Coach Eric Royal isn’t overly excited about how the Marshwood/Traip Academy boys’ hockey team has started the season.

The Hawks, the top-ranked team in the Western Class A Heal point standings, carried a 6-0 record into Wednesday night’s game against Westbrook.

“It’s great we’ve won the games,” Royal said. “Obviously we want to win the games that we’ve played, but I don’t think we’ve played particularly strong in those games.”

The Marshwood/Traip Academy co-op team got off to a similar start last season, when it went 16-2 in the regular season and got as far as the regional semifinals before losing to Thornton Academy, the eventual state champion.

“Do I think we have a good team made up of kids who can win more than they lose? Absolutely,” Royal said, “but we have to get better.”

Depth continues to be a problem for the Hawks.

“We graduated four kids from last year’s team who played key roles, and we had a fifth player whose family relocated to California,” Royal said. “Numbers-wise, we lost about a third of the team, but we played most of last season with nine skaters, six forwards and three defensemen.”

The current rosters includes 14 skaters and two goalies. But seven of those skaters are freshmen.

“We’re similar in terms of numbers with what we had last year,” Royal said. “Last year we just shortened the bench and didn’t use everyone. It’s a varsity program and obviously we’re trying to win games.”

Royal said he may have to take a similar approach when the Hawks hit the meat of their schedule later this month.

“We’ve been fortunate in the beginning that we’ve been able to roll three (forward) lines a lot,” the coach said. “But we’ve got a stretch (of games) coming where I know we’re going to end up shortening the bench.”

CRAIG DECATO has become York’s career leading scorer.

Decato, a senior forward, reached the milestone Dec. 21 when he had an assist during Biddeford’s 6-3 win against the Wildcats, the defending Class B state champion. With 13 games left in the regular season, he has 53 goals and 72 assists for 125 points.

Brothers Dave and Anthony Figlioli finished their four-year careers at York with 124 career points.

Dave Figlioli, who graduated in 2010, scored 71 goals and had 53 assists in four seasons. Anthony Figlioli, who graduated last June, had 66 goals and 58 assists.

Decato has 53 goals and a school-record 72 assists.

THE SCARBOROUGH GIRLS have arrived as the chief contender to unbeaten Falmouth in the West.

Last month the Red Storm knocked off York, 3-1. Last week, Scarborough shut out another contender, Cheverus, 5-0.

Last Friday, Scarborough (7-3-1) gave Falmouth a game, losing 2-1 despite goalie Devan Kane’s 33 saves.

The Red Storm don’t face the Yachtsmen again during the regular season. They will be favored in their remaining seven games, including Saturday’s rematch with Cheverus.

BEAST OF THE EAST? If defending two-time Eastern Class B champion Brewer (6-0) got by Bangor (3-0) on Wednesday night, the Witches could run the table during the regular season for the third consecutive season.

“All but three players return from last year’s championship final,” Brewer Coach David Shedd said.

Last winter the Witches carried a 20-0 record into the state final at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, where York eked out a 4-3 overtime win.

THE GAME OF THE WEEK in boys’ hockey features a rematch of last season’s Western Class B final between visiting Greely (3-0-1) and defending state champion York (2-1-2) at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Dover Ice Arena in Dover, N.H.

THE GAME OF THE WEEK in girls’ hockey features the top two teams in the East, Greely (8-2) and Brunswick (7-1-1) at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Family Ice Center in Falmouth.

Leavitt/Edward Little eked out a 3-2 overtime win against Greely last week, while the Dragons are on a seven-game win streak.

– Staff Writer Kevin Thomas contributed to this report.

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

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