Defending Class B State Champion Greely looks like the team to beat in the South Division. On the North side, Old Town/Orono will get challenged by Waterville/Winslow and Hampden Academy.
CLASS B NORTH
HAMPDEN ACADEMY (10-8-1)
Home Rink: Sawyer Arena
The Broncos are looking a breakthrough season as they return their top four leading scorers.
Cooper Leland had 41 points including 25 goals. Kaleb Hale contributed 10 goals, (23 points) while Owen Cross (16 points) and Sam Economy (15 points) each had seven goals.
Hampden will have to replace Evan Thomas in goal, who has graduated.
OLD TOWN/ORONO (15-6-0)
Home Rink: Alfond Arena
The Black Bears are coming off their second straight Class B state championship appearance where they lost to Greely last year.
Expect them to be contenders with Tyler McCannell returning as the senior put up 20 goals and 14 assists last season. Tanner Evans and Sam Henderson each had 12 goals a season ago. Conner McCannell and Nate Young each had a goal and 11 assists from the blue line.
Aidan Rand, a sophomore, will be taking over in goal this season. He was 4-1 with a 2.11 gaa last season.
Home Rink: Alfond Rink, Colby College
The Riverhawks will be a contender again in Class B North as they have some firepower.
Leading the way will be Nate Newgard, the junior had 21 goals and 15 assists as a sophomore. Brandon Mason, another junior, had 13 goals for 22 points while senior Cody Ivey had 11 goals for 21 points.
Defensively, Zach Menoudarakos had 10 points (seven goals and three assists) as a junior. Bryce Gunzinger has been patiently waiting his turn to man the pipes the past few years as the senior had been sitting behind Ben Grenier, who graduated.
The power play will be key to Waterville/Winslow’s success according to coach Jonathan Hart. Defense is young overall, but Hart believes the group will round into form.
CAPITAL REGION HAWKS (2-16-0)
Home Rink: Kents Hill School
Maranacook/Winthrop/Madison/Spruce Mountain will join forces this season with Lawrence High School. The multi-school co-op will go by the name of Capital Region Hawks.
Senior Coleman Watson brings six goals and two assists which led the team a season ago. Senior Patrick Prescott and junior Max Thamert also return. Junior defender Jonathan Rioux had seven assists last year.
Coming from Lawrence High School are goalie Adrian O’Connel and defenders Ben Pierce and Cam Jordan.
PRESQUE ISLE (16-4-0)
Home Rink: Northern Maine Forum
The Wildcats hope to be challengers in Class B North with the return of Connor Demerchant, who led the team with 23 goals a year ago.
Junior Gage Letourneau had 12 goals and 25 assists while fellow junior Colby Carlisle had 14 goals and 18 assists. Coach Dr. Carl Flynn hopes a third line can develop as they return five of the six players on the top two lines.
Presque Isle lost Torey Levesque to graduation. He provided points on the back end last winter. Coach Flynn will be looking for Cameron Levasseur and Noah Roy, who each had five points, and Carter Jackson to lead the defense.
Brandon Poitras is expected to be the No. 1 goalie taking over Andre Daigle, who graduated.
CAMDEN HILLS (12-8-0)
Home Rink: Midcoast Recreation Center
The Windjammers strength will be in goal as both goalies return in 2019-20 as sophomore Jackson Bernier was 7-5 with a 2.48 goals-against-average and a .904 save percentage. Junior William Gardner went 6-2 with a 1.96 gaa and a .914 save percentage.
Up front they will be looking to create some depth after junior Charlie Griebel had 11 goals and 12 assists a year ago. Levi Guay eight points (four goals) and Ben Wells six points (four goals) are second and third returning scorers among the forward position.
Senior defensemen Andrew Orne (two goals) and Quinn Brown (three goals) each had 10 points. Camden Hills hopes its conditioning will be able to wear other teams down this season.
Home Rink: Camden National Bank Vault
The Tigers move from Class B South to the North with the influx of teams dropping down from Class A to Class B.
Gardiner hopes to take that next step from a near .500 team to a winning record in 2019-20. Senior defenseman Jared Shaw led the team with 10 points (seven goals and three assists) a season ago.
Senior forward Jake Weston and sophomore Cameron Rizzo each had five goals. Quinn Veregge is a veteran presence in goal as the senior went 6-6 last season.
Coach Tyler Wing hopes the team can capitalize on scoring chances and be disciplined this season.
Home Rink: Camden National Bank Ice Vault
The Rams move from Class A to Class B North and look to immediate impact in its new division.
They have a solid core of upperclassmen returning in seniors Zach Whitney (forward), Collin Osborne (forward) and Mike Crochere (goalie). The junior class returns Quincy Tobias (forward) Tyrell Sousa (forward) and Elijiah Bezanson (defense). Coach Shawn Johnson says he has a lot of promise in the underclassmen but they need to gain that varsity experience.
Home Rink: Alfond Rink, Colby College
The Eagles look to build off a one-win season and make a push to the playoffs.
Messalonskee returns its leading scorer in junior Myles Hammond who had six goals and six assists in 15 games. They are also expecting key contributions from seniors Dylan Cunningham and Ben Hellen. Sean Rodrigue and Nicolas Fontaine will provide veteran leadership on defense as seniors while Jacob Thomas will look to build off his freshman season.
Coach Kevin Castner likes the freshmen and sophomores that are coming in. The team as a whole will need to be more disciplined and consistent this season.
* Also competing in Class B North are John Bapst, Brewer and Houlton/Hodgdon
CLASS B SOUTH
Home Rink: Alfond Arena, University of New England
The Rams will look to build off a two-win season from 2018-19.
Two juniors, Dean Church and Zach Jones, will be the go-to players up front while sophomores Brady Morin and Ryan Johnson will also provide scoring.
Joe Eremeta, Hunter Lachance and Thomas Johnson will lead the defensive corps. Junior Indigo Looper will be the goalie who is expected to eat the most minutes.
Coach Sean Smith believes strong defensive play will be a key to Kennebunk’s success. With six newcomers to the team he expects healthy competition for playing time.
POLAND/LEAVITT/OAK HILL/GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER (11-6-1)
Home Rink: Norway Savings Bank Arena
The Kings look to build off their playoff appearance from 2018-19 where they lost to Gorham in the first round and look to go further this season.
They will have to replace their top three-point producers. Coming back is Reese Collins who had 13 points (seven goals and six assists) and Spencer Berube who had 12 points (nine goals and three assists).
Defense will be the strength of the team despite the loss of Nathan Marcotte (26 points) to the Twin City Lightning 18U program. Trying to pick up his minutes are Sam Tibbetts, Blake Springer and Robbie Gladu. Vinny Lupardo, a sophomore, will take the reigns in goal from Xavier Michaud, who graduated.
Coach Joe Hutchinson expects his team to grow as the season goes along and expects the underclassmen to have an impact.
Home Rink: Watson Arena
Isaac Burtis will lead the Dragons offensively as he had six goals and 11 assists as a junior last year, while Michael Marro had six goals and five assists also as a junior.
At defense, Scout Masse had six goals for 12 points as a junior and Harry Burham had a goal and eight assists as a sophomore.
Brunswick will have 10 incoming freshmen to the team. Coach Michael Misner expects growth as the season goes on.
CAPE ELIZABETH (14-5-0)
Home Rink: Troubh Ice Arena
The Capers lose some key pieces from last year’s squad that went to the regional final and lost to Greely.
However, Cape Elizabeth returns Gavin Simopoulos who had 20 goals and 21 assists, which led the team. Matt Laughlin was third on the team with 14 goals and 18 assists. Senior Andrew Carroll brought 12 goals and six assists as a defenseman while fellow senior Jonas Moon had seven goals and five assists.
Nick Laughlin and Connor Goss are freshman that will add to depth up front while Phil Coupe will provide depth as a freshman on defense for coach Jacob Rutt.
Home Rink: University of Southern Maine
Despite losing 11 seniors from last year’s team, the Rams have a solid foundation to build on this season with senior winger Cole Perreault providing 16 goals and nine assists as a junior. Nolan Gava had nine goals and five assists as a sophomore while Aidan Enck also had 14 points as a sophomore including seven goals.
Aiden Owens provided four goals and five assists from the blue line. Peter Richards will take his three goals and four assists from the blue line to forward this season.
The Rams lost both goalies from last year’s team.
MT. ARARAT/LISBON/MORSE (8-10-1)
Home Rink: Sid Watson Arena
Big changes for the Eagles as the team moves from Class A to Class B while Noah Austin – last year’s Travis Roy Award winner – has graduated.
Hoping to provide some scoring to replace Austin is Hunter Merryman who had six goals and five assists last year. Alex Witwicki chipped in with two goals and five
assists up front. On defense Noah Magda looks to replace Cade Charron and Cam Poisson shoes as they also graduate. Magda had five assists.
In goal, Sean Moore, the nephew of former University of Maine standout and Toronto Marlies (AHL) head coach Greg Moore, will look to build off his freshman season where he was 5-7-0 with a .914 save percentage.
Home Rink: Travis Roy Arena
Two-thirds of the Clippers roster will be freshmen and sophomores led by goalie Charles Henry Watson who had a 2.96 gaa as a freshman.
Senior Will Giese will lead the young roster as he had four goals and eight assists while fellow senior Aiden Miller had seven goals and an assist.
Spenser King brings offense from the back end as he had three goals and 10 assists a year ago.
Home Rink: Family Ice Center
The defending Class B state champions are in position to defend the title this season.
Andy Moore returns after declining an offer to play for the Twin City Thunder’s National Collegiate Development Conference team. He had 72 points (22 goals and 50 assists) last season They will have to develop some secondary scoring as Ryan Moore had 16 points (three goals).
Offense will also come from the back end as Caleb Duff had 33 points (12 points). In goal Jared Swisher was 12-2, 1.33 gaa and a .896 save percentage.
Coach Barry Mothes expects sophomores and juniors to step up to the 75 goals the team lost to graduation and transfers.
Home Rink: Dover (N.H) Ice Arena
The Wildcats lose 75 goals from a season ago which saw them get upset in the first in the playoffs by Brunswick.
Joe Neal, a sophomore is the returning leading scorer among forwards as he had 12 points (eight) goals. Expect senior Aidan Martin to contribute offensively.
Max Pickett, a senior defender is the team’s overall leading scorer as he had 16 points (six goals). Aiden Drew had eight points also from the blue line.
Coach Jim Powers hopes the freshmen who he’s excited about will develop in time to be ready for playoff push at the end of the season.
Home Rink: Troubh Ice Arena
The Stags move down from Class A to Class B this year where they look to be a contender in the always competitive south division.
Cheverus will rely on senior Jackson Wilson who had an outstanding fall in the New England Prep league where he led the U18 division with 25 goals and 14 assists in 13 games. Jack Chaput will also be looked upon to provide offense for the Stags.
In goal, Bryce Pomerleau who played with Wilson on Team Public Catholic in the prep league will be Cheverus’ starter. Jacob Sargent and Collin Doherty will be key as seniors while getting support from Kevin Connolly