April 15, 2012

Telegram All-State Boys’ Hockey
Maksut's decision to stay worked out great for Thornton

C.J. Maksut passed up junior hockey for one more year in high school, and won another title.

By Paul Betit pbetit@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

SACO — C.J. Maksut put up record-breaking numbers during his four seasons as a member of Thornton Academy's boys' hockey team.

click image to enlarge

After scoring the winning goal in the state championship game as a junior, C.J. Maksut led Thornton Academy to its second straight Class A title this season.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

C.J. Maksut


• Nick Breed, Cape Elizabeth senior, forward

Breed scored 34 goals, tops in Western Class B, and had 17 assists to help the Capers advance to the Western Class B semifinals

• Bryan Dallaire, Thornton Academy senior, defense

An outstanding two-way performer, Dallaire had 15 goals and a team-high 36 assists to lead Class A defensemen in scoring.

• Sam Dexter, Messalonskee senior, forward

Dexter scored a state-high 48 goals and had 29 assists to lead the Eagles to their first Eastern Class B championship.

• Joe Ferrante, Thornton Academy senior, goalie

Ferrante compiled a 1.38 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage to help the Trojans claim their second consecutive Class A state title.

• Ben Freeman, Falmouth sophomore, forward

Freeman had 26 goals and 20 assists to lead the Yachtsmen in scoring in his second varsity season.

• Chris Howat, Bangor senior, goalie

A finalist for the Travis Roy Award, Howat compiled a 2.01 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage to lead the Rams to the Eastern Class A semifinals.

• Alex Kurtz, Yarmouth senior, forward

The Western Class B forward of the year, Kurtz had 30 goals and 22 assists to lead the region in scoring.

• C.J. Maksut, Thornton Academy senior

The Travis Roy Award winner, Maksut led Class A in scoring 32 goals and 27 assists.

• Conor O'Brien, York senior, defense

The Western Class B defenseman of the year, O'Brien had 11 goals, 19 assists and a team-high plus-35 rating.

• Taylor Reulliard, Biddeford senior, defense

A finalist for the Travis Roy Award, Reulliard played a major role as a shut-down defender for the defensive-minded Tigers.

• Cody Rodrigue, St. Dom's senior, forward

Rodrigue scored three of his 15 goals during the playoffs to lead the Saints to the Eastern Class A championship.

• Brandon Tiner, Lewiston senior, defense

A finalist for the Travis Roy Award, Tiner was a solid all-around defenseman who led the Devils to the Eastern Class A final.

Coach Of The Year

Barry Mothes, Greely

Mothes, aided by assistant coaches Matt Gilbert and Damian Bolduc, led the Rangers to their second Class B state championship in four seasons. "We asked our players to do things a certain way, and they're the ones who did all the work," he said. "I'm also very lucky to have two excellent assistant coaches." Mothes completed his 18th season as coach of the Rangers.

His ability to score goals and help his teammates score are two reasons why the Trojans have won two consecutive Class A state championship.

Then there are the intangibles.

Maksut, the Maine Sunday Telegram player of the year, simply made everyone around him better.

"The one thing we could count on, whoever we put with C.J., is that chemistry would be built very quickly," Thornton Academy Coach Jamie Gagnon said. "His hockey IQ is through the roof, and he has that ability to build that chemistry with different kind of players.

"That's a real strength in the locker room to be able to adapt to different guys and sort of keep that chemistry in the room. We had a lot of different guys with different personalities, and he was able to relate to all of them. That's how he was on the ice as well. He was able to complement players and make the players around him even better, and I think that is one of his strongest assets."

Maksut had 32 goals and 27 assists while leading the Trojans to a 20-1-1 record. He finished his career with 90 goals and 64 assists for a school-record 154 points.

Three weeks ago, Maksut became the 17th recipient of the Travis Roy Award, given to Maine's top senior in Class A.

After Thornton won its first state title in 2011, Maksut considered moving onto a junior hockey program.

He decided to stay home.

"I grew up playing hockey with the guys and it felt right to stay in such a family atmosphere and finish out my high school career with everyone," he said. "I knew I was going to have fun and still get better as a player. Part of it was the coaches, but I think mostly it was the guys in the locker room."

Now, Maksut will focus on getting ready to play hockey at the next level.

Maksut already has been accepted by Quinnipiac University, a Division I school in Hamden, Conn., but he intends to play junior hockey for the next season or two to prepare for the rigors of college hockey.

"I think when you get to this level, you understand there are so many parts to the game aside and away from the rink," said Gagnon. "There are so many more components to the game to play at the next level, from a weight training perspective, from a diet perspective, from a flexibility perspective. There are so many more things to continue on, and I know no matter what, as long as it's outlined for him, he'll do whatever is necessary to get to the next level."

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


Twitter: PaulBetitPPH


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