The Mt. Ararat girls hockey seniors pose prior to senior night festivities Monday in Lewiston. From left are: Lexie Saxton, Maddie Young, Abbie Lucas, coach Jeremy Saxton, Bre Hunter, and Ema Hawkes. Photo provided by Jeremy Saxton

High school hockey teams in the Midcoast find themselves at different points of the season because of limited ice availability and scheduling quirks.

This much is certain: The season will be remembered for quite some time.

“This is a really special season for me as a coach,” said Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse girls ice hockey head coach Jeremy Saxton. “The five seniors we have are the foundation of our program. We have accomplished so much together and it has been an honor to coach each of them.”

The Eagles (6-2-0) are coming off a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over rival Brunswick on Monday night, thanks to a pair of third period goals.

It was senior night for the Eagles, giving them some extra motivation to get the job done, if they needed any.

“I’m so proud of this team and how they work together and always battle until the final horn sounds,” Saxton said after the game. “What a better way to go out as a senior than to beat Brunswick in the ‘Battle of the Green Bridge’.”

Ema Hawkes, Breanne Hunter, Abbie Lucas, Lexie Saxton, and Maddie Young are the Eagles’ five seniors.

 

BRUNSWICK GIRLS SETTLED IN: The Brunswick girls hockey team is 1-2-1, with a win and a tie against Winslow/Gardiner, and a loss to Edward Little/Leavitt.

“Despite this time of year usually being the postseason tournament, it feels as though we are just getting started,” said Brunswick girls head coach Mike Routhier. “It has at least some feel of normalcy with the practices, game prep, bus rides, and highs and lows of games. As long as we can stay uninterrupted, we can continue this rhythm of the season.”

Routhier isn’t looking at the record of the team this season.

Gardiner junior Chase Kelley, left, and Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse sophomore Bryce Poulin collide during a Feb. 18 game at Camden National Bank Ice Vault in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

“The girls are having a ton of fun, are getting better individually and as a group, and most importantly are getting an opportunity to engage in a normal routine outside of school and home,” said Routhier. “That’s what it’s all about this season.”

Brunswick senior captain Olivia Doughty and teammate Elena Palmer agreed.

“The team has been pretty optimistic about things and overall we are pretty upbeat and happy about the season, regardless of how the games go” said Doughty.

Added Palmer: “The reality is that we get to play the game we love and have a semblance of normalcy. We are very lucky to play for a school system like Brunswick and a coach like Coach Routhier who were a part of help making it possible.

 

YARMOUTH/FREEPORT GIRLS GAINING EXPERIENCE: The  Yarmouth/Freeport girls hockey team are using this season to gain valuable experience for their underclassmen.

“We have a lot of freshman starting, including our goalie. I’m happy with the progression we’ve seen our younger players make so far this season,” said Yarmouth/Freeport head coach Dave Intraversato after a 3-1 loss to the Eagles on Feb. 18 at Travis Roy Arena.

Intraversato said his team is only scratching the surface when it comes to the level of hockey it can play.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve really found our rhythm yet, it’s getting there,” he said. “I’m pleased with the effort that each girl brings on a daily basis.”

 

Alex Witwicki of Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse, left, flings a pass up the ice while Nick Marro of Brunswick defends during a boys hockey game on Feb. 19 at Travis Roy Arena in Yarmouth. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

 

TOUGH GOING: The Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse boys have dropped six straight contests after opening their season with a victory.

Despite the losing streak, goalie Sean Moore has been terrific. He turned in a 45-save performance on Feb. 19 against Brunswick and has emerged as one of the biggest bright spots for the Eagles.

“Sean has been great all season, today (Feb. 19) was no different than any other game,” said Eagles head coach A.J. Kavanaugh after a 3-1 loss to Brunswick. “We have to work on helping him out.”

“The whole team played great, we have no reason to sulk after that performance,” added Moore. “I could have stopped the second one, but that’s just how hockey goes.”

The Eagles have four more games this season, all coming within the next 10 days.

“The whole season has been an adjustment for us, but we’re just glad to have these next two weeks to continue to work hard and get better before the season comes to a finish,” Kavanaugh said.

 

BRUNSWICK BOYS GET ROLLING: The Brunswick boys hockey team (3-1-0) got a later start to the season, but the Dragons are starting to come around.

“We’re still shaking the rust off, but we’re finding our legs and developing as a unit,” said Brunswick coach Mike Misner. “If we get better at those little things each day and that trend will continue.”

The Dragons fell to powerhouse Lewiston 6-0 on Feb. 17, but have defeated the Eagles twice, and also picked up a victory over Windham/Westbrook/Bonny Eagle on Feb. 13. The Dragons have outscored their opponents 13-4 in their victories.

The Dragons also face a busy stretch. Between Feb. 25 and Mar. 10, they will play their final six games, including a stretch of four games in six days to close the season in the first week of March.

“It’s just another opportunity for us to get better and for the boys to have some fun,” added Misner.

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