Two years ago, these two teams hopped on their buses and headed north to the Colisee in Lewiston.

The Biddeford and York boys’ hockey teams played for state championships in their classes.

The rides back home were entirely different.

“We all remember it,” York senior Paddy Murphy said. “No one spoke.”

The Wildcats had lost a heartbreaker, 4-3 in overtime to Winslow in Class B.

It wasn’t quiet on the Biddeford bus. The Tigers had defeated Lewiston 4-1 for their second straight Class A championship.

Today, the York and Biddeford buses again will pull into the Colisee parking lot.

York (17-3) plays Brewer (18-1-1) for the Class B championship at 1 p.m.

Biddeford (18-2-1) goes for its third title in four years against the storied Waterville High program. The Panthers (14-6-1) are searching for their 21st state championship. 

HOW DO TODAY’S York and Biddeford teams compare from the squads of two years ago?

Biddeford looks similar.

“We’ve got a solid (defense), a good goalie and a high-powered offense,” senior Nick Fitzgerald said. “Just a matter of being smart.”

York features more depth.

“The (2008) team was, overall, a little stronger,” York Coach Michael Vessey said. “But we’re a little better balanced this time. One of the reasons we’ve gotten this far is we’ve been able to run three, three-plus lines every game.” 

THE TOP lines spark both teams. Trevor Fleurent of Biddeford leads Class A with 33 goals. A strong shooter, Fleurent is also an excellent passer. His linemates, younger brother Brady Fleurent and Derek Reny, compliment him well. Reny, a recent addition to the line, adds a physical presence.

York’s Murphy operates in a similar role as Reny. He’s physical and can move the puck. He creates space for himself and his linemates, David Figlioli and Craig Decato, both of whom have a knack for getting to the net. Figlioli leads York with 24 goals. 

PADDY MURPHY played in the 2008 title game but left the York program last year to join the Portland Junior Pirates. He returned this season.

“Three of my best friends were on the team – Dave (Figlioli), Max (Leeman) and Tanner (Chase),” Murphy said. “I wanted a chance at a state championship, and to try and do something special.” 

THE DEFENSEMEN don’t always get credit because so much attention goes to the two teams’ potent offenses. But they can shut down teams, and protect their goalies (Biddeford’s Matt Roy and York’s Alex Ahrikenchikh).

Biddeford’s senior defensemen, Joey White and Fitzgerald, are solid stay-at-home types, while sophomore Eric Grover and junior Nick Gagne are a little more offensive.

“They’ve developed a ton,” Tigers Coach Rich Reissfelder said.

Tanner Chase anchors the Wildcats’ defense. Conor O’Brien, Max Leeman, Aaran Maran and Michael Valeri are other contributors. 

MATT ROY hopes to bring a second title to the family. His sister, Katie Roy, played forward for Cheverus, the state girls’ hockey champion. 

THE UNSUNG players can make a difference for these teams. For Biddeford, it’s lesser-known forwards like Ryan Regis, Tyler Audie and Travis Guay.

“It’s the role players that make this team click,” Reissfelder said.

Guay, who missed almost all season with an ankle injury, scored the winning goal in the regional final Tuesday.

For York, Vessey believes his third line makes a difference – George Lindbom, Corey Decato, Shane Hughes and occasionally Zach Franklin.

“They allow the other two lines to stay rested and fresh,” Vessey said. “It shows in the third period, where we have a substantial scoring margin.” 

WATERVILLE BRINGS tradition to the Colisee, and a defense that carried the team. While the Panthers ranked only seventh in Eastern Class A in scoring (3.05 average), they were second in defense (1.71 goals allowed).

In the Panthers’ past 10 games, they’ve given up 15 goals.

Waterville’s six losses included defeats to Lewiston (twice), Thornton Academy, Falmouth, St. Dominic and Bangor. The Panthers beat St. Dom’s and Bangor in both the regular season and the playoffs. 

BREWER WON the 2007 Class B title but couldn’t defend it. The school’s enrollment grew and the Witches played Class A the past two years.

They hardly struggled in Class A, reaching the regional semifinals both years.

When reclassification occurred before this year, Brewer dropped to Class B in hockey only.

Hockey has the largest ceiling for Class B enrollment of any sport – 850. Brewer’s enrollment at the time of reclassification was 819. So the Witches are Class A in every sport except hockey.

The Witches have dominated Class B teams this year. Their only loss was to Falmouth, and their one tie was with Bangor. 

FALMOUTH BEAT Brewer and Waterville this season, defeating the Witches 2-1 in December and topping the Panthers 6-2 in January.

“Brewer is a really good hockey team,” Yachtsmen Coach Scott Rousseau said. “They have great goaltending with (Eric) White, and nice puck-moving defensemen.”

Falmouth scored the most goals against Waterville this year (the Panthers have allowed four goals twice). But Falmouth led only 3-2 in the third period before breaking out.

“They’re big and physical,” Rousseau said.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

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