Mt. Ararat/Morse players battle for the puck during a girls high school hockey game last season at Sidney J. Watson Arena in Brunswick. The Eagles open their season on Saturday at home against Biddeford. (Bob Conn / The Times Record)

BRUNSWICK — As the high school fall sports season concludes with the football state championships today and Saturday, the winter season gets underway with girls hockey teams hitting the ice this weekend.

Yarmouth/Freeport, Brunswick, and Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon are all set to begin the season with games at Travis Roy Ice Arena in Yarmouth, Troubh Ice Arena in Portland and at Sidney J. Watson Ice Arena at Bowdoin College.

New behind the bench in Yarmouth/Freeport, replacing Megan Vaughn, is head coach Dave Intraversato, who has been Freeport High School’s girls varsity soccer coach the past two seasons.

A standout in high school in Massachusetts and a captain at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, he brings several years of experience of being on the ice both as a player and referee. Once he moved to Maine in 2009, Intraversato hooked up with an old college teammate that was President of Maine NIIHOA referees and began working high school games. After working his way up into a college rotation that placed him as a linesman working NESCAC games at Colby and Bowdoin as well as other Maine colleges, he hung up the skates to begin his coaching soccer.

“The opportunity to coach (hockey) locally became available this year, and to have some of the Freeport girls that I’ve coached on the soccer field playing, I figured I would give it a shot and interview,” Intraversato said.

Both Brunswick and Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon look to improve on building seasons a year ago after finishing 2-15-1 and 3-14-1, respectively. The Eagles and Dragons met twice last year — a 3-3 tie in December, and a 5-3 Brunswick win late in the season.

Yarmouth/Freeport

The Yarmouth and Freeport athletes will once again join forces for the girls hockey team. Intraversato hopes to continue the success the team had last year after they finished 11-7, earning the fourth spot in the North and playing a home quarterfinal match against No. 5 Winslow/Gardiner. Following a 5-2 win, the team fell to Lewiston, the top seed in the North, 8-0 in the semifinals.

“We look to build on the 11-win season and try to get a higher seed in the playoffs,” Intraversato said. “I think the girls will gain confidence as we win a few games. Most of them are still getting to know me and vice-versa. We have a great group of kids on this team and they have been very receptive to what I have put in front of them so far. Our skating ability will be our strength.”

Yarmouth High School’s Emma Moll (junior) and Olivia Bradford (sophomore) return as two snipers from last year, while Lizzie Guertler (junior) and freshman Sadie Carnes found an instant connection as linemates on the first line during the preseason.

In the back they are lead by senior captains Sophie Newburg of Yarmouth and Freeport’s Paige Rinaldi. Junior captain Hannah Swift (Yarmouth) and Freeport freshman Chloe White also return and will help minimize shots against and give the Clippers a “quick breakout” according to Intraversato.
The cage is once again anchored by Freeport’s Allie Perrotta, and per her coach, the junior has looked good in net thus far.
“Allie has looked very impressive in preseason and plays with composure, she will keep us in a lot of games,” Intraversato said.
Yarmouth/Freeport opens with a rematch of last year’s North semifinal game with Winslow/Gardiner/Cony on Saturday at home at Travis Roy Ice Arena (5:30 p.m.). After traveling to Troubh to face Portland/Deering on Nov. 27, they return home on Nov. 30 to host Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland. A game with St. Dominic/Winthrop/Gray-New Gloucester (Dec. 4) follows before a rematch with Lewiston at home on Dec. 7.
Other key home dates are — Portland/Deering (Dec. 14), Cheverus/Old Orchard Beach (Dec. 21), Greely (Dec. 23), Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon (Jan. 4) and Brunswick (Jan. 8).
Some road dates are — Greely (Dec. 11), York/Traip/Marswood (Dec. 19), Winslow/Gardiner/Cony (Dec. 27), Lewiston (Jan. 8), Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland (Jan. 11) and conclude the regular season at Gorham/Bonny Eagle/Massabesic/Westbrook at the University of Southern Maine Ice Arena on Jan. 25.
Brunswick
Mike Routhier returns to the bench for his second year as the girls coach, after leading the boys program for 11 years (2001-2006 and 2008-2014). After graduating players like Shea Sullivan, Beth Labbe and Ainsley Harrower, Routhier’s squad is quite younger this season.
With 21 players in the program  — 10 freshmen, seven sophomores, and only two juniors and a pair of seniors, Routhier will look at one day at a time with his young squad.
“We’re really young and not a ton of experience, but there is an effusive amount of energy and willingness to get better,” Routhier said. “With 17 freshmen and sophomores in the program, realistically it’s more about building for the long term. If we work hard, good things will happen.”
Returning players that the Dragons will count on are Charlotte Kirk (Sr., defense), Emma Paledzki (Sr., forward), Greta White (Jr., forward), Mia Klimash (Soph., forward), Molly Taub (Soph., forward) and Lily Hatrick (Soph., defense).
Newcomer freshman Hannah Wilkoff is up from the jayvee squad and will be counted on for big minutes on defense. She has “a lot of skill, athleticism, and is smart with the puck,” according to Routhier. Sophomore goalie Alamea McCarthy, who just started manning the cage last January, has come a long way and has developed quickly to help the Dragons on the back end.
“Our mantra for this season is to get better than the previous day,” Routhier said. “Don’t be concerned with wins and losses, but focus on the improvement factor.”
The Dragons begin the season Saturday, as they travel to Troubh Arena to face Portland/Deering at 4:10 p.m. Following games next Wednesday and Friday against Biddeford/Thornton/Wells/Sanford on the road and at home versus Winslow/Gardiner/Cony, the Dragons travel to Greely (Dec. 4) and Lewiston (Dec. 11).
Other road dates include — Winslow/Gardiner/Cony (Dec. 19), Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon (Dec. 28), Cheverus/OOB (Jan. 2), and Yarmouth/Freeport (Jan. 18).
After many road contests in the first half of the season, the Dragons play six of their last seven regular season games at home at Sidney J. Watson Arena at Bowdoin College, with games against Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland (Jan. 8), Portland/Deering (Jan. 11), Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon (Jan. 15), St. Dom’s/Winthrop/G-NG (Jan. 20), Cheverus/OOB (Jan. 25) and finish the regular season with Gorham/Bonny Eagle/Massabesic/Westbrook on Jan. 31.
Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon
Led by second-year coach Jeremy Saxton, the Eagles are poised to build off the three-win campaign from a year ago. An early-season round robin last weekend has given the team plenty of confidence and excitement heading into the season.
“After the round robin this past weekend, I think we showed a lot of potential and if the players put in 100%, the ‘W’s’ will start coming and we hope to make it to the playoffs,” Saxton said. “Our program continues to grow in numbers. We graduated seven seniors, but we have 9-10 freshmen coming in.”
Saxton points out that the Eagles have two lines with a couple of players off the bench that are interchangeable, allowing him to insert pieces when and where he needs to throughout the game. Freshmen Mallory Stewart, Elle Picard from Lisbon, Alex Dumont and Hannah Hawkes all figure to see regular time in Saxton’s rotations.
Junior captains Ema Hawkes, Bre Hunter, Maddie Young and Lexi Saxton, along with seniors Camile Rowe and Colby Leighton, all return to provide leadership to the young squad. In net, sophomore Greta Marchildon will slip in for the Eagles.
“It’s her net and she’s excited to be in goal,” Saxton added.
The team opens at home with Biddeford/Thornton/Wells/Sanford on Saturday at Bowdoin College at 6:15 p.m. Three of the next four games will be at Bowdoin — Cheverus/OOB (Nov. 30), York/Traip/Marshwood (Dec. 12) and Lewiston (Dec. 14). Other key home dates are — Brunswick (Dec. 28), Portland/Deering (Jan. 7), St. Dom’s/Winthrop/G-NG (Jan. 13) and Gorham/Bonny Eagle/Massabesic/Westbrook on Jan. 28.
Some of the other road contests include — Greely (Dec. 7), Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland (Dec. 21), Yarmouth/Freeport (Jan. 4), Winslow/Gardiner/Cony (Jan. 11), Brunswick (Jan. 15), Portland/Deering (Jan. 25) and in the final regular season game, at Cheverus/OOB on Jan. 30.

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