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Maine Class B Preview: Greely, York lead the pack

Class B North

Cooper Leland
Hampden Academy

 HAMPDEN ACADEMY (14-6-0)

The Broncos bring back firepower for the 2017-18 season as senior forward Marcus Dunn had 20 goals and six helpers. Cooper Leland had an outstanding freshman year as he had 11 goals and 13 assists while junior defenseman Rece Poulin brings offense from the defensive position as he had six goals and eight assists as a sophomore.

Marcus Dunn
Hampden Academy

Coach Eric MacDonald has plenty of newcomers from the Maine Jr. Black Bears youth program.

MESSALONSKEE (5-12-1)

The Eagles look to bounce back from a 5-12-1 season in 2016-17. Jacob Bernatchez will look to build off his three-goal and three-assist campaign.

Coach Kevin Castner expects Cole Smith to have a good season. Newcomer Myles Hammond is expected to be a key contributor for Messalonskee.

PRESQUE ISLE (10-8-0)

The Wildcats are looking to be one of the contenders in Class B North coming off a 10-8 campaign. Their nucleus is young with junior forwards Tom Patenaude, Riley Kinney and Jake Steven while Torey Levesque is a solid junior defenseman.

Connor Demerchant had a big freshman campaign while Andre Daigle returns as the goalie for his sophomore year. Coach Carl Flynn is impressed with the potential of the freshman class while getting senior defenseman Eric Benson and junior forward Bailey York back as both took last year off.

JOHN BAPST (3-15-0)

The Crusaders have a new coach in Chris Tanis who was an assistant coach last year. John Bapst has a nice mix of veterans and young players on the roster. Dan Sprague is a senior goaltender while Jacob Larochelle and Nate Seaburn will lead the offensive charge up front as seniors.

Dan Sprague
John Bapst

Ben Spear
John Bapst

Alex Walls
John Bapst

Ben Spear is a sophomore will provide secondary scoring. Alexs Walls will lead the defense as a junior.

Marty Hewes
Brewer

BREWER (12-6-1)

The Witches look to get back to the top of Class B North after a solid season. Jack Watkins returns after a 10-goal and four assist junior campaign. Trey Baker is expected to be a primary scorer this year as he had five goals and eight assists as a sophomore. Marty Hewes and Ben Byorak are expected to bring secondary scoring.

Zach Steiger is expected to bring stability as a junior on the blue line as Aubrey Badger and Josh Birch are sophomores who are getting ready for their first full varsity season.

CAMDEN HILLS (4-12-2)

The Windjammers had a tough 2016-17 but are looking to build off that this season. Captain Bryce Tyler had nine goals and five assists as a sophomore. Cam Christie looks for a bounce-back senior year.

Thomas Griebel had two goals and five assists on the blue line as a junior while Dan Lydon had three goals as a defenseman. Matt Czuchra saw the majority of action in goal as he had a 3.94 gaa and a .892 save percentage as a junior. Coach Karl Enroth has nine newcomers that he expects to contribute this season.

Jacob Dubay
Old Town/Orono

OLD TOWN/ORONO (17-3-0)

After a 17-3 season, the Black Bears are poised to get back to the regional finals where they lost to eventual state champion Waterville. Jake Dubey and Ben Allen are both senior forwards who are expected to lead the offense.

They have senior leadership on defense with Josh Wheeler, Austin Soucy and Dillion Leland. Providing support on defense is junior exchange student Antti Jrvikare from Finland. Khole Parker should see the majority of time in goal..

KENNEBEC RIVERHAWKS (WATERVILLE/WINSLOW)

The two time defending Class B Champions, the Waterville Purple Panthers and their longtime rival across the Kennebec River, the Winslow Black Raiders have joined forces for 2017-18 to form the Kennebec Riverhawks.

The team will be led by Cody Pellerin (Waterville) who had 10 goals and 22 assists for the Purple Panthers last year. Defenseman Chase Wheeler had five goals and nine assists for Waterville as a junior. Logan Denis of Winslow and Nick West also of Winslow will be offensive leaders for the Riverhawks. Bryce Gunzinger a sophomore from Winslow is expected to see the majority of time in goal.

Class B South

 BRUNSWICK

The Dragons are under new leadership in 2017-18 as Michael Misner takes over as coach. He will have a veteran team with six key returning seniors.

Riley Kirk will be the backstopper while Max Burtis, Quinn Solberg and Andrew Eno defending the puck in front of him. Jared Hummer and Michael Deveaux will be looking to put the puck in the back of the net.

Spencer Marquis will be challenging Kirk for playing time as a freshman goalie while freshmen defenseman Henry Burnham will provide depth on defense.

Alex Glidden
Cape Elizabeth

CAPE ELIZABETH

Every season it seems the Capers are in the thick of things at the end of the season. This year they will be replacing ten players from last season’s squad, but have key pieces returning.

Senior Alex Glidden is a playmaking pivot man as he had nine goals and 18 assists while junior Philip Tarling is more of the shooter with 13 goals and ten assists. Senior Ryan Collins had a solid junior campaign with eight goals and 10 assists.

Senior defenseman Ethan Gillespie had six assists and led the team in plus/minus with a +12. Sophomore Matt Laughlin and freshman Gavin Simopolous are expected to fill holes up front.

YARMOUTH (7-10-1)

The Clippers are looking to be in the thick of things again with Cooper May leading the way as a senior. He had 19 goals and 16 assists as a junior while fellow senior Dom Morrill will look to be a key contributor after putting up eight goals for 14 points last year.

Yarmouth has a solid goalie in Dan Latham who had a 7-10-1 regular season record with a 3.55 goals against average and a .881 save percentage. They add junior forward Kurt Heywood from North Yarmouth Academy where he played for 23 games with the Panthers.

GORHAM (4-12-2)

Gorham will be looking for a bounce back year after a 4-12-2 season. Lucas Roop is expected to lead the offense as he had four goals and 14 assists as a junior. Jack Niles had a goal and six assists as a junior.

On the blue line seniors Jack Richards and Ben Eichner will be leaders while Nick Gray will be a junior. Holden Edwards and Trevor Gray spent time last season playing both forward and defense. Newcomer Garrett Babineau is expected to see playing time in goal as a senior.

GREELY (14-7-1)

The Rangers came on strong in the second half of the season as they reached the Class B South regional final. They appear poised to get back there and possibly to the state championship. Their top line from last year were all freshmen and all return as sophomores. Matt Kramlich led the team in scoring (29 pts) while Andy Moore (16-13-29) and the third player on the line, Jake McDonald (27 pts), also return.

Ben Kennedy will lead the defense as he had four goals and six assists as a junior. Karsten Bourgoine was a backup last season but is expected to be Greely’s starter as a junior. He had a 4-1 record as a sophomore with a 2.59 goals against average and a .858 save percentage

Walker Robinson
Kennebunk/Wells

KENNEBUNK/WELLS

Kennebunk, one of the better teams in Class B South the past few seasons, will get some added depth with addition of Wells joining forces. Wells had been with Noble the past few years. Kyle Beaupre had five goals and eight assists for Kennebunk as a junior while defenseman Walker Robinson had two goals and eight assists as a junior. Matt Szczygiel, a senior had a goal and 11 assists as a junior for Noble/Wells. Ethan Marsh had two goals and seven assists as a junior for Noble/Wells. Kennebunk will have a goaltender this season. Junior Jake Cyr and freshman Indigo Looper will battle for playing time.

GARDINER (13-6-0)

After being the No. 1 seed in the Class B South playoffs in 2017, the Tigers will be a younger squad in 2017-18. Returning to the team is defensemen Sloan Berthiaume and Connor Manter who are seniors. Jared Shaw should see some time on the blue line as a newcomer. Up front Cameron Bigelow and Cam Bourassa will lead the offensive charge as juniorswhile Parker Smith will look to contribute as a sophomore.

Keegan Gamache
York

Spencer Pickett
York

YORK (17-3-1)

The Wildcats are poised for another state championship appearance as as they have the majority of their core returning. Senior Jake Martin was the Class B South Forward of the Year while Keenan Gamache was the Goalie of the Year. Forwards Spencer Pickett, Dalton McCann, and Andrew Bertolini were also named to the league’s all star team while defenseman Max Pickett was also selected as an all-star.

MARANACOOK/WINTHROP/MADISON

The Hawks look to build upon from last season where they were winless. This year 15 of the 20 players on the roster are either freshmen or sophomores. Up front they will be led by Dan Shea and Eli Bulba who are both seniors while newcomer Luke St. Hilaire will look to provide some offensive spark as a senior. Cam MacDonald will lead the young blue line as a senior.  Will Hays will be in between the pipes as a junior. The team will be led by Jack Rioux as he takes over the coaching duties from Chip Jones who will stay on as an assistant coach.

Nathan Fournier

Nathan Fournier

Nathan has been covering college, junior, and high school hockey for the last six years for numerous publications. You can follow him on Twitter @jrhockeywriter.
Nathan Fournier
- 6 hours ago