Maine Girls HS Season Preview: Cheverus Ready For Big Year; New Coaches At Lewiston, Portland/Deering, Mt. Ararat

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopouloshttp://www.hnibnews.com
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.

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Defending state champ Lewiston will have many new faces, including at head coach, where Scott Laberge takes over. Expect the Blue Devils to still be strong, while Cheverus looks like a favorite in the South Division. Here is a look at some of the Maine Girls HS teams for this season:

NORTH DIVISION

LEWISTON (17-2-0)

Coach: Scott Laberge

The defending state champions have a new head coach in Laberge. They also have to replace eight key players from the title team, including five All-State players.

Key holdovers up front for the Blue Devils will be senior Alyssa Marcoux and sophomore Courtney Lachance. A bevy of newcomers who will get the chance to contribute right away include senior Emily Robert, junior Taylor Melvin, sophomore Dayla Tripp and freshmen Grace Colgan, Sadie Goyette, Crew Langley and Angelina Valente.

Defensive stalwarts project to be senior Ava Geoffroy and sophomore Avaya Desjardins. Junior Tatum Hunt and sophomore Sarah Mack will get the chance to shine right away.

Lewiston does return its starting goaltender in senior Kimberly McLaughlin.

WINSLOW CO-OP (7-8-0)

Coach: Bill Boardman

The Black Tigers, a mix of players from eight different schools, will need to replace the scoring of last year’s top two pointgetters. Coach Boardman feels his club will be strong defensively and in goal.

Sophomores Sophia Sulivan (15 pts) and Kate Nichols will spearhead the offensive attack, while a couple of freshmen – Molly Hambrick and Katie Berard – will get the chance to contribute right away.

Senior Kylie Boardman (16 pts) will be an ace on defense, where junior Evelyn Rousseau and junior Hannah Daigneault also return. Freshman Leah Michaud is in the blue line mix as well.

Two varsity goalies return in senior Emma Michaud and junior Lily Berard.

MT. ARARAT CO-OP (14-4-0)

Coach: David Hunter

New head coach Hunter feels his team is full of leaders, which will bode well as they battle in the North Division.

The Eagles’ offense will be built around the senior trio of Alex Durant, Marley LeBel and Hannah Hawkes, and sophomore Remy LeBel. Freshman Sophia Cote will find her spot in the forward lines.

On defense, senior Mallory Stuart and juniors Allie Hunter and Caragh Beasley all return from last winter’s solid squad.

Sophomore Emma Morrison will take over as Mt. Ararat’s starting netminder.

ST. DOMINIC/MONMOUTH/WINTHROP (5-9-0)

Coach: Paul Gosselin

If the Saints can replace some of their lost offensive production, then they could be a factor in the North race.

Senior Bella Pelletier and sophomores Gabby Allen and Emily Andrews are key returners for coach Gosselin. The team could get contributions from three eighth-graders in Moira Craig, Abby Titus and Aiva Dorman.

Defensive keys will be senior Maddie Weymouth, and juniors Lauren Hanlon and Georgie Davidson.

A returning goaltender for St. Dom’s is sophomore Abrianna White.

YARMOUTH/FREEPORT CO-OP (10-10-0)

Coach: Dave Intraversato

Other than a graduated goaltender, the whole team returns for the Clippers, including a deep blue line corp. Getting balanced scoring will be key.

Rosie Paneka Yarmouth/
Freeport

Junior Rosie Panenka (23 pts) and senior Sadie Carnes (17 pts) were both All Conference forward selections last winter and lead the offensive attack, along with returning junior Sophie Smith and freshman Celia Zinman.

Sophie Smith Yarmouth/
Freeport

Junior Amanda Panciocco (11 pts) and senior Chloe White are defensive book-ends. Freshman Adelaide Strout will have a role.

A starting goaltender will emerge from pre-season practices.

EDWARD LITTLE/LEAVITT/POLAND (9-5-2)

Coach: Dana Berube

The Red Hornets will be a young team with just one senior on the roster, so they could be a team that improves as the season goes along.

A lot will be expected from the nucleus of the team, the junior group of Helena Moon, Kylee Spugnardi, Olivia Doyon, Mackenzie Grenier, Gianna Castagna and Grace Ducharme.

Two key defensemen project to be sophomores Ella Labelle and Alyssa Prosser.

** Brunswick and new varsity program Penboscot will also be in the North Division.

SOUTH DIVISION

CHEVERUS (13-5-1)

Coach: Scott Rousseau

Mikayla Talbot Cheverus

The Stags lost just one senior from last winter’s 13-win team, and will have just one senior this year (team captain Elle Cooney). They start the campaign as one of the favorites from the South. A key will be offense, as the team struggled to score in big games last year, according to coach Rousseau.

Up front, junior Mikayla Talbot (22 pts) is looking forward to a full season after missing a bunch of games last year with a wrist injury. Sophomore Lucy Johnson (21 pts) and junior Charlotte Miller (19 pts) will also carry the offense.

Brynn McKenney Cheverus

Defense will be a strongpoint, with the return of junior Brynn McKenney (15 pts), a two-time All-State choice. Junior Lily Johnson, sophomore Zoey Radford and freshman Briella Doherty round out the solid unit.

In goal, Cheverus has junior Ella Lemieux (1.02 gaa) back ready for an even bigger season.

PORTLAND/DEERING (2-15-0)

Coach: Dan Winship

New head coach Winship is looking to rebuild the program and says he has some good numbers to work with. A first order of business will be to build a solid defense, which can create scoring opportunities.

A key to the offensive attack will be sophomore Jane Flynn, who had 30 goals a year ago and was an All Conference pick. Seniors Kate Martell and Hannah Dionne, and junior CeCe Blackwell-Moore are back as well. Looking to chip in are juniors Kyla Derrig, Gabby Harrigan and Phoebe Knoll, and sophomore Vivan Bryand.

On the defensive side, senior Samantha Desjardins and sophomore Zoe Sinnett and Leah Sigfridson will handle things.

No varsity goalies return, so junior Erin Winship will get a shot at the position.

Cadence Howard Gorham/Bonny Eagle

GORHAM/BONNY EAGLE/WESTBROOK (4-10-0)

Coach: Mary Vaughan

With the addition of Lake Region to the co-op, the Rams will have the most experience they have had in a while.

Emerson Homa Gorham/Bonny Eagle

Key offensive players will be senior Cadence Howard and junior Emerson Homa, both All Conference picks from a year ago. Another All Conference selection, junior Greta Grant, will anchor the defense. Senior Ellie Keil will be in goal.

Katelyn Cyr Gorham/Bonny Eagle

Newcomers ready to show what they can do are senior Caitlin Lees, sophomores Katelyn Cyr and Kayla Clapp, and freshmen Marissa Payne, Carlin Galligan and Natalie Wilkins.

** Also competing in the South Division are Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete, Biddeford, Greely, Falmouth/Scarborough and York.

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