Biddeford High featured a small cast of talented boys’ hockey players this winter. But there was one player in particular who opponents concentrated on most.

Give Nick McSorley space, and he will find a way to score.

Yes, McSorley could skate and pass. But the danger came when the puck was on his stick, his eyes on the net.

“The bottom line is he’s a goal scorer, and those are tough to find,” Biddeford Coach Jason Tremblay said.

McSorley, a sophomore, led the Tigers to a second straight appearance in the Class A state championship game. Of Biddeford’s 82 goals, McSorley scored 40 and assisted on 19.

That proficiency earned McSorley the Varsity Maine Boys’ Hockey Player of the Year award.

McSorley scored often, and when the Tigers most needed him. He recorded two goals and an assist in each of Biddeford’s first two playoff games – including the winner in the Class A South final. Locked in a 2-2 defensive battle with Portland/Deering, Biddeford got the break it needed when it received a power play in the third period. McSorley found some space, then found the back of the net with a top-shelf shot.

Biddeford lost 4-2 in the state final against St. Dominic Academy. Not surprisingly, the Saints’ defensive scheme was to blanket McSorley.

“He’s such a prolific scorer,” St. Dom’s defenseman Jacques Ouellette said. “We wanted to put a guy on him whenever he stretched the ice.”

The Saints had the talent and depth to pull it off. Other teams were not so fortunate.

“Teams definitely game-planned for him every single game,” Tremblay said.

“He had 40 goals in 20 games, which is unreal considering each team was watching him.

“To be only a sophomore and have that ability, is great to watch.”

Tremblay was not so sure he would get to watch McSorley this season. McSorley played junior hockey before the high school season, with the Islanders Hockey Club in North Andover, Massachusetts. He considered playing on the full-season team, which would have kept him out of high school hockey.

“But the travel was too much,” said McSorley, who played a half season with the Islanders and joined his high school team when practice began.

“I’m glad I did,” he said.

Tremblay had a thin roster, using only two lines of forwards and three defensemen.

“I liked how we all came together,” McSorley said. “We didn’t have a lot of numbers and we knew we had to work hard. We did work hard, and it was awesome to get back to states.”

Biddeford needed players who were gamers, the type who did not want to come to the bench. Several fit the description, including McSorley.

“It’s what I love about Nick,” Tremblay said. “He always wanted to be on the ice in every situation.”

McSorley has led his team in scoring each of his two years (he had 17 goals and 12 assists as a freshman). He said he has not made a decision about next year, between high school and full-season juniors.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

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