When speaking about his group of forwards, Waterville Senior High School hockey coach Dennis Martin does not refer to either of them as a first or second line.

“I have ‘1’ and ‘1A,'” Martin said. “I have two No. 1 lines.”

It is hard to disagree with that sentiment, as the Purple Panthers (10-0-1 Class B South) remained unbeaten with Monday’s 9-1 win over Hampden once again thanks to a balanced scoring effort.

Of Waterville’s nine goals, four were scored by the line of Nick Denis, Michael Oliveira and Cody Pellerin, while the line of Jackson Aldrich, Justin Wentworth and Michael Bolduc also generated four goals.

Defenseman Andrew Rodrigue — who has been just as dangerous this season on offense along with fellow defender Matt Jolicoeur — was responsible for the other goal while playing alongside the Denis-Oliveira-Pellerin line.

“They’re playing really well,” Martin said. “They’re moving the puck really well and they know where each other are. They’re in sync and everything is going good. The kids are so unselfish and that’s what’s making us do what we are right now.”

The Purple Panthers have proven themselves against some tough competition at times this season — namely Winslow, Messalonskee and Yarmouth — but they will get a chance to see exactly what they are made of when they face Lewiston at 4:50 p.m., Wednesday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Largely considered the team to beat in Class A North, the Blue Devils’ lone league loss this season was a 5-2 defeat to Falmouth (8-2-0 Class A South) on Jan. 7. Lewiston has also played a handful of games against out-of-state competition, including Massachusetts powers Boston College High and Malden Catholic.

“They’re a very good hockey team and they’ve played a lot of tough teams out of state,” Martin said. “We’ll see where we stand with that.”

• • •

There is only about one month left in the regular season and Class A North is finally starting to take shape — to an extent.

It has become fairly clear that Lewiston (7-1-0) — as many suspected heading into the winter — is the team to beat in the division.

“Lewiston is pretty up there. They’re pretty top notch,” Edward Little coach Craig Latuscha said. “Between (Cony/Monmouth/Hall-Dale), EL and whoever else it’s a crap shoot. It depends on what type of game they show up to play.”

The Rams (8-4-0) further muddied the waters on Saturday with their 2-1 win over Edward Little at Camden National Bank Ice Arena to split the season series with the Red Eddies (7-4-0).

As of Monday evening those two teams were second and third in the Class A North Heal points, respectively, but each is hardly locked in at their current position.

St. Dominic Academy was in fourth with just a 5-5-0 record, but has played the most challenging schedule in the division outside of Lewiston. Windham/Westbrook (6-2-0) and Bangor (6-2-1) — which played at Lewiston on Monday night — also look to be more than capable of competing for a top playoff seed.

“There’s kind of a crowd of us right behind Lewiston and we’re going to have to see what happens from there,” Cony/Monmouth/Hall-Dale head coach Chad Foye said.

• • •

Low total numbers and some players missing from the lineup earlier in the season has led to a tough year thus far for Poland/Gray-New Gloucester/Oak Hill (0-10-0 Class A North).

“We just try to be competitive and get the kids some experience,” 26ers head coach Mike Bishop said. “Really our numbers are in the freshman and sophomore classes. We have some good players but hopefully some freshmen come in and push everybody up a little bit because we need some numbers.”

Bishop, who is in his first season with the 26ers, said it has been a bit of a feeling-out process for all those involved as players get used to his style and he tries to determine what players fit best with one another.

A little over one-third of the team is comprised of players from Oak Hill, with a number of them seeing significant minutes. Sophomore Brandon Michaud and senior Connor Drouin are each skating on the team’s first line along with Derek Belanger, of Poland.

Drouin’s younger brother, Bailey, a sophomore, is on the first defensive pairing with Gray-New Gloucester’s Jacob Baggs, a senior. Freshman Kenny Humphrey, of Poland, has been starting in net.

“We’ve been a little more competitive,” Bishop said. “It still is what it is I guess.”

• • •

AROUND THE STATE: Scarborough remains the only undefeated team in the state without a tie in its record. The Red Storm (9-0-0 Class A South) — who were supposed to play Class A North leader Lewiston on Saturday before the game was postponed — snapped Falmouth’s eight-game winning streak in their last game with a 2-1 victory over the Yachtsmen (8-2-0) … Speaking of winning streaks, Winslow and Gardiner have two of the longest active ones in the state beyond Scarborough and Waterville. The Black Raiders (7-2-2 Class B North) are 6-0-2 in their last eight games while the Tigers (7-2-0 Class B South) have won seven straight heading into Monday’s game with Leavitt.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley


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