Lewiston goalie Kim McLaughlin makes save on a shot by Gorham/Bonny Eagle/Fryeburg/Massabesic’s Emerson Homa, who broke through the Blue Devils defense but was denied by McLaughlin, during a Jan. 30 game at The Colisee in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

After a state championship with a loaded roster in 2021-22 in front of goaltender Kim McLaughlin, graduation and other departures hit the Lewiston in 2022-23, and the young Blue Devils skated to a 10-7 record. But with McLaughlin in the net, they always had a chance to win.

McLaughlin said her senior season was fun, and she enjoyed the responsibilities she had as one of the three captains of the Lewiston girls hockey team.

Her performance in the crease this season, which includes a 2.13 goals against average, .917 save percentage and 9-7 record has earned McLaughlin the Sun Journal All-Region Player of the Year.

“I think I walked into the season with weight on my shoulders. It was clear I had more responsibility than before,” McLaughlin said. “But I feel like the team and I took it head-on. Our roster worked hard, and we couldn’t have done it without everyone working hard.”

Blue Devils first-year coach Scott Laberge, who previously served as a Lewiston assistant and JV coach, said he saw a difference in McLaughlin’s confidence level heading into her final season.

“There was a lot more pressure on her and she handled it pretty well,” Laberge said. “Part of that she was a lot more confident coming into this year. Last year, having a good team in front of her was probably the best thing that could have happened to her. There was not as much pressure on her to keep us in games — we were the team to beat last year — it kind of eased her into that starting goaltender role last year.


“I think that gave her the confidence to bring it this year.”

McLaughlin took on the challenge of getting the puck shot at her more this season. She made 476 saves, the third most in the state.

“I enjoyed taking more shots, honestly,” McLaughlin said. “I would never say that after a game, but as I look back on the season, the shots made me a better goalie. I think that people finally got to see what I had to offer, and I got to have fun doing it.”

Laberge said McLaughlin was hard on herself when she let in a goal in the back of the net, even if that goal didn’t make a difference in the outcome of a game.

McLaughlin allowed two goals or less in nine of her 17 games, including two shutouts.

Her two best performances of the season came against the high-scoring Penobscot Pioneers. The first time McLaughlin faced the Pioneers, she made 59 saves in a 7-1 loss. In the second matchup, she made 51 saves in a 3-1 loss.


“Playing the Penobscot Pioneers was probably some of the best games I’ve ever had in high school,” McLaughlin said. “The goals scored against hurt, but I made so many saves and truly got to appreciate the skill I never got to show before. They motivated the team and I throughout the season.”

Laberge said the only coaching he did with McLaughlin this season was in the first game against the Pioneers when he told her she was going down a little too early, and the Penobscot players were exploiting that by shooting the puck high.

McLaughlin took on a leadership role along with fellow captains Alyssa Marcoux and Ava Geoffroy, and she help set up training away from the ice for her teammates.

“Kim was more lead by example on the ice,” Laberge said. “But she took charge of the extracurricular away from the ice, like the dryland — she put together dryland program together. (She) and the other two captains took reigns of the team.”

McLaughlin enjoyed being a veteran presence on the young Lewiston team.

“Being a leader was fun,” McLaughlin said. “I loved getting questions from the girls, or being someone who they could talk to. The captains and I ran dryland whenever we could, and the girls improved on and off the ice. They are a great group of girls, and I hope our leadership helped them for the years to follow.”

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