Chad Foye wanted to bring a “winning atmosphere” in his second stint as Cony hockey coach.

So far, so good.

Cony finished 11-5-3 and reached the Eastern A quarterfinals for a second straight season. Foye is 26-10-3 in the last two seasons.

For leading the Rams to a fourth-place finish in a tough Eastern A, has been named the Kennebec Journal Hockey Coach of the Year. Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop coach Andy Dube was also considered.

“I was very pleased with how the team played,” Foye said. “We really wanted to maintain the momentum from the previous year, and we did that. We just wanted to keep the ship moving forward.”

Foye said he wasn’t sure how the Rams would fare this season, considering they lost several key players to graduation.

Foye, who also coached Cony from 2000-07 before leaving to take a job with the Maine Moose junior hockey program, restructured lines, tinkered with a forecheck and focused on improving lagging power play.

The end result was another strong season.

“He just made all the right decisions,” Cony captain Dallas Clark said. “Last year he came in it not knowing anybody. This year he knew a lot about us. He was more comfortable and he set more expectations for us. He just knows the game really well. He’s seen everything and just knows what to do.”

The season had its challenges, particularly at the end of the regular season when three key players became ineligible for violating team rules.

The Rams forged ahead, beating Skowhegan in the regular-season finale before coming up just short in double overtime to Brunswick in a regional quarterfinal game.

“We had a couple kids go out and they were important,” Cony junior captain defenseman Zach Gagne said. “(Foye) made some speeches. He said that we could take it one or two ways. We could be done or we could go out and show what we were made of. His message to the team was, ‘don’t quit.’ He told us he still believed in us. It made you think and truly believe that just because some guys were out it didn’t mean we couldn’t do something.

“We really fought hard and it was all thanks to him. We wouldn’t have had the focus and will if not for him.”

Foye said he just instructed the team to “stick to the game plan.”

“It was a tough situation but our team responded well,” he said. “We just kept our confidence. The kids didn’t give up. They didn’t quit. Overall, I was really pleased with the season. We kept the momentum going.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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