Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland’s Caroline Audette, left, looks for an opening as St. Dom’s/Gray-New Gloucester/Monmouth/Winthrop’s Emma Roy defends during a game at Norway Savings Bank arena in Auburn in December. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

AUBURN — The Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland girls hockey team has scored 20 goals in its first five games of the season.

Sixteen of those goals have been scored by forward Sophia Hartley (six goals), defensemen Eve Martineau (six) and forward Caroline Audette (four).

Red Hornets coach Dana Berube isn’t surprised by the three seniors’ early success.

“You don’t want to put too much pressure on them, but you talk to your players, you look at your roster, and you know what roles players need to fulfill,” Berube said. “They kind of know it.”

Martineau, who also has three assists, said that being able to share the scoring load with Hartley (two assists) and Audette (two assists) has contributed to the Red Hornets’ 3-1-1 record this season.

“It’s really nice because I know I can get it to the net and they can get it (on goal),” Martineau said. “I know we feel a lot of pressure as defensemen, but they get it done up front.”


Audette, Hartley and Martineau also were teammates on the L/A Gladiators 19U team that went to the USA Hockey’s Tier II 19U nationals last year.

For the Red Hornets this season, Berube moved Hartley to a line with Audette and Kylee Spugnardi. That paired Hartley, a natural shooter, with Audette, a standout playmaker.

“I think I can score, it’s just something that’s not as natural to me as it is to someone like Sophia Hartley,” Audette said. “I think (Kylee and I) are better at feeding the puck to Sophia and her finishing than ourselves finishing. But I think it’s something we can still do.”

Martineau said that Hartley is a good fit on a line with Audette and Spugnardi.

“Sophia gets the shot off when we need it, and when we want to pass it around a little bit, Kylee and Caroline do well with that,” Martineau said.

Berube said Hartley isn’t afraid to shoot the puck anywhere in the offensive zone. And, while she is a natural shooter, she also spends a lot of time at the rink honing her skills.


“I wanted to put her with (Audette and Spugnardi), she has earned that position,” Berube said. “It has shown in the first couple of games. She’s the first one here and the last one to leave for practices.”

Hartley said her favorite spot on the ice is in front of the crease.

“Probably right in front of the net; that’s where the goals are,” Hartley said.

Edward LIttle/Leavitt/Poland’s Sophia Hartley, left, posts up in front of the St. Dominic/Gray-New Gloucester/Monmouth/Winthrop net, looking to tip in a shot from the point during a girls hockey game in December at Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Part of the reason for that are the rebound opportunities after teammates’ shots — including Marineau’s, when her shots don’t find the net on their own.

“With her shot, she can score anywhere on the ice,” Hartley said.

Berube said Martineau’s shot can change the momentum of the game.


“It gives our two forward lines other options …” Berube said. “We had one goal early in the year, I think against Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse/Lincoln, Audette went around the net, Eve stepped up, called for the puck, (Audette) put it tape-to-tape and it was a quick shot and in.”

The Red Hornets won that game against Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse, 7-4, on Dec. 13.

Martineau was a key player on Leavitt’s Class B state field hockey championship team in the fall, and she said field hockey has helped her become a better ice hockey player.

Edward LIttle/Leavitt/Poland’s Eve Martineau, right, looks to make a centering pass to a teammate during a game against Saint Dominic/Gray-New Gloucester/Monmouth/Winthrop in December at Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

“My stickhandling has gotten a lot better,” Martineau said. “I think field hockey plays a big part in that.”

Berube said that practices this season have featured drills focused on helping the players sharpen their offensive skills.

“We have been doing some flow drills, keeping their feet moving, and small-area games I have found to be very valuable with this group,” Berube said. “It shrinks the rink and forces them to make decisions in a tougher environment. That way, when they are playing the better teams they are ready to continue driving the net and get our sticks in the crease, sticks in passing lanes.”

The Red Hornets will be taking on some of the top teams in the state in the next week. They face Lewiston on Monday (3:50 p.m.) at The Colisee; they host Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland on Wednesday and Cheverus/Old Orchard/Kennebunk/Windham next Saturday.

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