Gardiner senior Hunter Vasvary, left, keeps ahead of Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse sophomore Johnny Hole during a Feb. 18 game at Camden National Bank Ice Vault in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

 

AUGUSTA — A six-team boys hockey postseason tournament is set to begin next week at the Camden National Bank Ice Vault in Hallowell.

The “COVID Cup,” which will be a round robin tournament, will feature three teams in Western and Eastern divisions.

Each team will play at least two games with the winners of each division squaring off in a championship game on March 12, Messalonskee athletic director Chad Foye wrote in an e-mail.

“We are extremely excited about it,” Cony/Monmouth/Hall-Dale/Erskine coach Shawn Johnson said. “Overall, it’s great for the kids to have this, to have another game in a year that’s been kind of put together as best as we can. It is an end-of-season culmination. It’s not a state championship. It’s a few more games for us, which is good.”

Kennebec’s Sam Lloyd struggles to get up as Gardiner’s Hunter Vasvary checks into him into the boards during a Feb 8 game in Hallowell. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Messalonskee, Gardiner and the Capital Region Hawks will compete in the Western Division. Cony/Monmouth/Hall-Dale/Erskine, Camden Hills and the Kennebec RiverHawks will compete in the Eastern Division.

All games will be played at the Ice Vault in Hallowell.

Capital Region coach Richard Fortin — whose team is comprised of student-athletes from Winthrop, Maranacook, Madison, Spruce Mountain and Lawrence – said he is excited for the Cup, but acknowledged it won’t compare to a traditional state tournament.

Spectators are prohibited from attending games at the Ice Vault because of coronavirus safety concerns.

“We’re happy to get a few more games,” Fortin said. “The season was short; we did not get a lot of practices or ice time. I am looking at this as that we can get some more ice time. A lot of the adrenaline comes from having fans in the building, we feed off that. With that lacking, it will be hard to get a playoff atmosphere. It will be nearly impossible to replicate that. But we want to play games.”

Kennebec coach Jon Hart said his team — a Winslow and Waterville co-op — will treat the Cup like a traditional tournament.

“We have six teams playing around here, so why not do some sort of playoff championship to try to keep things as competitive as we normally can,” he said. “For my seniors, I’m playing this as normal as I can. We want to win this thing. We want to win and we want to win this Cup. I owe it to the team to try to find as much normalcy as we can.”

Capital Region and Gardiner open the tournament March 4 at 4 p.m. The COVID Cup title game is scheduled for March 12 at 4 p.m.

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