Messalonskee High School senior defenseman Travis St. Pierre isn’t the vocal type. His emotions don’t sway like a pendulum, either.

The soap box thing?

It’s just not his style.

“I’m not a loud guy by any means,” he said. “I try to be a leader but I just do it by example. I try to let my play do the talking.”

And that’s been plenty loud for this band of Eagles, who will play Greely for the Class B state championship at 1 p.m. at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

“I might be the motivating captain but Travis leads by example,” Messalonskee senior forward Sam Dexter said. “Travis is really mellow but he’s the most competitive guy I know.”

Prolific scorers Dexter and Chase Cunningham, coupled with standout goalie Nate DelGiudice, are big reasons why the Eagles capped their Eastern B playoff run with a 5-2 win over two-time defending champ Brewer (18-2-0).

But this much is certain: Messalonskee is likely isn’t where it is now if not for the play of St. Pierre.

“He’s a dominant player,” Messalonskee coach Mike Latendresse said. “He does everything for us. If I could keep him on the ice for 45 minutes, I would.”

St. Pierre comes close.

The 5-foot-10 defenseman, who’s paired with Dominic Dexter, logs about 35 minutes a game. He runs the point on the power play, is pivotal on the penalty kill and usually leads the team in transition.

It’s the latter that personifies St. Pierre’s presence on the team.

“He just brings an on-ice confidence,” Latendresse said. “He’s very controlled. He’s poised and patient, and does an excellent job on our breakout.”

He also relaxes the team when he’s on the ice, DelGiudice said.

“He starts our transition and is just our anchor on defense,” he said. “He makes my job easier. He plays with a lot of confidence and that makes us more confident.”

St. Pierre, 18, of Belgrade, played for Messalonskee his freshman and sophomore seasons before transferring to Kents Hill. He returned to Messalonskee this fall to graduate with his childhood friends.

The experience playing for the prep school team helped enhance his skills, he said.

“The game was so much faster at that level,” St. Pierre said. “It improved the offensive part of my game. The speed was so much different. It also helped my conditioning.”

And he’s needed it this season for the Eagles, who rotate just two sets of defensemen.

That means ample ice time for St. Pierre, who played just about the entire third period against Brewer.

So, does he ever tire?

“I’m used to it by now,” St. Pierre said. “There are times when I am dead and you can see it. I’ll be dragging behind the play. That’s when I’ll hold my hand up and (Latendresse) will give me a 20-second break.

“I had to learn how to push myself and be patient. If I go all out for every puck, I’ll be dead by the third period.”

Added Latendresse: “He knows how to survive out there.”

On Saturday, the Eagles will try to win their first ever state title against a fast Greely team, which rolls three lines and features a standout goalie.

None of that fazes St. Pierre.

“We can definitely beat them,” he said. “They are incredibly fast, but I think our (defense) can hold up. We’ve wanted this for a long time.”

 

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

 

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