April 10, 2011

Girls' Hockey MVP: On or off the ice, leadership sets her apart

Sophie Goulet helped St. Dominic to a state title, leading by example and as a team motivator.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

AUBURN - Sophie stayed.

click image to enlarge

Sophie Goulet decided to stay at St. Dominic despite opportunities to leave the state to develop her hockey skills. Her reason: “The education is better and that’s more important.”

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer


Devan Kane, freshman, goaltender, Scarborough

There were a bunch of impressive senior goalies, but Kane's 1.19 goals-against average and .94 save percentage can't be ignored. She performed as well as her numbers.

Taylor Witham, senior, goaltender, Cheverus

Goalie was supposed to be a weak spot for the Stags, but Witham kept them in several games, recording a 1.88 goals-against average and .92 save percentage.

Raechel Allen, junior, forward, Portland

A big scorer on a non-playoff team, Allen drew plenty of attention, but she still broke free for 33 goals and nine assists. Her defensive game is just as strong.

Hannah Dineen, sophomore, forward, Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete

Dineen proved unstoppable in some games, even with the extra defense she attracted. She finished with 22 goals and 10 assists.

Nicci Heroux, junior, forward, York

Heroux worked well in the Wildcats' pass-happy offense, but she also was a constant breakaway threat. She scored 22 goals while adding five assists.

Jen Poulin, sophomore, forward, Winslow

When Poulin got going, she was hard to keep up with. Lightning quick, Poulin also showed off a pin-point shot. She amassed 24 goals and added four assists.

Lauren Ratsep, senior, forward, St. Dominic

Ratsep's arrival from Hebron Academy gave the Saints a trio that could rarely be stopped. Ratsep scored 28 goals while adding 12 assists.

Marisa Zamrock, junior, forward, St. Dominic

Perhaps the most dangerous forward in the state with breakaway moves and a cannon shot, Zamrock amassed 47 goals along with 22 assists.

Monica Aaskov, junior, defense, Falmouth

Aaskov provided leadership at both ends of the ice as the Yachtsmen just missed the playoffs. She had five goals and eight assists.

Casey Benner, senior, defense, Greely

The Rangers featured one of the top defenses in the state and were especially strong when Benner was patrolling their zone. Tough in one-on-one situations, she also added three goals and nine assists.

Sophie Goulet, senior, defense, St. Dominic

The Telegram Player of the Year, Goulet dictated the action with her skill, speed and intelligence. She was a defensive stopper while also scoring 24 goals and 20 assists.

Abby Rutt, junior, defense, Scarborough

The most dominating player in the West, Rutt could not be passed in her zone, and she also had a big year offensively, producing 27 goals and 14 assists.

Coach of the Year

Kevin Banfield, York

Banfield began the York program in 2003, introducing students to the game and driving the bus to their practices in New Hampshire. Banfield, along with assistant Bob Blais, made hockey fun and established one of the largest programs in the state. Banfield has built a solid program with overachieving players, leading the Wildcats to a 15-4-2 record this year, including an appearance in the state championship game.

When other top girls' hockey players were leaving Maine high schools before their senior season, Sophie Goulet remained at St. Dominic Academy.

Others opted for prep schools or academies geared toward hockey. Goulet had an opportunity to attend such an academy.

"I almost went that route," she said. "I decided I should stay at St. Dom's. The education is better and that's more important."

But hockey certainly takes up time in Goulet's life. She's been playing since she was 4. She knows the game and knows how to win.

With Goulet's leadership and talent, she pushed the Saints to a 20-1 record and the state championship. The one loss came when Goulet and other top players were absent, attending a showcase for college scouts.

Goulet is the Maine Sunday Telegram girls' hockey MVP.

"When she was out there, her intensity level was so high she made everyone else work harder," Saints Coach Don Boucher said.

And if she wasn't leading by example, she could get vocal, too.

"She was not a shy person on the bench," Boucher said. "She tried to get everyone to play their best."

Goulet admitted she has "never been afraid to say what I'm thinking. When I was an underclassmen, my teammates were loud and motivating. I knew that was the kind of leader I wanted to be."

On the ice, Goulet was a force, adjusting to the flow of the game. She could push the action, feeding her teammates or driving in for a wrist shot. Above all, she was a playmaker.

"It's important to use all the players on the ice," Goulet said, "because if it's just one player, it's easier to target her and shut her down.

"Having (talented teammates) made it easier."

Being part of such a dominant team, Goulet could stay back while her teammates controlled the puck down low. Should the other team get possession, Goulet was there to stop their progress. She could pass it back up ice or make an end-to-end rush.

Simply put, Goulet controlled the game.

"She sees the ice extremely well," Boucher said. "She sees the game develop in front of her.

"Her hockey IQ helps set her apart from other top skaters."

Goulet is not sure if she will play hockey in college. She hopes so.

"I have hockey in mind, but I have to look to the future," she said.

"There is more to (life than) hockey, as much as I hate to say it."

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



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