LEWISTON — After mentoring the Lewiston junior varsity girls hockey team for the past eight years, Scott Laberge eagerly accepted the varsity head coaching job when Ron Dumont retired after last season.

Scott Laberge, Lewiston’s new girls hockey coach, leads the first day of practice last week at The Colisee. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

“We knew (Dumont) was retiring even before last season ended,” Laberge said. “He told us ahead time it was going to be his last season.”

Dumont’s tenure concluded with the Blue Devils capturing their fourth state championship with him at the helm. Dumont led Lewiston since girls hockey was first sanctioned by the Maine Principals’ Association in 2008-09.

Laberge, whose hiring was approved at a school board meeting Monday evening, has been coaching girls hockey for nearly two decades.

“I started when my daughter started playing girls hockey,” he said. “I coached with Jerry Rousseau for many years in the (Maine) Gladiators organization. We always coached the girls travel program.

“I like working with the players, and, honestly, I find a lot of times girls are easier to coach.”


Laberge, a St. Dominic Academy graduate, is a program manager at Geiger in Lewiston, and he served in the U.S. Navy for eight years. 

“(Laberge) is a longtime coach,” Lewiston athletic director Jason Fuller said. “He has coached at multiple levels, from the youth level (up), and joined our program as an assistant coach. So he has been around the program for an extended period of time. He knows the girls in Lewiston hockey. I think those are all the reasons you choose a person like Scott.

“He’s got a really good demeanor. I know he is going to treat the girls right. … I think just the way he views high school sports is a match to me. He wants the kids to be successful, but understands life lessons and making sure they are able to be better citizens at the end of the day.”

Laberge, a Lewiston native, has the advantage of familiarity with a team that won the state championship last year, but he also said this will be a rebuilding season.

“You hate to use the term rebuilding,” he said. “We are very young. I think I have only three seniors, possibly four. We graduated a lot of our offense from last year (and) a lot of our scoring. We have a returning goalie and we have a couple of returning defenders, so I think we are going to be strong on the back end. 

“It is just going to be finding some additional scoring to take the place of some of the players we lost.”



Laberge added that Blue Devils won’t need to be part of a cooperative program with other schools, as many programs in the state have had to do, in order to have a healthy roster size.

“I am all for those who have to (co-op),” he said. “If it offers an opportunity for girls to play, then I am all for it. We were on the bubble. We thought we might have to. With our graduation last year, and we lost a few girls to prep (schools), we weren’t sure we were going to have the numbers.

“But we were able to recruit a few girls who might not have a lot of hockey experience, but they are athletic, so we can fill out our roster at least and hopefully get them up to speed relatively quickly and help them contribute.”

St. Dom’s girls hockey coach Paul Gosselin said the co-op formed with Winthrop and Monmouth — and previously with Gray-New Gloucester, which has returned to a co-op agreement with Greely — has been beneficial to the Saints’ depth.

“The league has become a co-op league,” Gosselin said. “Girls hockey is not as numerous as boys. It takes a few schools to make enough for a team. Sometimes, maybe a bigger school like Lewiston or something like that has a feeder system that brings (athletes) in. … (Edward Little), as big as they are, they have a combine team.

“I am not sure many schools have gotten away from the combine. Some years you get bigger numbers, other years you don’t and that is kind of the way girls hockey lives.”

Along with Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland, St. Dom’s/Winthrop/Monmouth and Greely/Gray-New Gloucester, other area co-op teams that include area schools are Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon/Lincoln/Oceanside/Boothbay, Winslow/Gardiner/Cony/Lawrence/ Messalonskee/Maranacook/Erskine/Mt. Blue.

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