Ashley Potvin’s eyes lit when she learned her mom decided to retire from coaching the Biddeford High girls’ hockey team.
Potvin wanted her mom’s job.
“I was pretty excited,” Potvin said. “This was an opportunity.”
And so after going through the interview and hiring processes at Biddeford, Ashley Potvin, 23, has taken over for Marie Potvin.
Ashley is unbeaten in her head coaching career after the Tigers beat Portland/Deering 4-0 last Saturday.
“I was extremely nervous,” Potvin said. “I felt like we prepared them well the girls went out and did a phenomenal job. They worked hard all three periods.”
She sounds like a veteran coach already.
Ashley Potvin was bound to get involved in sports and kids, if she was anything like her parents, Marie and the late Joel Potvin.
“My mom was a big influence – she coached me in soccer, softball and hockey,” Ashley said. “My dad coached me a little when I was in softball. But he had a huge impact in my athletics, always talking about commitment, dedication, work ethic, making sure you’re putting all the effort you have into it.”
There was no sanctioned high school girls’ hockey when Ashley played. She suited up for the Biddeford girls’ club team and the Tigers’ boys’ team.
At Norwich University in Vermont, Ashley played two seasons. She studied in France her junior year, part of her international studies major. When she returned for her senior year, Ashley opted to play rugby.
After graduating in 2011, Ashley assisted Marie behind the bench last season while also coaching the Biddeford Middle School seventh-grade softball team.
This year, Potvin is an educational tech at Massabesic Middle School as well as the Tigers’ head coach.
When she’s on the ice, the lessons learned from mom flood in.
“She taught me the basics of how to run a good practice,” Ashley said. “Playing for her, things always seemed to flow well.
“She taught me how to manage a coaching staff, how to manage all the players I observed and took in everything she was doing.”
Marie Potvin, besides behind a good coach, was an ambassador for the sport. She routinely had one of the best turnouts of any school in this fledging sport.
“She was always trying to get girls out,” Ashley said.
And now it is Ashley’s turn to bring girls into the sport, and keep up a successful tradition she learned from her parents.
ST. DOMINIC began its season Monday with heavy hearts. Coach Don Boucher died last Wednesday after a battle with cancer. He was 50.
Boucher, a Lewiston native, began coaching the Saints in 2008. He guided them to the state championship in 2011.
Athletic Director Lee Hixon said Boucher kept coaching until a few days before his death.
“There were days you could tell he was in pain,” Hixon said, “but he was always more concerned about the girls. That’s the thing that stands out the most about him, his selfless-ness. He was a great guy.”
Boucher’s funeral was Monday morning. The players attended as a team, taking part in the procession. Then the Saints opened that night against Yarmouth/Freeport.
“The girls said they wanted to play,” Hixon said. “It was a long day for them.”
Yarmouth/Freeport won, 9-6.
Paul Gosselin, Boucher’s assistant since 2008, is the new head coach.
MT. ARARAT was scheduled to open its season Friday against St. Dom’s.
That game was postponed and rescheduled for 3:45 p.m. Jan. 17 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick.
The Eagles have another week of practice before playing their first varsity game, at 3 p.m. Saturday against Gorham/Bonny Eagle at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.
INJURIES HAVE held back two standouts.
Cheverus forward Katie Roy has a sprained foot and missed most of preseason. She is hoping to be ready for the opener Wednesday against Portland/Deering.
Falmouth goalie Kirsten Mazur is recovering from a knee injury and probably will be out until January.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: