You can break the boys’ hockey regular season into two parts this winter.

There was the early part of the season through mid-January, when teams tried to navigate around postponed games and rosters depleted by COVID-19. Then there was the late-season sprint to complete a full schedule, and for some teams, to finally have a full roster.

“We really didn’t get a true indication of a lot of teams until the second half of the season,” said Falmouth Coach Deron Barton. “It’s been a weird season.”

On Wednesday, the postseason kicks into high gear, leading to state championship games on March 12 at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

Barton’s Navigators (9-7-1) are the No. 4 seed in Class A and will host No. 13 Biddeford/Massabesic/Old Orchard (4-13) at 5:20 p.m. Wednesday at the Family Ice Center in the statewide preliminary round. Class B, which is divided into North and South regions, begins regional quarterfinals Wednesday.

Greely (14-4), the top seed in Class B South, scrambled to complete its 18-game regular season, playing five games in eight days. The Rangers went 4-1 over that stretch, losing only to Class A Thornton Academy in the regular-season finale on Feb. 23. The Rangers host No. 8 Kennebunk/Wells at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Greely played the nine games in the second half of its schedule in three weeks, said Coach Barry Mothes.


“A lot of teams in our league were in the same situation, and the top teams in our league played good hockey in that stretch,” Mothes said.

Mothes said Class B South is full of contenders. Brunswick (13-4), the No. 2 seed, played six games in 12 days to complete the regular season. The Dragons went 6-0 over that stretch, including a 2-1 win over Edward Little, the top seed in the Class A tournament. No.3 Cheverus/Yarmouth (12-5) went 5-1 down the stretch, the loss coming to Brunswick. No. 4 Leavitt/Gray-New Gloucester/Poland/Oak Hill picked up wins over Greely and Cape Elizabeth down the stretch. No. 5 Cape Elizabeth (9-6-1) dropped three of its final four games, each a close game to one of the other top teams in the region.

“That’s a schedule we wanted just so we’d be prepared for the playoffs,” said Cape Coach Jake Rutt.

“I’m always very proud of the competitiveness of our league. This year, it seems particularly competitive. Each of the top five teams has beaten each other,” Mothes said.

If there’s a team that can look at experience as a strength in a season in which almost every team was inexperienced because of limited schedules in 2020-21, it’s Greely. Several players were members of the team that won the Class B state title in 2020.

“I’m hoping we can take advantage of some of that,” Mothes said. “The playoffs is kind of like starting over. It got hectic there in February.”


Rutt said his team was hit hard by COVID-19 absences in the regular season, with some players missing more than two weeks.

“We had guys that were out 17 days, and when you’re trying to develop roles and an identity, that takes a toll on it,” Rutt said.

In Class A, No. 1 Edward Little (16-2) and No. 2 Bangor (13-4) earned byes to the quarterfinals. The top-seeded Red Eddies will play the winner of a prelim between No. 8 Lewiston (8-10) and No. 9 Windham/Westbrook/Bonny Eagle/Sacopee Valley (7-10-1). Bangor will host No. 7 Scarborough (9-8-1) or No. 10 Portland/Deering (6-10).

Other Class A contenders include No. 3 South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete (11-6-1), No. 4 Falmouth and No. 5 Thornton Academy (12-5). Edward Little went 5-1 against the other top five teams in Class A in the regular season, the loss coming to South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete.

“You can’t take away their record and teams they beat and their schedule,” Barton said of the Red Eddies. “We played a tough schedule. I feel like we’re as competitive as we can be.”

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