Eastern Class A
The Cony/Monmouth Rams will have to replace some key losses in Zach Gagne and Austin Davis as both have graduated.
Junior Anthony Brunelle will try to replace the offensive production along with Dakota Benson and Drew Keithley.
The Rams do return a veteran in goal in Tom Small. He has the experience and could steal a few games for Cony/Monmouth this season.
Edward Little (10-7-1)
The Red Eddies have 12 returners from the squad that lost in the Eastern Maine Class A quarterfinals to the Class A runner-up St. Dominic Academy.
Branden Dyer and Liam Benson should be the offensive catalyst for EL. Cade Chapman will bring stability on the blue line while Zach Gosselin will see the bulk of the action in goal.
Another team that is returning a bulk of talent from last year is Lawrence/Skowhegan. Andrew Carpenter, who’s in his second season as captain, is one of 18 players coming back.
Coach Ted Fabian still expects everybody to earn their ice time this season. They are still relatively young in goal with two sophomores in Broch Dostie and Curtis Martin.
The Blue Devils’ strength this season will be on defense as they return senior Joe Frechette, junior Brady Cusson and sophomore Cole Ouellette. Senior transfer Jon Sturgis from St. Dom’s will bring another veteran presence on defense.
Lewiston will have to replace the offense of Kyle Lemelin, who won the Travis Roy Award as the top senior in Class A. Kyle Morin will look to fill those shoes as he enters his senior year. Kyle Ulrich, Brandon Croteau, Griffin Wade and Jake Iacono are all seniors who should have an impact offensively.
Nick Hawk and Sam Zashut are two returning goalies that should solify the Blue Devil’s net.
Mt. Ararat/Lisbon (9-9-0)
Mt. Ararat/Lisbon will look to earn a playoff berth in Eastern A this year. At the forward spot they will be led by Ben Bishop who had seven goals and ten assists as a junior. Kyle Lussier and Tyler Halls will be two others that head coach Mike Bishop will look to provide some offense.
Bishop is also excited about Steven Schuman and Austin Fournier’s offensive skill set as new players. Tyler O’Connor, Ryley Austin and Andrew Gardiner will provide stablity on defense.
Poland/Gray New Gloucester/Oak Hill (4-13-1)
The 26ers add another school to the Co-op program in Oak Hill which is a town just outside of Lewiston.
Coach Travis Jalbert will be looking from production from forwards Ethan Cailler and Ryan Lavoie who are entering their senior years. Sophomores Jason Cote and Deryk Belanger are expected to provide some secondary scoring. Oak Hill’s Conor Drouin and Bailey Drouin will also be apart of the secondary scoring.
Isaiah Dubois will a leader on defense while goaltender Nick Hemond ate up minutes last year and looks to do the same this winter.
Windham (6-11-1 )
The Windham Eagles are bringing back ten players from last year’s squad. They have a favorable schedule this year where they can battle for a playoff spot in Eastern A. Clayton Owens has experience in goal as this will be his fourth season in goal. Zack Callahan is the top returner in terms of scoring as he had 18 goals and six assists.
The Rams will once again be a contender in Eastern Class A. Up front they have five seniors that will be offensive contributors in Nick Graham, Jake Fournier, Owen Trundy, Sam Kenny and Andrew Elston. Joining them is junior Trevor DeLaite.
Sam Huston will a key cog on the blue line as he helps newcomer Nick Cowperthwaite transition to the varsity level. Sophomore Derek Fournier saw five games in goal last year coach Quinn Paradis looks for him to see more playing time this season.
The Dragons look to be in the mix for a playoff spot in Eastern A. New coach Bill Bodwell will look to his seniors TJ Sullivan, Jared Parent and Jacob McGowan up front and junior defenseman Nate Granholm to help the young players get up to speed.
Jared Hummer, Andrew Eno and Max Burtis will be new additions on defense while Michael Deveaux will be a secondary scoring option as a forward.
St. Dom’s (10-7-1)
The Saints are poised to get back to the state game this year as they fell 3-2 in overtime to Falmouth. They have the depth in goal with
juniors Alex Michaud and Ridge Servidio. They also have Kyle Welsh coming in as a sophomore.
They also have the firepower with seniors Brad Berube and Caleb Labrie who had 31 and 30 points respectfully. Austin Roy and Dillon Pratt will also be contributors on offense along with Leavitt transfer Adam Poulin.
The Saints return Mitch Lorenz and Matt Chasse as their top two defensemen while Bryan Bonenfant and Chris Laverdiere also bring experience at the back end.
Maranacook/Winthrop/Hall-Dale will a young squad as second year man at the helm Chip Jones said he has a lot of promising freshmen and sophomores coming in this year.
Bailey Clark will be the forward to watch while Zachary Phinney is a defenseman to keep an eye out. Jones hopes his players can work as a team. They will be a team fighting for a playoff spot come mid February.
Western Class A
Two-Time Defending Champs Return Some Key Players
The two-time defending Class A State Champions look to go for a three-peat and they bring back some key cogs. Isac Nordstrom is the top returning scorer as he had 48 points in his junior campaign. Jake Grade put up 28 points as a defenseman last season. Reece Armitage and Hunter Low are two sophomores that put up points in their freshman years.
They will have to replace Dane Pauls in net, but junior keeper Ryan Bonvie has experience.[one_third] [/one_third] [one_third] [/one_third] [one_third_last] [/one_third_last]
As the adage goes you win from the net out and that’s what the Tigers are banking on this year. Brandon Daigle is a senior netminder and one of the team’s captains.
His fellow captain Evan Loignon will keep the pucks clear for Daigle as he brings experience on the blue line. Up front Kerry Crepeau, Brady Crepeau and Ricky Ruck will provide the offense. The team has 11 underclassmen on the roster and they will get better as the season goes on.
Portland/Deering is looking to build off last season and battle for a playoff spot in Western Class A.
Offensively they will be led by senior Curran Clere and junior Zach Fortin. Portland/Deering has a solid core of sophomores in Brent Rickett, Dominic Tocci, and Mason Martell.
Defensively, senior Ryan Ruhlin will log some key minutes along with sophomores Pete Barry and Will Herboldsheimer.
South Portland (12-8-0)
South Portland can be a dark horse in Western A as they three players who know how to put the puck in the back of the net. Andrew Whipple potted 22 goals and 28 assists in 20 contests. Kyle Halverson notched 17 goals and 16 assists while Chris Mitchell lit the lamp 11 times and added 12 assists. WIll McMullin is the top returning defenseman.[one_third] [/one_third] [one_third] [/one_third] [one_third_last] [/one_third_last]
Thornton Academy (7-10-1)
After spending the last couple of years in a rebuild mode, Thornton looks to challenge for the Western Class A title again. They return a veteran netminder in Andrew Huot.
Up front three juniors will help the offensive production in Owen Elliott, Logan Picard and Tanner McFarren. Eric Profenno and Jimmy Remmes will be two seniors that will also provide some offense. Hunter Ebling and Dayton Wintle will provide veteran leadership on the back end.
Noble/Wells looks to repeat on their success from last season where they gave the eventual Class A State Champions Falmouth all they can handle in the Western A semifinals.
They have the pieces for a return trip to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in March. Dean Pratt had 30 goals and 21 assists and Ryan Marsh had 15 goals and 27 assists last year. Wyatt Ricker returns in goal after posting a 2.56 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage.
Lake Region/Oxford Hills/Fryeburg Academy (8-8-0)
The Ice Cats showed improvement last year and hope to improve even more this season. Dave Lepage has a veteran squad back this season especially on defense where he has four upperclassmen on the roster. Davis Turner and Noah Smith are both seniors while Kaleb Currier and Nick Lepage are juniors. Up front the Ice Cats will be led by juniors Travis Townsend and Mason LaPlante. In goal sophomore David Long will see majority of the action.
Bonny Eagle-Massbesic-Old Orchard Beach
This is happening more and more each year as two teams combine to make one team. Bonny Eagle and Massbesic/Old Orchard Beach have combined forces.
Like Biddeford they have veteran leadership from the net out. Matt Bridges is a senior goaltender. They will rely on two senior defensemen in Justin Miles and Kyle Whitman. Upfront they will rely on underclassmen Tanner McClure and Cam Roy.
The Westbrook Blue Blazers will be a young and hunger squad. Junior Kyle Paul and sophomore Matt Kelley will be looked upon to provide the offense. Jacob Coro and Greg Buotte are both juniors coming off injuries that held them out all of last season.
Alex LeBlanc will see a lot of minutes this season for Westbrook. The big thing is they will have Mike Carmody back as coach. It’s the first time in five seasons a coach is returning for a second season.
The Cheverus Stags will rely heavily on their senior class this year as they look to be one of the top teams in Western A. James Hannigan and Keegan Thomas will be the two guys offensively while James Kane and Matt O’Leary will be the veterans on the blue line.
Coach Dan Lucas hopes a strong defense and depth among the forwards will be the key ingredients to a successful season.
The Red Storm who have been one of the two favorites the last two seasons in Western A will be a younger squad this season but will be in the conservation for one of the top teams in the conference at the end of the year.
They are another veteran-laden squad on defense with senior Kevin Smith and juniors Jack Callahan and Sean McDonald. They will be joined by sophomores Eric Murray and Justin Perry Ben Bragg will be one of the better goaltenders in Class A.
Up front Sean McGovern, senior, and juniors Matt Caron and Cam Nigro will be the primary options to provide the offense. Cam Smith, Skylar Pettingill and Kyle Jacques are new to the squad this year and will be secondary options on offense.