St. Dom’s/Monmouth/Winthrop girls hockey team has three regular defensive players, from left, Lauren Hanlon, Maddie Weymouth, Abigail Titus, and one part-time defender, Moira Craig, far left. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

High school hockey games consist of three 15-minute periods for a total of 45 minutes.

The St. Dominic/Winthrop/Monmouth girls hockey team has only three regular defensemen, and therefore Lauren Hanlon, Abby Titus and Maddie Weymouth each plays about two-thirds of every contest.

Hanlon, a junior, enjoys being on the ice a little longer than the Saints’ forward.

“Honestly, it’s great; I enjoy the extra ice time,” Hanlon said. “I think everyone else does, too. It can be hard, but it’s mostly fun.”

Hanlon plays ice hockey year-round, but Weymouth, a senior, only plays during the winter. During the fall, she was a goalie for the Winthrop field hockey team that won its second straight Class C state championship in November.

Weymouth said that trading goalie pads for skates is a shock to her body because she goes from guarding a goal all game to constantly being in motion on the ice.


“We do conditioning in field hockey as well, but ice hockey is a different way of conditioning,” Weymouth said. “I am definitely not ready for it for the first week of preseason.”

Titus is an eighth-grader and new to the team. St. Dom’s/Winthrop/Monmouth coach Paul Gosselin she is adjusting to the high school game.

“She gets a lot of ice time and I am really happy with her play so far,” Gosselin said. “It’s a big step for a young girl.”

Weymouth said she wasn’t sure if any of this year’s newcomers would be defensemen. When she realized Titus was a trained defender, Weymouth said she and Hanlon began to be as help Titus as much as possible.

“Me and Lauren are the experienced defensemen,” Weymouth said. “We took Abby under our wing during the first week of practice. She has been with us ever since; she has caught on quickly.”

Weymouth said Titus’ biggest improvement early in the season has been keeping her head up to make passes.


Another eighth-grader, Moira Craig, will occasionally help out on the defense, but she mostly plays forward.

Gosselin said that the three regular defensive players are good skaters as well as offensive threats for the Saints (1-3).

“It’s awesome, we use them as offensive defensemen,” Gosselin said. “Lauren can skate like the wind and Maddie has a heck of a shot. Abby works like crazy. They all come to the plate with something different — it works out pretty well.”

Weymouth had five goals and two assists last season. In three games so far this season, she has two goals and five assists. Lauren Hanlon had one goal and a pair of assists in 2021-22 and already has two goals and three this year. Titus is making an impact in her first season of high school hockey with four assists.

Weymouth said she played boys hockey before high school with Maranacook Youth Hockey, which helped develop her skating ability.

“When I got into high school, I gained that confidence in myself, and I was able to come out of my shell,” Weymouth said.


Having three defenders isn’t new for the Saints. Last year, they only had Weymouth, Hanlon and Isabella Webster, who graduated in 2022. Gosselin said the team has adapted to its defensemen shortage.

“It’s a little tougher at the beginning of the year, but once they adapt, they are pretty good. It’s nothing new that we haven’t done before,” Gosselin said.

Hanlon said the transition has been easier this season because she and Hanlon have already experienced a full season of a three-defenseman rotation.

“(I learned) to conserve my energy and be more in shape,” Hanlon said.

Hanlon said she’s used to playing a lot in youth hockey, so she’s used to not expending energy early in a game. She also worked on being in the right place on the ice depending on where the puck is on the ice.”

“I have worked on my positioning, where to be when I need to, and not to give the puck away to anyone,” Hanlon said. “I also learned patience.”


The defensemen communicate with each other when they need to go to the bench to catch a breather.

“We work really well switching with each other and taking short shifts,” Weymouth said. “I think that’s the key to our success is keeping the shifts short. We communicate with each other really well.”

Weymouth said because she is the lone defenseman on the bench, she can get one-on-one coaching from assistant coach John Robitaille.

“Most of the time, I am talking to my coach on how I can improve my play and what I can do the next time I go out (on the ice), or I am too winded to talk to anyone,” Weymouth said. “I just sit there and wait my turn to go out again.”

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