Scarborough High’s Wyatt Grondin throws his hands up in celebration after scoring the winning goal against Thornton Academy in the Class A state championship game at Cross Insurance Arena in March. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

1. Scarborough: Although the Red Storm lost some key players from last season’s Class A state championship squad – including Varsity Maine Player of the Year Sam Rumelhart, who led the state in scoring – the team returns enough talent to contend in Class A once again. Sophomore Wyatt Grondin leads the forwards after scoring three overtime winning goals in the playoffs last season. Jordan Sheppard, Olin Pedersen and Billy Mahoney also can provide offense, along with junior newcomers Tyler Kenney and Will Marcotte. Keegan Weed, who was at his best with a 27-save effort in the 2-1, double-overtime win over Thornton Academy in the state final, is back in net. Defensively, the Red Storm are led by Thomas Hassett and Daemon Bobbin.

2. Falmouth: With just four seniors and 13 sophomores, the Navigators are young, but have enough talent to contend in Class A. Senior forward Mitch Ham is one of the top returning scorers in the state, coming off a 19-goal season. He’ll be joined on Falmouth’s top line by wings Andrew Belliveau and Aaron Higgins, who joins the Navigators after playing junior hockey last season. Sam Belliveau centers the second line and may be the team’s top two-way player, adding a strong defensive presence when he’s on the ice. Caden Barnard and Zach Mitton, another player returning from juniors, lead the defense. Coach Deron Barton feels in sophomore Brandon White and senior Chase Bevan, he has a pair of goalies he can count on in any big game.

3. Brunswick: With the bulk of last season’s Class B state championship team back, the Dragons are a contender to repeat. It starts in net for Brunswick, where senior Luke Patterson returns after his 31-save effort in the 2-0 win over Camden Hills in the state final. Patterson had a save percentage of .908 and a 2.19 goals-against average last season. The top line returns intact. Nick Marro, Zach Stern-Hayes, and AJ Wolverton combined for 40 goals and 36 assists last season. Graduation hit the Dragons’ defensive unit hard, but Sid Pols returns and provides veteran experience the young blue line crew needs. A focus during the preseason was team defense, which Coach Mike Misner hopes will help the young defensemen develop.

4. South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete: The Red Riots won 13 games last season and just missed its first trip to the Class A state championship game, losing to eventual state champion Scarborough in double overtime in the semifinals. While the team lost Travis Roy Award winner Cullen Adams, the Riots return a strong group of players. Goalie Jasper Curtis is among the top netminders in Class A, and is coming off a season in which he posted a .910 save percentage and 2.03 goals-against average. Tobey Lappin had 13 goals and 14 assists last season to lead the Riots in scoring. Defensemen Richie Gilboy and Ian Wright also are top offensive threats. Gilboy notched a hat trick in a 5-0 season-opening win over Lake Region/Fryeburg/Oxford Hills.

5. Cape Elizabeth: In a deep Class B South division, the Capers could be Brunswick’s top challenger for the regional title. In defensemen Nick Laughlin and Phil Coupe, Coach Jake Rutt feels he may have the top pairing in the state. A Varsity Maine All-State player last season, Laughlin scored 13 goals and added 19 assists last season, while Coupe is a strong skater who moves the puck well. Offensively, Cape Elizabeth is led by Sebastian Moon (seven goals, 13 assists last season), Connor Goss (three goals, six assists), Dimitri Coupe (nine goals, eight assists), as well as Brady Hanisko and Alex Thayer. Charlie Garvin returns in net for the Capers.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.