Dom Chasse works to score a goal on Friday during the Thunder Camp hockey games at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. Max Stewart presses him from behind and Simon Johnson is the opposing team’s goalie. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

AUBURN — One thing Lewiston native Dom Chasse wants is to be more of a player that the Twin City Thunder coaching staff can count on in 2021-22.

“Last year, I wasn’t very consistent,” Chasse said. “I could have a very good game, and then I could have a very bad game. I just want to have great games every time I step onto the ice.”

Last season, in his first year of junior hockey, Chasse appeared in 21 games, scoring three goals and four assists for the NCDC team, which went to the semifinals before losing to the eventual champion New Jersey Hitmen.

Thunder co-owner and head coach Dan Hodge understood how difficult it was for any player to bring their A-game, game-in and game-out, last season.

“Dom competes hard and he’s a skilled player, and again, he had an injury last year,” Hodge said. “Obviously, with all the starts and stops with COVID, it’s hard for anybody to keep consistent. When he was on, he played really well. He scored some nice, timely goals for us and we are looking forward to him competing as hard as he can.”

Dom Chasse circles around the back of the goal on Friday during the Thunder Camp hockey games at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The 18-year-old forward, who helped St. Dominic Academy to the 2019 Class A state championship, said at the junior hockey level the key to be successful is don’t go outside the boundaries of the role that’s given to you.

“In junior hockey, you have to have great games, but every game you have to do what you are meant to do on the ice,” Chasse said. “If you are meant to be a forechecker, you should be forechecking. You shouldn’t be trying to score goals. You just need to do your job and be consistent with your job.”

Another thing Chasse learned in his first full season of junior hockey was the mental side of the game and the ebbs and flows that happen during the season.

“I just learned not to get too down on yourself, always keep your confidence up,” Chasse said. “Once your confidence goes, that’s when your game goes. Just always keep your confidence and play the game like you have always played.”

Dom Chasse takes the puck down the ice while being chased by Max Stewart on Friday during the Thunder Camp hockey games at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

This year, Chasse is one of two returning forwards on the team, along with Nathan Chickering, so there will be a lot of competition at the forward position for the Thunder this season. While Chasse is a returning player, he understands the fact a spot won’t be just given to him because he’s a veteran.

“You have to earn your spot every day,” Chasse said. “Nothing is really set and we know that we have to earn our spot, and to make the team you have to be one of the better players on the ice every day.”

He will also be up for any role the Thunder coaching staff gives him.

Hodge likes Chasse’s skating ability and he sees the ice really well.

Chasse, who’s committed to Utica College, a Division III school, is another Thunder player who worked with assistant coaches Cam Robichaud and Caleb Labrie at PucDevelopment this offseason.

“I have worked on getting stronger and keeping up (with) the pace,” Chasse said. “I am working with PucDevelopment and they have made me a lot stronger. I kept at it and I am trying to get bigger and stronger.”

HODGE LIKED THE ROLE CHICKERING PLAYED LAST YEAR

Just like Chasse, Hodge is excited to see what Chickering does in his second year with the Thunder after a similar season to Chasse’s.

“Nathan came in here to camp (last year) and had a very good start to the year,” Hodge said. “Then he kind of lost a step and with all the starts and stops, he kind of took a step backward and he knows it. He filled in nicely on that third and fourth line role for us, penalty killing, and he did a good job for us in that role.”

Chickering had two goals and seven assists in 26 regular-season games and had an assist in four playoff games last season.


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