Maine high school hockey teams will play for the state championships this winter, but not at Lewiston Colisee.
“We are currently working on finalizing our schedule for the boys and girls ice hockey championships,” MPA Executive Director Mike Burnham said in an email to the Sun Journal. “These games will not be played at (The Colisee) this year as we have not been able to come to an agreement with the new owner to host the games at this facility.”
Darryl Antonacci took over ownership of the 63-year-old arena in March 2020, days after the MPA last handed out any state men’s hockey championships (there have been no state championships hockey team in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Antonacci is also the owner of the Maine Nordiques organization, which brings together junior and midget hockey teams.
Antonacci could not be reached for comment.
The Maine Nordiques North American Hockey League has a home game scheduled for March 12 at 7 p.m., the same day as the 2022 Boys Class A and B State Championship games.
The Colosseum has been hosting the State Women’s Hockey Championship since the MPA began sanctioning the sport in 2008-09. The Boys State Games have been in Lewiston since 1994.
According to the MPA Hockey Bulletin, this season’s Women’s State Hockey Championship will be played at Troubh Ice Arena in Portland on February 19. The venue for the Boys’ State Championship matches is TBD (TBD).
Burnham said the MPA is still in the process of finalizing the venue for the Boys State Finals.
The boys’ Class A semi-finals, which have also been held at the Colisee for the past decade, are listed as TBD. The game is scheduled for March 8.
The Class B South regional final will travel from Lewiston to Troubh Ice Arena, according to the MPA bulletin. The game is scheduled for release on March 9.
The Class A quarter-finals and the Class B South regional semi-finals are typically held in Lewiston and will now be the top seed’s home on March 4 or 5.
The Class B North regional semi-finals, which took place at Colby College, will also be a home game for the top seeds on March 5. The Class B North regional final still has no venue for March 9. Alfond Arena in Orono is the normal site of the game.
Troubh will host the regional girls’ finals on February 16. It also hosted the 2020 regional finals.
The Nordiques will not play at home on February 19. The organization’s midget teams will not play at home in February, according to the Maine Nordiques website.
THE ICE CATS STOP
The Lakes Region / Fryeburg Academy / Oxford Hills Ice Cats managed a shock Friday night by beating the Scarborough Red Storm 7-5 at the University of South Maine arena in Gorham.
“A lot of people are probably thinking twice when they see the score,” said Ice Cats coach Wayne Neiman.
Owen Galligan led Lake Region / Fryeburg Academy / Oxford Hills with five goals.
The Ice Cats’ main goal for Friday’s game was to play solid defense.
â(Scarborough) are a physical team, a fast paced team with a lot of talent,â said Neiman. âWhat we tried to do was have layers, so when our guys were in the attacking zone our defense played a lot more conservative, releasing the blue line early. That way when Scarborough had breakouts we kind of shut it down and they weren’t able to get the rushes or breaks from our defense.
Neiman said his players read the games well to get offensive rushes.
Two years ago, the Ice Cats lost 4-3 to Scarborough. Since becoming a head coach last year, Neiman has worked with the players on a mental level in hockey.
â(The kids) knew they’d been hanging out (Scarborough) for the last few years,â Neiman said. âIt’s always been a situation of mental discipline with the team. They would get themselves in penalty trouble. That’s where the games were lost. This year and last year (since) the take Of control, there is a new philosophy to structure the mental aspect of the game for them, which is why when we go up against more physical teams, we are able to keep our cool and hang around in games.
LEWISON BOYS BE PATIENT
Lewiston’s men’s hockey team have only played one regular game so far this season.
The Blue Devils’ season opener against Biddeford / Massabesic / Old Orchard Beach has been postponed to December 11. They then suffered a 4-1 loss to South Portland / Waynflete / Freeport last Wednesday.
First-year head coach Jamie King said early in the season he knew the Blue Devils would have bumps in the road early on.
âWe talked a lot throughout the preseason; it’s going to take time, âKing said. âWe’re young, we really need to focus on the basics, and things are going to start to fall into place. They are positive. After the game, the senior captains (Evan Knowlton and Andon Cox) appreciated the progress of the game (Wednesday). The atmosphere is quite positive on the ice. They are willing to work for good results.
Lewiston’s second game of the season, barring further changes, is against St. Dom’s at the Colisee on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.
After Christmas, December 27-29, the Blue Devils will perform in the St. Dom Christmas Classic at the Norway Savings Bank Arena. For Lewiston, the tournament will be a series of exhibition games against out-of-state opponents. The Blue Devils’ third regular season game is scheduled for Dec. 31 against Windham / Westbrook / Bonny Eagle.
King said the timeline allows Lewiston’s favor to work on some things.
âThese extra weeks of training give us a little more opportunity to run some parts of the system; because this team is so young, a lot of these kids haven’t been logged into the system over the years, âKing said. “It’s a lot of a learning curve, but it will lead to positive results in the future.”
RED HORNS SECOND LINE CLICK
Edward Little / Leavitt / Poland coach Dana Berube has enjoyed the team’s second line play so far this season.
“I thought our red line was very good,” Berube said after Wednesday’s 4-2 win over St. Dom’s / Gray-New Gloucester / Winthrop / Monmouth. âMegan (Lachance), Molly (Sirois) and Gianna (Castagna), we thought they had a good game. They were playing hard and they gave us what we really needed tonight.
Berube said all three players can skate and help in the defense.
âMolly, in particular, her back check was amazing, and she bailed us out on a few (St. Dom chances) and trying to keep (the games) simple, putting the pucks in the net,â Berube said. .
EDDIES MAKE A DONATION
The Edward Little boys’ hockey team donated around 50 toys to the Lee Auto Malls Toys for Tots collection last Wednesday.
âWe’ve done it every year since I’ve been here,â said Edward Little coach Norm GagnÃ©. âIt’s good team cohesion, and we love giving back to our community because the community gives us a lot. I think it’s good for our players to learn that. It’s a big part of being in the community, it’s giving back to the community, especially when they are doing so much for you.
Lee will send all of the toys they’ve collected to Central Maine Toys for Tots. In 2020, 16,233 toys were distributed to 10,324 children.
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