CUMBERLAND – When it comes to playing hockey, Ted Hart hasn’t had to look far for his inspiration.

His older brothers, Kevin and Brian, have already blazed a trail for him and he’s worked hard to keep up with them.

“I kind of look at the success they’ve had and it’s something you want to match,” he said. “It’s always some kind of inspiration that kind of pushes you to the next level.”

Hart appears to have reached that next level this past season, scoring 35 goals and collecting 16 assists to lead Greely to its second consecutive Class B state title and becoming the Maine Sunday Telegram’s player of the year for boys’ hockey.

“I just think he’s a complete player,” Greely defenseman Kyle Megathlin said. “He plays offense. He plays defense. Obviously he scored a lot of points this year so he played offense very well. Last year he kind of had a little bit of a sophomore slump, I think, but this year he just really brought it in and he just led the team in a great way.”

“He’s definitely one of the most skilled offensive players we’ve had here,” Coach Barry Mothes said. “He can skate at different speeds. He has great stick skills and an outstanding wrist shot, and he reads the game very, very well for someone his age.”

Hart’s on-ice savvy really sets him apart.

“It’s a team game so you always want to keep your head up, you always want to look around for your teammates,” Hart said. “Once you do that more and more, it kind of becomes a habit, and I think that has kind of really helped my game out.”

Growing up playing against his brothers has really helped Hart develop as a player.

“He’s a learned a lot from playing backyard hockey and basement hockey with his older brothers,” Mothes said. “You can learn a lot about hockey at the rink, but a lot of learning takes place away from the rink, too, and he’s taken advantage of that.”

To say that Hart comes from a hockey family is an understatement.

Last month, Kevin Hart, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound forward, completed his third season at Providence College and Brian Hart, a 6-3, 212-pound defenseman who was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second round of the NHL draft last June, completed his first season at Harvard.

Their father, John Hart, who has coached teams in the Casco Bay Youth Association for years, played for high school state championship teams at Waterville and for Bowdoin College. He still holds the Polar Bears’ record for goals (4) in a period in a 1983 game against New England College.

A cousin, Chad Hart, a Waterville native who won the Travis Roy Award in 1999 as Class A’s top player, recently completed his first season as varsity coach of the Portland/Deering squad.

A junior, Hart, who also played soccer and baseball while at Greely, will spend the next two years at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Before starting college, both of his brothers played for the Lion Rampant.

“To play hockey after high school has always been a goal of mine and to see both of my brothers do it is something else I want to do,” Hart said.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

pbetit@pressherald.com

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH