Players to Watch: Sr. F Jackson Aldrich, Waterville; Sr. F Justin Wentworth, Waterville; Sr. D Andrew Roderigue, Waterville; Sr. G Nathan Pinnette; Jr. D. Josh Wheeler , Old Town/Orono; Sr. F Tyler Wheeler; Sr. F Zac Duncon, Brewer; Sr. F Tyler Hersey; Sr. G Drew Baker, Brewer; Sr. F Marc Thibodeau, Hampden Academy; Sr. G Cole Benner, Hampden Academy; So. D. Thomas Patenaude, Presque Isle; So. F, Riley Kinney, Presque Isle; So. D Torey Levesque, Presque Isle; Sr. F William Davee, Camden Hills; Sr. F Perrin Ganter, Camden Hills; Jr. F Drew Marino, Houlton/Hodgdon/Southern Aroostook/Katahdin; Jr. D Abe Lorom, Houlton/Hodgdon/Southern Aroostook/Katahdin; Jr. F Nick DeLucca, Houlton/Hodgdon/Southern Aroostook/Katahdin.

Favorites: Waterville, Old Town/Orono

The Waterville Purple Panthers nearly had a perfect season before falling to Lewiston in the second-to-last game of the regular season. The are an offensive juggernaut in Class B, scoring 152 goals while only giving up 33 on the season. Jackson Aldrich led the state in all classes with 70 points. Justin Wentworth, who finished two points behind him, had 42 goals. They have two defensemen who like to jump into the play in Andrew Rodrigue who has 51 points and Matt Jolicoeur finished the regular season with 37.

Last year they had Camden Hills chasing them, this season it’s Old Town/Orono who finished as the No. 2 seed. After a blowout in the first game between the two teams this season — the Purple Panthers won 6-0 — in the final regular season game for both team, Waterville won an 8-7 shootout. The teams traded goals back and forth with Aldrich scoring the game winner with five minutes left.

Both teams mainly played Class B North opponents this year. Old Town/Orono played Maranacook/Winthrop, a Class B South team and Lawrence/Skowhegan, Class A North opponent. The Purple Panthers played Yarmouth in a rematch of last years Class B state championship, and Gardiner, both Class B South opponents, in addition to the game against Lewiston.

Old Town/Orono will face No. 7 seed Camden Hills in the first round. The teams played to scoreless tie the last time they played each other.

Darkhorse: Brewer

The Brewer Witches enter the Class B North playoffs with an 11-6-1 record as the No. 3 seed and have a good chance to play spoiler. They have Presque Isle in the opening round.

They also played Old Town/Orono tough this year as the two teams tied 3-3 in their first meeting of the season. Old Town/Orono defeated the Witches 2-1 in overtime in the second meeting of the year. If both team win their quarterfinal game, they will meet in the regional semifinal. Drew Baker has been solid in net taking over for Tyler Friel who has gone on and played for Central Maine Community College and the L/A Fighting Spirit this season. Baker went 11-4-1 on the season with a 1.99 goals against average and .933 save percentage.

Fun Facts: Presque Isle’s three captains: Thomas Patenaude, Riley Kinney and Torey Levesque, are all sophomores. No. 5 Houlton/Hodgdon/Southern Aroostook/Katahdin’s three captains Nick DeLucca, Abe Lorom, Drew Marino are all juniors. This is Houlton/Hodgdon/Southern Aroostook/Katahdin’s first playoff appearance since 2011, when they were the No. 2 seed.

Overview: Class B North appears to be heading to the same result as last season with Waterville taking the regional and state titles. If the end of the season is any indication, Old Town/Orono won’t go down without a fight. Brewer and No. 4 Hampden Academy can shake up things, but both teams will have to play their very best to pull off an upset.

Prediction: Waterville

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