The Scarborough High School girls’ hockey team gathers at center ice Tuesday as it prepares for the 2018-19 season. (Sienna Barstow photo)

PORTLAND — After the loss of eight players to graduation, the Scarborough girls’ hockey team will have to rely on a large group of freshmen in order to make the 2018 playoffs.

“We lost eight (players) last year, but we got in quite a few. There’s 13 that are brand new this year and it’s a really good group of girls that came in,” said Scarborough head coach Caitlin Jordan.
The new players will have four veteran skaters to look up to.
“My returning players would be my captains, Courtney Brochu and Taylor Veilleux and then we’ve got Carrie Timpson. Those three and our new goalie, Ariella Swett, should make a difference,” said Jordan.
The team has already faced adversity after one of their star players went down with an injury in the fall.
“We had a lot of hope for Paige Spooner, she’s our sophomore captain, but she tore her ACL in soccer. She will not be playing all year … that’s a blow to the team,” said Jordan.
While the team is young, Jordan believes the Red Storm will still be competitive.
“The makeup of girls’ high school hockey changes year to year, teams that were good last year now may be weaker. It’s an interesting field. Every year is truly a new season. The goal for this year is to put our best game forward and win some games,” said Jordan.
Senior captain Brochu agreed with her coach.
“We only have four returning players and the rest are freshmen, but I think we’ll be alright once they get the hang of it,” said Brocu.
Senior captain Veilleux also believes the freshmen will prove to be solid players.
“I just want to have a successful season, have fun. It’s my senior year. I know we have a lot of freshmen, but I have high hopes for them,” said Veilleux.
The young squad is not new to the ice — only new to the team.
“We have a good group of girls that have just come in. We have a lot of first years. We’ve got some pretty high expectations, they’ve all played for years so they’re pretty knowledgeable,” said Jordan. “We have 13 new players that aren’t as familiar with playing systems. It’s a lot of teaching how to play as a unit as opposed to individually. Which is what a lot of players do when they’re younger, it’s a lot of individual play and now you come together and you work as a team.”
The team has responded well to the new practice regimen.
“We’re coming to practice every day. We’re working hard, going 100 percent every drill,” said Veilleux.
The second-year coach has noticed that the young team brings a new energy to the ice.
“The morale seems very high. They seem happy. It’s a young team so they’re happy just to be on the ice. Not that last year’s team wasn’t happy, it was a lot of 17- and 18-year-olds who had a lot going on in their life, college applications and touring schools. It’s the opposite this year, a lot of them are just excited to be in high school and to play high school hockey. It’s a totally different atmosphere,” said Jordan.
Scarborough’s first game will be against Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland on Saturday, Nov. 24. The game is scheduled for 5:50 p.m. at Troubh Arena in Portland.

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