Maine Class A Top 7
The 2021-22 Maine Class A boys hockey season should be wide open with no team the clear favorite after a shortened season last year where teams were confined to playing regional opponents because of the pandemic, and no state playoffs took place.
One team that has been building for the past few years is No. 1 Edward Little. The Red Eddies have eight returning forwards, including Wes Clements, who had nine goals and eights assists in 10 games last year. They have a slew of returning defensemen, and Gage Ducharme is a proven starter in the net.
The No. 2 Lewiston Blue Devils won the 2020 Class A state championship days before the pandemic started that March. The Blue Devils look poised to go back-to-back last season going 7-3-1 in their limited schedule and scoring 47 goals. The three losses were against North Yarmouth Academy which normally plays a prep schedule, and the tie came against EL in both teams’ final game. This year, Lewiston has to reload with new coach Jamie King as Jamie Belleau, the longtime coach, took an assistant coach position with NYA. Four players followed Belleau to NYA, and Damon Bossie, who would have been a Travis Roy Award candidate this year, is playing junior hockey with the Twin City Thunder. Lewiston still has scoring threats in Evan Knowlton, Tanner Anctil, Dylan Blue, and Cody Dionne.
The team Lewiston beat for the 2020 Class A state championship, Scarborough is ranked third. Eric Wirsing has taken over the program as head coach and has enough pieces for another deep playoff run. Jack Matthews should be the go-to player for the Red Storm, and they have a veteran tandem in goal with Chris Lafferty and Keegan Weed.
No. 4 Thornton Academy is another team that has some solid forwards returning Colby Bilodeau and Alex St. John playing key roles two years ago when the Golden Trojans reached the quarterfinals. Gage Tarbox-Belanger also saw playing time in goal.
The unfortunate thing for the No. 5 Bangor Rams in the shortened season is the lack of games between Class A opponents because they are the most northern Class A team. They faced Class B North powers like Orono/Old Town and Presque Isle. The Rams are a consistent playoff team and should continue in 2021-22. Jake Hirsch is a strong goalie for the Rams.
After a couple of rebuilding years, the No. 6 Falmouth Navigators will be in the conversation. They were a team to watch for last season when Owen Drummey won the Travis Roy Award. This year Falmouth will look to Charlie Adams, the Navigators’ second-leading scorer two years ago with seven goals and 18 assists.
The No. 7 South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete had a solid year in 2019-20, reaching the semifinals. Dylan Hannan was the team’s second-leading scorer two years ago with eight goals and 13 assists. Cullen Adams played a critical role two years ago, leading the team with 12 goals and had six assists.