AUBURN — Ryan Lavoie got his first taste of hockey when he was 4 years old.

He was watching a game on television one day when he turned to his parents and told them that he wanted to play hockey. He’s been playing ever since. 

Ryan wasn’t the only member of the Lavoie family where hockey made a lasting impression on him. His younger brother, Riley, also calls the rink his home away from home. For the first time at the high school level, the Lavoie brothers are reunited on the ice, lacing up for Poland/Gray-New Gloucester/Oak Hill. 

“We make good plays. We click,” Riley Lavoie said. “It’s fun playing with him. It’s different, because I really haven’t played on the same team as my brother. It’s great having him on the team.” 

Ryan, a senior forward, is a seasoned vet with the 26ers, while Riley, a sophomore defenseman, is getting his first taste at the varsity level this season. Riley played Bantams with Maine Hockey Academy as a freshman. 

“It’s been great,” Ryan Lavoie said. “Since we’ve grown up playing hockey we really know how to play with each other and pretty much know what he’s going to do every time. It’s easy to play with him.” 


Due to the three-year age gap and being separated by two grade levels, Ryan and Riley have rarely skated on the same team. They played one year together in middle school when Ryan was in eighth grade and Riley in sixth. They do team up for pond hockey. 

They may be family, but that doesn’t mean they are exactly alike. 

“It’s almost like a relationship, and opposites attract,” 26ers coach Travis Jalbert said. “They’re nothing alike. Riley tends to be strictly business. He comes to the rink, and he’s all about preparation and focus. Ryan’s been playing very, very well this year, but Ryan’s totally opposite, kind of a goofball. They complement each other well, but they are nothing alike, which is kind of interesting.” 

Ryan is tied for the team lead in goals with seven and is second on the team with 10 points, four behind Ethan Cailler. He has five goals in his last five games, including a two-goal game against Windham on Jan. 17. 

The 26ers have four wins on the season, and Jalbert knows what to expect from Ryan when that happens. 

“Ryan likes to give hugs. He gave me one the other day,” Jalbert said. “That’s his thing after the game: Nice, big, sweaty hugs. Especially after a win you can usually expect one of those.” 


Riley recorded his first high school point against Marshwood/Traip on Dec. 13, when he dished out two assists. He tallied his first goal six days later in a 4-0 victory against Leavitt. 

“I’ve never seen someone who plays as hard as him all the time,” Jalbert said. “He has one speed. He doesn’t know how to tone it down. We have times where we’ll play three (defensemen) and sometimes we’ll have the conversation with him of ‘Save yourself a little bit, tone it down, compose yourself and pick you moments of when you choose to go and when you don’t,’ because he’s used to playing on his MHA team where they played five or six defensemen and he didn’t need to pace himself so much. He competes all the time.” 

Ryan has helped his younger brother transition to the high school level. 

“I told him that it’s totally different than other styles of hockey, like travel,” Ryan Lavoie said. ” I told him it’s rougher and it could be slow-paced, it could be fast-paced. It’s not always consistent.” 

Ryan found himself playing the transition game last year when Jalbert took over the coaching reins of the 26ers, taking over for Aaron Rand, who stepped down after six years. Rand is now an assistant coach at Edward Little. 

With a new coach in place, Ryan had to get used to his coaching style while also adjusting to the new systems. 


“It was really tough at first,” Ryan Lavoie said. “Emotionally tough. But he’s a great coach. We win games because of him.” 

The first year was difficult for everyone involved, but Ryan and the rest of the team has bought in and it’s starting to pay dividends. 

“Last year we went through our difficulties and we addressed that, and those guys realized coming into this year that they wanted to make a change and be a positive culture, and they’ve worked hard to do so,” Jalbert said. “Ryan is one of the assistant captains, and for him he’s having a great year, putting points on the board. He’s more of a go-out, lead-by-example type of guy.”

Playing different positions allows the Lavoie brothers to compete against one another during practice. Whether it’s Riley delivering a hit on Ryan, or Ryan deking past Riley, it’s all in good fun. 

“He plays offense so he has more goals, but we try to have a little fun here and there, making competitions even if it’s in practice down low battling it out, or even in games seeing what our stats are,” Riley Lavoie said. 

The Lavoies’ time together with the 26ers is coming to a close as the season enters the final month. The 26ers are currently the first team that would miss the playoff cut, but they have a favorable schedule coming down the stretch that could vault them into the postseason. 

Ryan and his sweaty hugs won’t be in the 26ers’ locker room next season, but Riley still has another two years. Ryan fully expects his brother to take over the leadership role and continue to work as hard as he knows how, ensuring the Lavoie name will continue to have a strong impact on the 26ers. 

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