As an incoming freshman at Lewiston High in 2015, Alex Robert had a daunting goal.

He wanted to make the Class A powerhouse’s varsity hockey team.

“All summer, I was training a lot and trying to earn a spot,” Robert said. “When I made the team, I felt pretty accomplished.”

It was a notable feat given the Blue Devils’ abundance of returning talent that season, but Robert couldn’t have imagined what he would go on to accomplish in the coming years.

Now a junior forward, Robert has helped Lewiston win three consecutive state titles for the first time in more than three decades. For his consistency, skill and leadership, Robert is the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Player of the Year.

“Winning three state championships in three years on three different teams at Lewiston demonstrates what he has meant (to the program),” Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau said. “He has gotten better athletically from a hockey standpoint, and his leadership has really developed over the years.”

A captain and the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A player of the year, Robert led the Blue Devils (19-2) in scoring with 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists), including a goal in their 2-1 state championship victory over Biddeford. Robert also scored in the 2017 state final against Falmouth that Lewiston won, 6-2.

The Blue Devils have 23 state titles. The last time they won three straight was from 1982-84.

“It’s definitely something that not a lot of people can say,” Robert said. “It helped having such great upperclassmen when I was a freshman. They led the way and showed us younger guys what it takes to actually become a state championship team.”

Robert has grown into a leadership role – especially important this season after Lewiston graduated several key players – including the Telegram’s 2017 Player of the Year, Jeromey Rancourt.

“We had a lot of new faces on the team, a lot of guys who had never played varsity before,” Robert said. “Everyone had a role to play and everyone did their job. We went through it together, so winning this year really meant a lot.”

Hockey runs in Robert’s family. His paternal grandfather was a goalie who played for St. Dominic before going on to play for Norwich University. Robert’s dad inherited his father’s passion for the sport and built an ice rink for his kids in the backyard.

“When I was really young, my dad and my grandfather would go out back on the rink with me and my sisters, and we’d play,” Robert said, adding that the rink has hosted countless games between him and his cousins. “My dad put a lot of time into building an ice rink for us in the winter, and I’m thankful.”

One of Robert’s younger sisters, Sara, is also making her mark on Lewiston hockey. As a freshman on the girls’ team, she was a dynamic forward who helped the Blue Devils advance to the North final.

“It’s pretty cool, especially coming home every day after practice and just talking with her about hockey,” Robert said. “A lot of the time, during winter, we both have practice right after school. Then we come home, do our homework and head out back to the ice rink to play one-vs.-one. We learn from each other.”

Belleau said Robert has just about everything a coach could want in a player – the skating ability, the hands, the shot, the vision and the instincts. But most importantly to Belleau, Robert has an appreciation for those who have set him up for success – something Robert exemplified during a postgame interview after this year’s state final when he was asked about the goal he scored in the third period.

“Evan Cox gave me a great pass right in the slot and I just saw a little opening,” Robert said. “It was pretty much Evan’s goal.”

“When I watch that interview, that’s what I remember – that he said it was Evan Cox’s goal,” Belleau said. “That’s the type of kid he is and that’s what we try to instill in our players, that it takes a team to win.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

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