Thornton Academy’s Chandler Bilodeau handles the puck during a preseason practice. ALEX SPONSELLER/ Journal Tribune

Thornton Academy’s Chandler Bilodeau handles the puck during a preseason practice. ALEX SPONSELLER/ Journal Tribune

The Thornton Academy boys hockey team stumbled to one of it’s least successful seasons in recent years in 2016-17, much due to losing three key players to injury, along with others to illness midway through the year.

Perhaps it’s biggest loss was captain Chandler Bilodeau, who broke his collarbone and missed 10 games.

Bilodeau has been a leader on and off the ice for the Trojans since his freshman year. He has been a top-line forward, but has also been a highly-regarded role model on and off the ice.

His leadership was needed more than ever last season, as the Trojans battled through an injury-riddled campaign and missed the playoffs with a 4-14 record.

Now as a senior, Bilodeau is ready to lead the Trojans to greater heights this year, and to make his final season one to remember.

The Journal Tribune had a chance to sit down and speak with Bilodeau prior to TA’s season opener. Here is the complete interview.:

AS: Last year you guys obviously had a lot of talent, but injuries happened. Can you describe the frustration in having to deal with that?

CB: Yeah definitely — we had a bunch of injuries early that took out a bunch of our skill players. That was hard to overcome but we did the best we could to push through it and compete.

AS: Did you feel kind of a heightened importance to be one of the leaders and to help the team push through that?

CB: Yeah everyone was frustrated and it was difficult to move past that … to keep moving forward. But I had to steer the guys in the right direction and keep them going and keep playing.

AS: Throughout your career at TA you’ve developed into one of the best players on the ice, can you tell me a bit about your development?

CB: Freshman year making the team was tough and I had to work hard for my spot. I started out not playing but it was another injury that got me in the lineup. I just started from there and have gotten progressively better with the help of my teammates and coaches.

AS: How big is hockey to you? Is it your only sport?

CB: I play golf and lacrosse too, but hockey is the most important to me. I put that over anything else. I play it year round and it’s definitely the biggest focus for me.

AS: What is it about hockey versus the other sports that you love?

CB: I have just been playing hockey longer, since I was four years old. The other sports I picked up along the way. It’s my family too — a lot of them play hockey.

AS: Obviously TA has a rich hockey history, how does it feel putting on that uniform as a captain and being part of that. Especially being part of the local rivalries?

CB: It’s awesome, especially growing up and watching these guys win the championship twice. Playing with the Biddeford kids and going against them now. We all went though the Biddeford Youth Hockey program so it’s been fun playing against them.

AS: After this season do you plan on continuing to play?

CB: I’m definitely going to play at some level, I’m still weighing out my options but I definitely want to.

AS: Do you think last year makes you guys hungrier going into this season. Do you think your injuries have helped the team learn how to battle through adversity?

CB: Yeah my freshman year too we didn’t do so hot so coming off last year, a down year, it gives us a lot of motivation and also keeps us under the radar for other teams. We’re looking to have a big season his year.”

— Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 323. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: