off back-to-back regional semifinal appearances and hope that trend continues in 2017 under first year coach Geoff Negm.
They return senior forward Evan Whitten who had 23 goals and eight assists as a junior. After Whitten, the production slips a bit as Nate Dewolf had six goals and seven assists as a sophomore.
Defensively, senior Kadin Lessard had four goals and eight assists as a junior and Ethan Marsh had three goals and six assists as a a sophomore. Goaltender Nate Paul recorded seven of the nine wins and had a .888 save percentage.
SOUTH PORTLAND/FREEPORT (8-12-0)
The Red Riots are excited for what 2016-17 could bring. They have a heavy junior roster and bring back senior goalie Joe Grant who was first team all-state as a junior.
Aidan Schifano, Ian Young and Max Winson should be forwards to watch this season. Caleb Rowland is someone that should make an impact on the back end for South Portland/Freeport. They hope by playing a tougher schedule this season it will help them solidify a playoff position.
The Marshwood/Traip/Sanford Hawks are expecting some young guys to build off of last year.
Henry Honkonen had 21 goals and five assists as a freshman last season while Jarid Tomblin added 10 goals and seven assists. Evan Cole is expected to bring experience on the back end with some senior leadership. Coach Eric Royal expects a healthy competition in goal this year to help the players up front and on defense to develop.
The Scarborough Red Storm are expecting another strong season as they try to get to the Class A State Championship game for the third year in a row.
They will be senior-laden team with Cam Smith, Skylar Pettingill, Justin Perry, Kyle Jacques and Thomas Marshall up front. Defensively, Eric Murray is a senior while Mason Parks and Anthony Burnham are sophomores. Brandon Wasser will be the number one goalie as he saw time as a sophomore.
The Red Storm are moving into the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston for the next two seasons, about 40 miles north, as their former home, the MHG Arena had the ice taken out of it. It’s now a multipurpose facility.
Coach Deron Barton always has a veteran squad and this year is no different. They will be led by seniors Robbie Armitage (forward) and Reece Armitage (defense). After them it’s a host of juniors in goaltender Spence Pierce while Marcus Cady, Brendan Hickey and Theo Hembre are going to be three forwards to keep an eye out on this year.
On defense the Yachtsmen will be young with returning junior Alex Grade leading the way followed by sophomores from the JV team in Garret Tracy, John Downey and Steve Camuso. Tracy does bring versatility as he has played the forward position. Charlie Emple a junior and Jack Kidder, a sophomore, are two forwards that can provide secondary scoring as full-time varsity players this season.
The Bulldogs look to build off last season’s five-win season. Seniors Dominic Tocci and Mason Martel will be their 1-2 punch up front. Dominic Tocci is more of the playmaker as he had eight goals and 14 assists while Martel is more of the goal scorer with 12 goals and seven assists. Cam King had a solid sophomore campaign with seven goals and seven assists and will be another offensive option up front.
Donnie Tocci had a decent freshman year on the blue line with three goals and four assists while senior Peter Barry had four assists a year ago. Sam Segal was the back up last season as he only saw seven games where he went 2-5. Look for his workload to increase in 2016-17.
THORNTON ACADEMY (11-6-1)
The Golden Trojans lost a good chunk of players due to graduation and coach Jamie Gagnon is hoping the younger players can learn on the fly for a successful 2016-17.
Chase Wescott will lead the offense as a senior along with juniors Chandler Bilodeau and Nolan Millett. Sophomore Luke Chessie is expected to see his role increase. Evan Balzano will be the leader on the blue line as a senior while Thomas Levasseur will continue to grow as a a sophomore.
Seth Dube had a very good year as a freshman in net. He will have the ability to steal some games in 2016-17.
The Stags will look to get back to the Class A South playoffs. They have a solid tandem in goal in juniors Jason Halverson and Colby Benway. They have several returning defensemen in Brady Freeman, Kieran Conley, Marco Giancotti and Michael Hatch.
Up front they lot some key components to graduation, but are looking for Cam Dube, Jesse Pierce, Ryan McSorley and Justin Ray to contribute to the offense this season