Class A East
It was an up and down season for the Rams last season with coach Dennis Collins resigning at the start of the season. Bangor bounced back to reach the Eastern Class A Regional Final and Parker Sanderson was named the Travis Roy Award winner as the best player in Class A.
They will have to replace Sanderson as he graduated but they have solid depth coming back. Cam Dickson, Jordan Tracy, and Jake Fournier should pick up where they left off from last season. Defensively Bangor is led by three seniors, Justin Courtney, Galen Perry, and Kyle Farley.
EDWARD LITTLE (4-12-2)
The Red Eddies had a down year last year but look to rebound with no major losses from last year’s club.
Zach Gosselin will be the go to person in net while Chris Poisson and Colin Benson will be the key cogs in front of him clearing the puck out of the way.
Sedrick Simons and Aaron Vaillancourt are the lone senior forwards on the team, but junior Branden Dyer, will also be a key contributor.
ST. DOMINIC’S (12-7-1)
The Saints are bringing back plenty of depth at offense. Brad Berube will lead the charge coming off a 22-point sophomore campaign. Caleb Labrie and Chase Hainey will also contribute to the offense. Coach Steve Ouellette expects last year’s leading scorer on the junior varsity team – Issac Lapointe – to be a contributor on the varsity squad.
Matt Chasse and Avery Jones will be the anchors on defense. For the first time in three years, St. Dom’s will have two new netminders with the graduation of Austin Christopher and Grant Carrier. Zack Roy and Caleb Dostie will take over in goal.
The Dragons have been building for this season for the last couple of years now. They may have the best goaltender in Eastern A in Blake Alexander who had a 2.20 gaa last season.
They have depth at the forward position which includes Matt Brooks, Ryan Maciejewski, and Dwayne Palmer. Senior defenseman Cam Heatley was a Eastern Class A first team defenseman last winter. Brunswick can be a challenger to the traditional powers in Eastern A.
The Rams had an outstanding year last year and look to surprise some in Eastern A.
They have one of the best offensive defenseman in East in Zach Gagne who had six goals and nine assists in 12 games last season. Austin Davis should have a big year up front after a nine goal and eight assist junior year. Aaron Manter who provided secondary scoring last season will see his role increase this season.
In goal Tom Small may be the most underrated goaltender in the state in his first two seasons. Expect the junior to put up “big” numbers if Cony wants to make a deep playoff run.
The Blue Devils are coming off a State Championship appearance and look to repeat as Eastern Class A Champions.
Senior forward Kyle Lemelin is a preseason Travis Roy Award candidate (given to the most outstanding senior in Class A hockey) and fellow returning veterans up front – Matt Poulin and Evan Gosselin – will also shoulder the load offensively.
Defensively they return six including Eddie Emerson, Ethan Melvin, and Max Bolduc. They lost would-be senior Patrick DeBlois who joined the Portland Junior Pirates 18U team.
Mt. Ararat will bring some veteran presence on defense with returning seniors Bru Abreu, Jeremy Williams and junior Tyler O’Connor. Andrew Gardiner will also see quality minutes as a sophomore.
Sean Bolduc, Ben Bishop, Brett Gravel, and Kyle Lussier will provide offense up front. They will be young with 12 freshman on the roster including Kyle Welsh who will seek time in goal.
GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER/POLAND (3-15-1)
The 26ers will look to improve on their record from last season. Offensively they have some players that can be a threat.
Nevin Rand is a senior and junior Ethan Cailler will be the go-to guys up front. Defensively Kaleb Bridgham will be mentoring the younger defenseman as a senior. He and Dom Belanger are the only upperclassman on the back end.
In goal, Nick Hemond will replace Calvin Shelley who graduated. He will see a lot of time as the lone goalie on the roster.
The Windham Eagles is looking to take positive steps this season in the right direction. Zack Callahan is the returning leader scorer with nine goals and five assists as a freshman. Fellow sophomores Gage Chenard, Alec Whalen, Caleb Klowas had a valuable experience as freshmen last year.
Defensively the Eagles are led by seniors Travis Grant and Josh Merill. In goal, Clayton Owens played in all 18 games last season and his experience from last year’s season should help him this year.
The two schools had their own separate teams last season, but have come together to form the Bandits. Head coach Ted Fabian, who led the Lawrence Bulldogs, has taken the head coaching duties of the co-op team,
The Bandits will have seven seniors and six juniors. Febian hopes the entire team can come together and buy into the system. He also likes the make up of the team with their blue collar, hard-working attitude during pre-season practice.
Class A West
The Tigers are poised to be a contender once again in Class A West. They have been building the last couple years after winning three Class A titles from 2007-2010.
Nik Lemieux is expected to lead the offense as a senior along with Corey Brown. They will rely on some younger guys including freshmen Brady Crepeau and Ricky Ruck.
Devon Werthner will be the catalyst on defense as a senior. Brandon Daigle and Tom Green will man the pipes.
BONNY EAGLE (13-5-0)
The Scots had an outstanding season last year, but with a large graduating class and players leaving for juniors it will be a team that will get better as the season goes along.
They will be led by three senior forwards – Chet Komulainen, Josh Doustou and Cam Brown. One young player to keep an eye out is Jared Farwell.
The Hawks are looking to build off a successful season last year. Defense will be the key to this season. They have three returning defensemen including sophomores John Lyman and Brandon Cagnina along with junior Joe Spinney.
Tyler Gagnon will bring veteran presence in net as a senior. It will take a couple of games for their offense to finally click with a lot of newcomers at the forward position.
The Knights are looking to secure another playoff spot. Junior Dean Pratt had 26 goals and 14 assists last winter while Ryan Marsh had 18 goals and 19 assists.
Returning leading scorer on defense Connor Pease had ten goals and 18 assists while Chullainn Kelly who saw time at forward and defense last season had ten goals and 13 assists.
The Red Storm just came up short from reaching the Class A State Championship game falling to eventual State Champion Falmouth 4-1 in the Class A West regional final. They lost some key players from that team due to graduation but have some depth coming back.
Cam Loiselle, Cam Brochu, and Jake Gross will be the go to guys offensively. Ian Morris and Eric Grantz are the top defensemen coming back. In goal they will have to replace Dalton Finley’s minutes with Alex Cherry and Ben Bragg.
SOUTH PORTLAND (2-16-0)
The Red Riots are in a rebuilding mode this season along their first season co-oping with Freeport High School. Juniors Andrew Whipple and Kyle Halverson will lead the offensive charge.
Senior defenseman Christian Guignard will be a leader on the back end while sophomore goaltender Shannon Tully will see the majority of the time in net.
THORNTON ACADEMY (8-10-1)
The Golden Trojans look to be back in the conversation as one of the top teams in Western A. With their two top goal scorers gone coach Jamie Gagnon expects a group effort this season when it comes to goal scoring.
He will look at guys like Owen Lemoine, Alex Fallon, and Jacob Verreault to be the leaders. Defensively Drew Lavigne and Walsh Troiani-Gagner will be the key cogs to clear the puck out of their own end.
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The Stags look to be a challenger in Western A after a solid 12-win campaign.
Jason Blier is a solid goaltender. Alex Grant Roy will provide some offense up front while Jim Hannigan and Conor Ryle will also contribute to Cheverus’ success this season.
FRYEBURG/LAKE REGION/OXFORD HILLS (3-14-1)
The Ice Cats are in a rebuilding mode and will have another school on board as Oxford Hills has joined Fryeburg and Lake Region after playing a junior varsity schedule last season.
Dakota Russo, Evan Kellough, and Donnie Eaton will provide offense up front along with Nick Bowie. Davis Turner and Noah Smith will be the Ice Cats key defenseman.
The Yachtsman will be one of the favorites in all of Class A to be in the State final. The defending State Champions return a healthy amount from last year’s team. Dane Pauls will be one of the best goalies in the state.
Up front Andre Clement had a big year as a junior and will look to follow that up with a big senior year. He will also play some defense. Isaac Nordstrom, Jake Grade, and Brandon Peters are three juniors to keep an eye on in front.
Calvin Cho and Connor MacDowell are two junior defensemen that will make the jump to varsity full-time. Four freshmen are expected to see varsity time this year.
The Bulldogs had a very good season last year under first-year head coach Chad Hart. They will be contenders for a playoff spot once again this season. They are senior heavy with ten seniors on the roster.
Zach Luce, Mike Fuller, Chris Eye, and Luigi Grimadi are forwards who will lead the offense. Defensively they have four upperclassmen that will get top four minutes. Steve Berry, Chandler Sturgeon, and Ben Barnes are the three seniors and Ryan Ruhlin is a junior.
The Blue Blazes offense will come from three seniors in Jacob Webster, Darian Doucette and Ryan Gilligan. New head coach Mike Carmody likes what he sees so far in sophomore goalkeeper Alex LeBlanc. He says he’s an athletic kid.
The defense will have a workload this season. Carmody is expecting this year’s squad to be much more competitive and stabilize the program.