Players to Watch: Sr. F Jakub Simikak, Kennebunk; Sr. F Brenden Whitten, Kennebunk; Sr. F, Tristan Hebert, Gardiner; Sr. G Michael Poirier, Gardiner; So. F Joe Clark, Gardiner; Fr. F Andy Moore, Greely; Fr. F, Matt Kramlich, Greely; Fr. F, Jake MacDonald; So. F, Cooper May, Yarmouth; Sr. F, Chris Romano, Yarmouth; Sr. G Dan Latham, Yarmouth; Jr. F Thomas Carr, York; Sr. F Julius Lundgren , York

Favorites: Gardiner, York

For old times sake, let’s call Class B South, the wild, wild west, since in the past few years, it has been the most competitive region. It also shows the differences in scheduling. No. 1 seed Gardiner went 13-5-0 this season, while York, the No. 2 seed, went 15-2-1. Gardiner played contenders in other regions, facing Bangor, Waterville, Brewer, and Hampden Academy. York stayed closer to home and played Class A South opponents. They do have three wins over Class A South playoff teams Massabesic/Bonny Eagle/Old Orchard, Biddeford and Portland/Deering.

More importantly, what helped Gardiner get the No. 1 seed is defeating the Wildcats twice this season, 3-1 and 5-4.

Gardiner has a balanced approach. They have eight players with 10+ points but only two with more than 20. Sophomore forward Joe Clark has 39 and Tristan Hebert has 23.

York may have more high powered offense with three players with 30+ points in Thomas Carr who has 38, Julius Ludgren has 37 and Jake Martin has 33.

Both teams have strong goaltending. York’s Keenan Gamache is 11-2-1 with a 1.50 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. Michael Poirier played all 18 games for the Tigers going 13-5, with a 2.61 goals against average and .906 save percentage.

Dark horse: Greely

No one wants to play No. 4 Greely right now. The Rangers have won nine of their past ten games. Their top three leading scorers — Andy Moore, Jake MacDonald and Matt Kramlich — are all freshmen. They have been producing all season long. They are a dangerous team that has win against Gardiner under their belt. Gardiner did defeat Greely in the season opener, 3-2.

They split the season series with No. 5 Kennebunk, which it will face in the quarterfinals.

Kennebunk and Yarmouth aren’t teams to look past either. Kennebunk limped to the finishing line going 0-3-1 in their last four regular season games. Yarmouth never seemed to get a rhythm this season, but have several pieces back from last year’s team that went to the state championship game.

Fun facts: Greely’s Jake MacDonald father is Blaise MacDonald, Colby College men’s hockey coach. His older brother Cam plays for Colby. Kennebunk’s Jakub Simikak is the leading scorer in Class B South and is an exchange student from Slovakia.

Overview: Each game in these playoffs should be close, and with the top four seeds playing very good hockey, there’s no clear cut favorite to come out of the South. Greely is the only team that wasn’t in the playoffs last year. Class B South did lose one playoff spot this year after Leavitt combined forces with Poland, Gray-New Gloucester and Oak Hill. There’s only six teams that makes the playoffs comppared to seven last season.

Prediction: York

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