Capital Region Hawks goalie Thomas Thornton blocks a shot during practice Dec. 8, 2020 at the Ice Vault in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of previews of Franklin- and Kennebec-county teams in the Sun Journal’s coverage area that have decided to play this winter.

The Capital Region (Maranacook/Winthrop/Madison/Spruce Mountain/Lawrence) Hawks will be looking to find some offense under first year head coach Richard Fortin, who has taken over after Jack Rioux led the program the previous two seasons.

Fortin believes the first thing that needs to be done to create more offense is spending more time in the offensive zone.

“My understanding the team has had a very defensive approach to the game the last few years,” Fortin said. “Looking at the stats, there wasn’t much offense being generated. That has been my only approach right now going into the season.”

Fortin said 80% of practice time has been on the offensive side of things.

The Hawks are coming off a 2-16 season where they only scored 34 goals in the entire campaign while giving up 87 goals. Capital Region loses the the top three scorers from a season ago in Cole Watson (13 goals, four assists), Cameron Jordan (nine goals, five assists) and Jon Rioux (one goal, nine assists).

Expected to fill the holes up front are Owen Foster (two assists) and Sandor Doczy-Bordi (goal, assist) while junior Wyatt Lyons (goal) will be a secondary option. Sophomore Matt St. Hilaire, as well as freshmen Bennett Ross and Cam Dostie, will make an impact up front as newcomers.

Juniors Evan Gourley and Isaac Parker will be key cogs on the blue line. They also get Sam Linton who played at Kents Hill last year.

“(Sam) is a big pick up for us, he’s our No. 1 defenseman,” Fortin said. “His skill ceiling is very high and him and I have been talking about engaging in the offense when he’s weak side (defenseman), he needs to fourth (forward) at all times when he’s on the weakside.”

Capital Region will play out of the Camden National Bank Ice Vault in Hallowell this season instead of their normal home at Kents Hill. They will play Cony/Monmouth/Hall-Dale/Erskine, Waterville/Winslow, Gardiner, and Messalonskee, who all call the Ice Vault home. They will also twice face Poland/Leavitt/Oak Hill/Gray-New Gloucester — who the Hawks defeated last season — which plays out of Norway Savings Bank Arena.

CONY/MONMOUTH/HALL-DALE/ERSKINE RAMS

Cony’s Zack Whitney leaps into the arms of his teammates after a goal against Gardiner on Thursday in Hallowell. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy Buy this Photo

Depth will be the key to success this season for the Cony/Monmouth/Hall-Dale/Erskine Rams. Head coach Shawn Johnson believes the 2021 team has multiple lines that will be able to contribute.

“I have three lines I’m comfortable putting on the ice,” Johnson said. “It is a good mix of veterans and newbies who are hungry. I’m thrilled to have three goalies this year that are all able to start and will make us strong in the net, no matter who is playing.”

Quincy Tobias (eight goals, four assists), who was the second-leading scorer for the Rams last season, looks like to be the No. 1 guy to drive the offense this season. He will be joined by fellow senior classmate Tyrell Sousa (six goals, one assist) and junior Ayden Clark (two goals and five assists).

Some other key returning forwards include senior Cooper Swan along with juniors Jakob Varney, Nick Levesque and Jacob Pelletier.

In goal, Matty Shea (2-7-0, 4.30 GAA and .796 save percentage) got significant playing time as a sophomore. As Johnson mentioned, he’s excited for the two freshmen goalies coming into the program in Tyler Pelletier and Landon Foster.

The Rams will look to juniors Reid Albison and Joseph Poulin to lead the defense.

Johnson believes the team will be able to build off last season’s 8-12 campaign in the Ice Vault pod this season.


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