Lewiston’s Ryan Pomerleau tips a shot from the point as South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete goalie Liam McGibbon watches it sail over his shoulder during the second period of a Class A semifinal in March. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Hockey is a team game, but it’s no surprise that the four finalists for this year’s Travis Roy Award came from the top teams in Class A. 

The recipient of the award presented to the most outstanding senior Class A player will come from one of the top five teams in this season’s boys hockey Heal point standings, with three of those teams advancing to the state semifinals. The winner will be announced Sunday at the conclusion of the Maine Class A hockey awards ceremony, which will be livestreamed on the Sun Journal’s website and Facebook page starting at 5:30 p.m. 

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete coach Joe Robinson told The Forecaster that his team wouldn’t have made it to the semifinals if it wasn’t for goalie Liam McGibbon, one of the four finalists for the Travis Roy Award who Robinson called the backbone of the fourth-ranked team in Class A. McGibbon compiled a .929 save percentage during the regular season, with three of his eight wins being shutouts 

After a 5-1 loss to Lewiston in that semifinal game, Robinson called McGibbon “a great goalie” who was deserving to get Travis Roy Award recognition. He also said the score could have been a lot worse if McGibbon wasn’t in net. 

Lewiston forward Ryan Pomerleau assisted on the go-ahead goal in that semifinal, and also assisted on the game-winning goal in double overtime of the state championship. He finished an undefeated championship season with 17 goals and 18 assists for the top-ranked team in Class A. 

“Every time he was on the ice he was usually making the right play, whether it was defensively or offensively,” Lewiston coach Jamie Belleau said. 

Scarborough players Dawson Gendreau, left, and Nolan Matthews, right, celebrate the game-winning goal in triple overtime of a Class A semifinal hockey game at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston in March. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

In that state championship game, Pomerleau’s Blue Devils downed third-ranked Scarborough, which was led offensively this season by senior forward Dawson Gendreau, another Travis Roy Award finalist. 

Gendreau led Class A with 23 goals to go along with 11 assists, the last of which was on the game-winning goal in triple overtime of a semifinal win over Edward Little. 

“He is a natural goal-scorer that stepped up in big moments,” Scarborough coach Jake Brown said. “He took pride in working hard away from the puck to create scoring opportunities.” 

Sawyer Wirsing’s fifth-ranked Thornton Academy Golden Trojans nearly made it to the semifinals, but McGibbon and his Red Riots rallied in a quarterfinal matchup that featured the two Travis Roy Award finalists. 

Wirsing, a forward, was the Golden Trojans’ leading point-producer, with 31 points coming from 15 goals and a team-high 16 assists. 

“Sawyer wasn’t just a leader on the ice, he was an extension of the coaching staff and was always willing to help any teammate,” Thornton coach Mike Roux said. 

Thornton Academy’s Sawyer Wirsing, right, faces off against Lewiston’s Ben St. Laurent during a game in Lewiston in January. RAM Sport Photography

If Wirsing were to win the award he would be the second player from Thornton Academy to win (C.J. Maksut, 2012), as would Gendreau for Scarborough (Matt Caron, 2016). McGibbon would be the first Red Riots winner. Pomerleau would become the fourth Lewiston player to win, with the previous three all coming since 2011 (Cam Poussard in 2011, Kyle Lemelin in 2014, Jeromey Rancourt in 2017). 

Pomerleau said it would have been nice to have this year’s banquet in-person but understands that can’t happen, and he’s not really sure what to expect from a ceremony playing out over a Zoom meeting. 

“When they came out and said that the banquet would be held on May 17 I tried to put the whole thing to the side and try not to think about it, but last week I was reminded and ever since I’ve been thinking about it and practicing my speech,” Pomerleau said.

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