Cape Elizabeth’s Nick Laughlin, right, dumps the puck into the offensive zone during a game last season against Leavitt/Gray-New Gloucester/Poland/Oak Hill. Laughlin, a defenseman, was a Varsity Maine All-State selection as a junior in 2021-22. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

At 5-1, the Cape Elizabeth boys’ hockey team is a contender in Class B South. What’s unusual about the Capers is that the offensive leaders are playing on the blue line.

Cape’s two leading scorers are senior defensemen Nick Laughlin (eight goals, eight assists) and Philip Coupe (three goals, seven assists).

“They’re not forcing the issue. They’re not sacrificing their defensive play at all,” said Jake Rutt, the Cape Elizabeth coach. “They’ve learned over the years how to really manage the game.”

The Capers opened the season with four straight wins before a 2-0 loss to Thornton Academy (7-1), the team at the top of the Class A Heal point standings, on Dec. 30. Cape rebounded from that loss with an 8-1 win over Kennebunk/Wells on Wednesday. Next up for the Capers is a game at 6 p.m. Saturday against defending Class B state champion Brunswick (5-0-1) at Bowdoin College’s Watson Arena.

“They know how to win,” Rutt said of Brunswick. “Their goalie (Luke Patterson) is one of, if not the best, in the state. We have to get some pressure around the net.”

Cape Elizabeth’s forwards – junior Colin Blackburn (six goals, one assist) and seniors Connor Goss (two goals, four assists) and Sebastian Moon (four goals, two assists) – can score, and Rutt expects them to continue to improve.


“As a group, I like where our team is headed, but we’re not a finished product yet,” Rutt said.

WHEN SADIE WRIGHT-WARD, coach of the York/Traip/Marshwood/Noble girls’ hockey team, says her squad is getting contributions from everybody, she means everybody.

Take, for example, forward Irene Paisan-Garcia, a Traip junior and an international student from Spain. Paisan-Garcia had never been on skates before coming out for the team this season. Through eight games, she has six goals and four assists, good for second on the Wildcats in scoring.

“She had done roller skating in Spain, but never on ice,” Wright-Ward said. “We have such a small roster. I start every game with 12 skaters and a goalie. We need contributions from everyone.”

Despite the lack of depth, the York co-op team improved to 6-2 with Thursday’s 3-2 win over Falmouth/Scarborough. The Wildcats make the drive to central Maine on Saturday to take on the Winslow/Gardiner co-op team made up of players from eight schools.

Led by Elizabeth Buckley, a York High senior, the Wildcats have two strong forward lines, says Wright-Ward. Buckley is the top offensive threat, with 12 goals and seven assists. Defensively, the Wildcats are led by Margaret Hanlon, who along with providing steady defense also contributes offensively with five goals and two assists.


In goal, the team has Kathryn Brower, a York High senior.

“(Brower’s) one of the best goalies in the league,” Wright-Ward said.

The Wildcats have a tough stretch coming up, including a pair of games against Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland, and a rematch against Cheverus/Kennebunk/Wells, which defeated York 4-1 in the season opener. Barring injury, Wright-Ward thinks the team’s talent will continue to overcome its lack of depth.

“If everybody is doing their jobs and playing with confidence and playing as a unit, we can be good,” Wright-Ward said.

AFTER REACHING THE Class B championship game for the first time in program history last season, the Camden Hills boys’ hockey team is reinventing itself with a young roster. Ten of the 23 players on the team are freshmen.

“We’re filling some key roles with young players, and it’s a big jump from playing youth hockey to playing against 18 year olds and being successful,” said Camden Hills Coach John Magri.


One of the newcomers thrust into an important role is freshman goalie Quinn Hoppin. In past seasons, the Windjammers (3-2) typically have had at least two veteran goalies. This season, Hoppin is the lone netminder. He has a 3.80 goals-against average and a .859 save percentage. In a 6-4 loss to undefeated Messalonskee on Dec. 28 – Camden Hills’ last game – Hoppin was peppered and made 42 saves.

“(Hoppin) has a lot of potential, but a lot of maturing to do. With experience and maturity, he’ll stop more (shots),” Magri said.

Freshman Flynn Lilly moved from center to defense to help shore up the blue line. The return of junior Emmet Marshall, who missed the early part of the season while at the Maine Ocean School, allowed Magri to move Lilly to defense and set his top two lines. Owen McManus, a winger, leads the Windjammers with six goals and six assists and plays on the top line with center Zanni Sabatini (four goals, four assists) and Lucas Wyman (three goals, four assists).

“Lucas Wyman does a good job getting in the dirty areas and getting the puck. The reason Owen has the puck on his stick is because of a guy like Lucas Wyman,” Magri said.

The second line now has Marshall and Alden Howard on the wings, with Cam Brown centering. That trio provides speed on the second line, Magri said.

The Windjammers play Greely at 6:40 p.m. Saturday at Family Ice Center in Falmouth.

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