Maine Girls HS Hockey Preview: Defending Champs Cheverus Strong Again; Penobscot A Serious Threat From The North

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.

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A total of 15 girls high school hockey programs will compete in the state of Maine this season, broken down into both a Northern and Southern division.

Cheverus/Old Orchard Beach/Windham is the defending state champion.

Here is a look at the teams:

Northern Maine

PENOBSCOT PIONEERS (15-4-1)

The Bangor-Brewer co-op, made up of players from seven schools and better known as the Penobscot Pioneers, had a successful first season in 2022-23 by reaching the Northern Maine regional final. They only lost one player from that team and bring some offensive firepower to the table.

Junior Jordin Williams had 30 goals and 25 assists in 18 games to lead the state in scoring. Senior Meghan Delehanty had 17 goals and 16 assists and junior Paige Oakes had 15 goals and 16 assists. They all return to power the offensive attack for coach Jarrod Williams, as does junior Delaney Carr (14 pts).

Senior Anna Molloy led the blue line with seven goals and 10 assists. Senior Kaylin Morrison and Bella Saucier are back as well on defense.

Sophomores Abbie Derosie (1.97 gaa) and Mariah Coon (1.53 gaa) are a solid duo in goal.

Lauren Labbe Brunswick

BRUNSWICK (12-8-0)

The Dragons have young scoring forwards, with junior Lauren Labbe recording 34 points in 2022-23, while sophomores Solveig Ledwick (22pts) and Gillian Countway (17 pts) will be involved heavily in the offense.

Defensively, junior Lisi Palmer had an offensive touch with 22 points, while Quinn McCormack contributed with 10 points. Brunswick will look for another well- balanced scoring attack this season.

Coach Chris Ledwick said junior Sensia Ley and sophomore Hensleigh Labonte are a reliable tandem in goal.

EDWARD LITTLE/LEAVITT/POLAND (2-16-0)

The Red Hornets continue to rebuild the program and coach Dana Berube will rely on senior forward Kylee Spugnardi to provide the offense, with Grace Ducharme and Haleigh Moon being secondary options.

The loss of Alyssa Prosser on defense hurts the Red Hornets, but the club has two good returners, Ella Label and Mackenzie Grenier on the blue line.

Two newcomers, Izzy Jalbert and Kaydance Jolin, will battle for time in the crease.

MT. ARARAT/LISBON/MORSE/MEDOMAK VALLEY (11-8-0)

The Eagles lost 11 players to graduation and a couple more players to prep hockey.

The Mt. Ararat co-op has six returners and five newcomers this year.  Coach Dave Hunter will rely on Allie Hunter to provide the goal-scoring along with Sophia Cote.  Riley Walters moves from the forward position to play goalie. Freshman Val Swenson is expected to play some key minutes on defense.

Coach Hunter said the team has been developing during the preseason and is excited for the regular season to begin. 

LEWISTON/OAK HILL (10-9-0)

The Blue Devils’ top returner scorer is defender Avaya Desjardins, who had 17 points. Forwards Fiona Landry and Crew Langley had 12 points and 11 points, respectively.

Coach Scott Laberge said this year, the Blue Devils will have more of a balanced scoring attack. Tatum Hunt moves from defense to goaltender to replace Kim McLaughlin, who graduated.

The Lewiston co-op will have an influx of freshmen this season.

ST. DOMINIC ACADEMY (6-12-0)

After a handful of seasons of co-oping, St. Dom’s is its own team again this winter with 14 players.

Leading the charge for the Saints will be forwards Gabby Allen, Georgie Davidson, Aiva Dorman, and Emily Andrews.

Lauren Hanlon will be the No. 1 defender. Eighth-grader Alana Wheeler is going to be in the creases this season.

Sophie Smith Yarmouth/
Freeport

YARMOUTH/FREEPORT (17-3-1)

The Clippers have some heavy hitters returning after a state championship appearance a year ago.

Rosie Paneka Yarmouth/
Freeport

Seniors Sophie Smith (23 goals, 10 assists) and Rosie Panenka (17 goals and 18
assists) lead the charge up front. Sophomore Celia Zinman provided some solid secondary scoring (seven goals and seven assists) last winter.

Celia Zinman Yarmouth/Freeport

Yarmouth/Freeport has two offensive defenders in sophomore Adelaide Strout (12 goals, 10 assists) and senior Amanda Panciocco (three goals and 18 assists). In goal, sophomore Elle Grondin, last year’s back-up, is focused on getting the starting role between the pipes.

Coach Dave Intraversato said he expects to play three lines this year.

Kate Nichols Winslow/Gardiner

WINSLOW CO-OP (14-6-0)

The Black Tigers, comprised of players from nine different schools, have a strong scoring threat returning in sophomore Katie Bedard, who had 39 goals as a freshman. They look to take the next step in the playoffs after reaching the North Regional semifinals a year ago.

Several other returning forwards will be chipping in offensively, according to coach Bill Boardman, including sophomore Molly Hambrick, senior Abby Allen, and juniors Sophia Sullivan and Kate Nichols.

Evelyn Rousseau Winslow/Gardiner

Sophomore Leah Michaud leads the returning defenders with five goals and five assists. Also back are seniors Hannah Daignault and Evelyn Rousseau, and sophomore Alexa Caccamo.

Senior Lily Bedard had an outstanding season in goal in 2022-23 with a 1.98 goals-against average.

Southern Maine

CHEVERUS/OLD ORCHARD BEACH/WINDHAM (18-3-0)

The Stags return all but one player from their state championship-winning team from the 2022-23 season. If they are to repeat, staying healthy will be key, as the team lacks some depth, according to veteran coach Scott Rousseau.

Junior forward Lucy Johnson had 26 goals and 24 assists in 50 points a year ago, while senior Mikayla Talbot had 22 goals and 25 helpers. Both were All-State selections. Charlotte Miller is a two-way center who plays a shutdown role. Another key scorer back is senior Maddie Doherty (25 pts).

Cheverus has two goalies who have a goals-against average under 1.50 in senior All-Stater Ella Lemieux (1.40) and Ellie Skolnekovich (1.46).

Seniors Brynn McKenney, a three-time All-State selection, was the Stags top offensive defenseman with eight goals and 15 assists last season. Senior Lilly Johnson and junior Zoey Radford each had seven points on the blue line. The trio will be joined by new freshman Caroline Rousseau, who may also see time at the forward position.

GORHAM/BONNY EAGLE/MASSABESIC/LAKE REGION/FRYEBURG/WESTBROOK (13-7-0)

Coach Mary Vaughan expects the Rams to continue to build off their most successful season in team history, losing in the regional final to Cheverus.

The Rams return senior Emerson Homa, who had 28 goals last season. Sophomore Marissa Payne split time at forward and defense, and had 13 goals and five assists. Junior Katelyn Cyr could also see time on defense.

Anchoring the defense for Gorham will be senior Greta Grant (11 pts). A starting goalie will come from pre-season camp.

Vaughan said the Rams will have to replace some players from last season, but tenacious forechecking, gritty goals, and solid team defense will be the focus this season.

YORK/MARSHWOOD/TRAIP/NOBLE (12-8-0)

Coach Sadie Wright-Ward expects the Wildcats to be competitive this season with Keira Alessi leading the way offensively after potting 10 goals and six assists as a sophomore.

Transfers Eliza Woods from Biddeford and Marisa Friedman from Cheverus will help with the scoring depth. The Wildcats are expecting a handful of underclassmen to be contributors this season.

BIDDEFORD/THORNTON ACADEMY/KENNEBUNK/WELLS (4-13-1)

The Tigers have solid defense coming into the 2023-24 season, with senior Jordan Dube leading the group. Coach Josh Williams said the team also has high-scoring potential.

Senior Lily LeSieur will lead the forwards and sophomores Corinne Ramunno and Sophia Auger will also be key contributors. Sophomore Mariah Villandry will be the No. 1 goalie.

The Biddeford co-op will have a plethora of freshmen joining the team.

FALMOUTH/SCARBOROUGH (5-12-1)

Coach Rob Carrier expects Falmouth/Scarborough to fight for a playoff spot this season.

Trinity Grenier, Audrey Farnham, and Hope Melevsky are the top returning forwards. Two freshmen to watch up front are Lexi Bellarose and Avery Larson.

Seniors Morgan Adams and Eve Chace, and junior Amelia Brann will be leading the defensive group. Freshman Alex Serbin adds to the blue line mix.

Carrier added the team’s depth should help them as the season goes on.

GREELY/GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER (0-18-0)

Coach Meg Finley said the Rangers will continue to develop in 2023-24. The goal this year is to get a win. Finley said puck control and competitiveness will be important to pick up a victory. Seniors

Allie Dominsk and Katie Dubbert will lead the forward group, while Zoe Trepaney will lead the defense.

PORTLAND/CAPE ELIZABETH/SO. PORTLAND/WAYNFLETE (10-8-0)

The Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete and Portland/Deering co-ops combined to make one team this season.

The Beacons will have one of the top lines in the state this season according to coach Bob Mills. Marina Bassett had 24 goals and 18 assists in 2022-23 while defenseman Jane Flynn had 37 goals and six assists. Forward Libby Hoope had 11 goals and eight assists.

The Beacons will rely on Hartson Mosunic and Kierith Gentilini as steady defenders. Erin Winship will be between the pipes this season.

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