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Strong third period carries Bangor hockey team past Brunswick

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 25th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

BANGOR, Maine — Ten days ago, the Bangor High School hockey team beat Brunswick 10-2, thanks to six first-period goals. Tuesday night’s Eastern Maine Class A quarterfinal was much different, as the two teams were tied 1-1 after two periods. But senior center Alec Coleman-Pray scored 3 minutes, 21 seconds into the third period and set up Nick Graham’s goal 3:13 later to lead the third-seeded Rams to a hard-fought 5-1 triumph over the sixth-seeded Dragons. Bangor (13-6) will take on second seed Lewiston (13-5-1) in the semifinals at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston on Saturday. Brunswick concluded an 11-8 campaign...

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Calais girls basketball coach mulls future

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Message Board

Posted: February 25th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

It was a difficult season for Calais High School girls basketball coach Dana Redding. He said he soon will need to make a decision on whether to return for his eighth season, but the trials and tribulations of the 2014-15 season won’t play a major role in his decision. An altercation between two of his players in a Jan. 10 game against Houlton resulted in a 3½-day investigation that led to one starter being dismissed from the team and another being suspended. Redding’s wife, a volunteer assistant coach, was pushed by one of the players. However, the penalty was appealed to the Calais School Committee, which voted to reduce the penalty, allowing the player who had been dismissed to return after serving a suspension. Superintendent of Schools Robert F. Moholland resigned six days later...

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Knights eye return to the Colisee

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 24th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — There’s the long-held belief that it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season. But that’s the task facing Noble/Wells if it hopes to return to the semifinal round of the Western Maine Class A high school hockey tournament. No. 3 Noble/Wells (15-3) will host No. 6 South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete (South Portland herein) tonight at 6:30 at the Rochester Arena for a quarterfinal game. South Portland is 9-8. Noble/Wells won both regular-season meetings by scores of 8-4 and 6-3. “That’s what makes me nervous,” said Noble/Wells coach Keith St. Cyr, about the prospect of needing a third win over South Portland to advance. “I don’t want us going in thinking this will be easy. We usually play them twice, so there’s a lot of familiarity. Whoever plays the best game will win.” Noble/Wells goes into tonight’s game as the winners of nine straight...

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Saints getting healthy as playoffs begin

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 24th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

Twenty-four skaters make up this year's St. Dominic Academy squad — 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goalies. Just five of those 24 players dressed in all 18 of the Saints' games this season. Only Sam Story, Matt Chasse, Gavin Bates, Chris Laverdiere and Matt Keaney have been on the bench throughout the regular season, avoiding the injuries and sickness that plagued the team's locker room. Despite the 65 total games missed among 19 skaters, the Saints finished the regular season 15-2-1, going 8-0-1 against the East, and grabbed the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs as a result. St. Dom's medicine for the injury bug: Its depth...

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Lawrence/Skowhegan, Winslow open hockey playoffs Tuesday

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 24th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

Both teams will host games at Sukee Arena.. WINSLOW — The Lawrence/Skowhegan hockey team closed the regular season by winning 10 of its last 11 games. Winslow dropped two of its last three contests to miss out on a first-round bye. Regardless of what happened for either team during the regular season, each has the same goal going forward: Win and advance. The fourth-seeded Bandits (11-6-1) will kick off a hockey doubleheader at Sukee Arena on Tuesday when they take on No. 5 Edward Little (9-9-0) at 5 p.m. in the opening round of the Eastern A playoffs. No. 3 Winslow (12-6-0) will follow at 7 p.m. with its Eastern B quarterfinal contest against sixth-seeded Hampden (7-10-1). “We have to be prepared 100 percent and come off the bus with the attitude that it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, it’s five skaters and a goalie,” Lawrence/Skowhegan coach Ted Fabian said...

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Wil Smith touched many lives in his many roles as coach, mentor and counselor

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Message Board

Posted: February 24th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

The 2000 Bowdoin College graduate died Sunday from colon cancer, leaving what Sen. Angus King called "a hole in the heart of our community.". Whether he was coaching young girls to play basketball or counseling teenagers from a war-torn region of the world, Wil Smith was always there when he was needed. “He had boundless energy and enthusiasm for life,” said Tim Gilbride, the men’s basketball coach at Bowdoin. “And that was contagious to other people. He could get people to do things that they didn’t think they could do.”Smith died Sunday in Philadelphia after a three-year battle with colon cancer. He was 46 years old. Smith was remembered Monday as a caring man who affected everyone he met. “He was a giant of a person,” said Tim Foster, dean of students at Bowdoin College, who both counseled Smith as a student and later worked with him. “He was not only a friend, but a teacher to me as well. And that’s what I’m going to hold on to most.” Maine Sen. Angus King paid tribute to Smith in a statement submitted Monday to the U.S. Congressional Record...

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Tier scheduling throws playoff seeds 'out of whack' in boys' hockey

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 24th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

Teams that play tougher schedules can lose out on playoff positioning to teams with easier roads.

Biddeford High played one of the toughest boys’ hockey schedules in the state this season. The Tigers (10-6-2) are the only Western Class A team to beat all the other top teams in the region. Yet Biddeford is the No. 5 seed in the Western A tournament, which begin Tuesday. The Tigers play on the road in a quarterfinal game against No. 4 Scarborough (10-5-3). Meanwhile, the Noble/Wells co-op team is the No. 3 seed, despite not playing any of the top teams in the state. The Knights (15-3) are the home team against South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete (10-8). “As for seedings, it is clear that the system needs to be looked at,” said Biddeford Coach Rich Reissfelder. “I’m not sure there is a perfect system – especially with co-op teams and the constant ups and downs of talent levels. “But this isn’t the first time the seedings seem out of whack.” Reissfelder has a sympathetic ear in Noble Coach Keith St. Pierre...

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Bangor eager for fresh start as high school hockey quarterfinals get underway

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 24th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

The Bangor High School hockey team hasn’t had the regular season it wanted. The Rams went 0-4 against their top rivals in Eastern Maine Class A, St. Dominic of Auburn and Lewiston. Bangor lost a pair of 4-2 games to defending Eastern Maine Class A champ St. Dom’s and dropped 7-3 and 5-4 (overtime) games to Lewiston. But head coach Quinn Paradis said his Rams won’t be dwelling on the regular season when they take the ice against Brunswick in their quarterfinal at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Sawyer Arena in Bangor. Class B quarterfinals also will open with No. 4 Brewer, 8-7-3, entertaining John Bapst of Bangor, 10-6-2, in a 6 p.m. game at the Penobscot Ice Arena and No. 3 Winslow, 12-6, hosting No. 6 Hampden Academy, 7-10-1, at Sukee Arena at 7 p.m...

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Bouchard, Graham, Worcester, Irving earn Osborne MVP All-Tourney awards

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Message Board

Posted: February 24th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

Houlton High School guard Kolleen Bouchard made a lasting impression in her first Eastern Maine Class C girls basketball tournament. Bouchard earned the rare honor of being chosen the BDN’s Owen Osborne Most Valuable Player as a freshman as she led her Shiretowners to the regional championship. She was a unanimous selection among media representatives and longtime officials and observers. Fellow Aroostook County standouts Hannah Graham of Presque Isle and Mackenzie Worcester of Washburn were the MVP winners in Classes B and D, respectively. They are both seniors. Lawrence of Fairfield junior power forward-center Nia Irving was the Class A MVP. The MVPs are members of the BDN All-Tourney teams for each class, which follow. [b]Class A[/b] Irving had 33 points in a semifinal win over Brunswick and 10 points and eight ...

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Houlton title years in the making

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Message Board

Posted: February 24th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

One could not help but appreciate the level of talent and tournament poise demonstrated by the Houlton girls basketball team during the Eastern Maine tournament. Coach Shawn Graham’s team not only features a freshman as its centerpiece, the Shiretowners took home the Class C crown without a single senior on the roster. Freshman Kolleen Bouchard served as the glue for a well-rounded Houlton team that won the championship with a 46-38 victory over a senior-laden Dexter squad on Saturday night at the Cross Insurance Center. Her calm on the court speaks to the level of confidence and cohesiveness that has been the foundation of the team’s success...

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Conditioning key element in Calais boys basketball championship run

Sport: Basketball (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 24th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

BANGOR, Maine — When Chris Woodside took over as the Calais High School boys basketball coach, he made one thing clear from the outset. The Blue Devils were going to be in outstanding physical condition. “We run a lot,” said senior guard Kyle Johnson. “We don’t like it, but we know it’s these games [in the tournament] where it’s going to pay off, and it did.” Despite using only seven players, Calais ran, pressed, trapped and scrambled its way to the Eastern Maine Class C championship, outlasting Orono 60-57 in overtime at the Cross Insurance Center. “They only know one speed,” said Orono coach Jason Coleman, whose squad committed 25 turnovers in the face of the Blue Devils’ relentless defensive pressure.…

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Here are my picks for tourney highs, top coaches and MVPs

Sport: Basketball (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 24th, 2015 by Tom Nolette

by Bob Cimbollek..After 56 Eastern Maine boys and girls tourney basketball games in Classes A, B, C and D, here are my observations of the games, officials, coaches and players. — One of the biggest high-fives goes to the Fort Fairfield and Washburn boys and girls teams meeting in the Eastern Maine Class D championships. Schools that are less than 30 miles apart in Aroostook County and play during the regular season traveled over 180 miles one way to play each other for the third time at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. The Washburn girls and the Fort Fairfield boys won those third meetings. The Washburn girls won their fifth straight Eastern Maine title and will now go for their fifth straight state crown. — Only three number one seeds won their their tourneys. Four two seeds and one three seed won the other championships...

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The Hot Corner: Dirigo wins habitually, and does it the right way

Sport: Basketball (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 23rd, 2015 by Tom Nolette

By Kalle Oakes.. The hollering from Locker Room No. 3 at the north end of Augusta Civic Center prompted an exchange of quizzical looks, followed by doubled-over laughs, among every coach and reporter within earshot Saturday night. Dirigo boys' basketball players were, ahem, enjoying a moment. They've shared enough of them for our enjoyment over the years. All the adult stakeholders and curiosity-seekers owed them this one, even if we're better off not knowing what took place. Celebrations are a funny thing in sports. In the professional realm, they're usually more reflective of an athlete or team's personality than actual achievement. Perhaps nobody in the history of games people play had more cause to thump their chests and dance 'til dawn than NFL greats Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Jerry Rice, yet all four made "act like you've been there before" a way of life....

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Chemistry key to Maranacook's skiing title

Sport: Skiing  Message Board

Posted: February 23rd, 2015 by Tom Nolette

Boys skiing opened big week for Maranacook with Class B championship..READFIELD — When school resumes Monday at Maranacook Community High School, a number of students will have some new hardware to show off. February vacation opened and closed with a Black Bears championship, as the week began with the Maranacook boys ski team winning the Class B title Tuesday and ended with the girls basketball team cutting down the nets after winning the Western C title Saturday. The girls basketball title was the first in program history, but success on the slopes is hardly anything new for Maranacook. The Black Bears captured the Class B boys team title in 2014 and, despite graduating a number of standout skiers, they replicated their success this season...

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Portland does it again...Second half surge stymies Simonds, Falmouth

Sport: Basketball (Boys)  Message Board

Posted: February 23rd, 2015 by Tom Nolette

PORTLAND—The Portland boys' basketball team has done it again. The defending Class A state champion Bulldogs entered the season facing an abundance of questions, but they have answered them all in the affirmative and Saturday evening, they passed one final test in their quest to get back to the state final. With the dangerous Falmouth Yachtsmen, led by senior sharpshooter Jack Simonds, standing in the way in the Western Class A Final at Cross Insurance Arena, Portland had to dig deep and turn to household names and unproven talent alike to advance. Less than 24 hours after surviving Deering in an epic semifinal, the top-ranked Bulldogs got off to a sluggish start, but held Simonds to just four points in a first quarter that ended, 8-6, in favor of the third-seeded Yachtsmen, who were coming off an inspirational semifinal round upset of their own over No. 2 South Portland...

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