Edward Little goalie Devon D’Auteuil blocks a shot by Michael Belleau of Lewiston during the second period in Lewiston in January. Cam Audette (13) of Edward Little defends on the play. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

Lewiston is the three-time defending Class A boys hockey state champion, but the Blue Devils had to do an awful lot of reloading to clinch the No. 1 spot in the North region for the fourth year in a row.

Now, heading into the postseason, Blue Devils coach Jamie Belleau said “it should be fun.”

That’s less of a warning shot for opponents and more of an admission that this year’s Class A North playoffs, just like the three other postseason brackets, should be competitive.


Lewiston’s 16-2 regular-season record doesn’t look any different on the surface than the Blue Devils’ three previous campaigns, but getting to 16 victories and avoiding more than two losses took a mixture of perseverance and luck. Where in the past there was dominance, this year there was defying the odds with comebacks.

Scarborough’s Jacob Brown sties to the the puck past St. Dominic’s Jacques Ouellette in January in Auburn. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

And it all came from a team that only has three skaters back with any extended varsity time in previous seasons. Senior goalie Jacob Smith stepped up to the No. 1 spot, and much of last year’s dominant JV squad became this year’s varsity rotation.


The Blue Devils went 8-0 against the rest of A North, but victories over the rest of the top four didn’t come easy.

No. 2 St. Dominic Academy took Lewiston to the brink twice, and the Saints might be the team most capable of ending their bitter rival’s title run.

Unlike the Blue Devils, the Saints returned nearly their entire roster, and that experience paid off. Gaston Fuksa is one of the top goalies in the state, and juniors Will Fletcher and Dominic Chasse are one of the best forward duos around.

A season-finale win over No. 3 Bangor clinched a first-round bye for the Saints. It also exacted revenge for an early-season Rams win.

Bangor brought back much of last year’s young team, which lost to Lewiston in the regional semifinals. The first meeting of the season was by that same 5-2 score, but in the rematch later this season the Rams nearly knocked off the Blue Devils in Lewiston.

No. 4 Edward Little also had a close call in a second meeting with Lewiston, but the Red Eddies let a third-period lead slip at home. They also played the Blue Devils close on the road. The Red Eddies added goalie Devon D’Auteuil and grew their depth to match their skill. They split their meetings with both St. Dom’s and Bangor.


Bangor and EL find themselves having to play in the quarterfinal round. The Rams face No. 6 Cony/Monmouth/Hall-Dale, which they beat handily late in the season, and EL hosts No. 5 Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse/Hyde, which it shut out in early February.

Possible semifinals could include Lewiston vs. EL and St. Dom’s vs. Bangor.


The most surprising part of the A South bracket is who didn’t make it in. And that would be perennial power Falmouth, which failed to qualify after a 4-14 season. A season-finale comeback attempt against Lewiston came up just short.

Two teams in A South were the only ones to beat the Blue Devils. That was No. 1 Thornton Academy and No. 3 South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete. The Golden Trojans, on the back of wins such as those over Lewiston and EL, earned the only first-round bye in the region. Seniors Seth Dube (goalie) and Luke Chessie (defense) have been key for Thornton.

Defending regional champ Biddeford finished a win better than its biggest rival, but was just shy in the Heal points standings. The No. 2 Tigers host No. 7 Massabesic/Bonny Eagle/Old Orchard Beach in the quarterfinals.


The No. 3 Red Riots get last year’s regional runner-up, No. 5 Cheverus, in the first round, while No. 4 Scarborough will host No. 5 Portland/Deering after edging out the Bulldogs in the standings. The Red Storm are in their second season with former Lewiston player Jake Brown at the helm.

Every team in the region has at least six losses, meaning no one knows exactly who will come out when all is said and done.


The closest thing to a sure thing in this year’s playoffs is Greely being the prohibitive favorite in Class B South. The top-seeded and defending regional champ Rangers went 16-2, with the two defeats to St. Dom’s and Lewiston (and the Blue Devils needed a third-period comeback). Greely brought back some of its best players from last year’s state runner-up team, and the Rangers have the motivation to finish the job this year.

No. 2 Cape Elizabeth gave the Rangers a close game late in the season, as did No. 4 Leavitt/Gray-New Gloucester/Oak Hill/Poland. No. 5 Gorham played Greely the closest, in a 3-2 midseason meeting, but the Rangers routed the Rams in a later rematch.

The quarterfinals could see upsets, though Greely gets a bye and is immune to that fate. The Capers draw No. 7 Yarmouth, which is perennially strong, though Cape won going away in a season-finale meeting. No. 3 York gets No. 6 Brunswick. Those two also met to end the regular season, with the Wildcats winning comfortably.


The Leavitt/Gray-New Gloucester/Oak Hill/Poland Kings will host Gorham in the Nos. 4-vs.-5 matchup. The Kings finished the regular season strong in their first season in B South, including a road win at Gorham. They have senior Xavier Michaud in goal, a few experienced veterans, and some talented newcomers who could all help them make a run. The Kings played Greely close to end the regular season.


If the final Heal points standings in Class B North are any indication, the region’s playoffs should be a toss-up. Defending state champ Old Town/Orono is the No. 1 seed, but the Black Bears finished less than a point ahead of both No. 2 Kennebec (Waterville/Winslow) and No. 3 Presque Isle. Old Town/Orono had the worst record of the three, at 13-5, as the Riverhawks finished 14-4 and the Wildcats 15-3.

All three teams split pairs of regular-season meetings with the other two, and the Black Bears lost their last three games, including to both of their top regional counterparts.

Old Town/Orono also lost to John Bapst/Mt. Desert Island/Bangor Christian to start that losing streak, and that allowed the Crusaders to clinch the sixth and final playoff spot. They draw Presque Isle in the quarterfinals.

No. 4 Camden Hills hosts No. 5 Hampden Academy in the other first-round matchup.

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