Parity presents nightly challenge for Western Maine ‘A’ hockey teams

PORTLAND — It could be considered high school hockey’s version of a whirl-a-gig.
Picture this: Unbeaten at the time (just before the Christmas break), Thornton Academy was beaten by Falmouth, quite soundly.
Falmouth then is handed its first blemish by a Western Maine foe, Scarborough, which remained the lone unbeaten Tier I club.
That is until, Wednesday, when Scarborough put its record on the line against Thornton, only to be handed a 7-1 humbling by the defending state champions.
So what conclusion to draw from all this equality?
“It says that in Western Maine,” said TA first year coach Jamie Gagnon, “that you never know. You’ve got to come to skate every single night, because you never know what could happen. And that’s indicative of the way this league is. There’s probably a handful of teams, that on any given night, anyone can be a challenge.”
The sentiment was echoed by legendary high school coach Norm Gagne, now in his third year as Scarborough bench boss.
“There’s a lot of parity in the league,” said Gagne, who has six state championships to his credit. “My concern was that we had a big win (over Falmouth) on Monday, and now we had to come back on Wednesday. I tried to tell them that you can’t live on last game’s laurels. You have to get prepared. I still think we’re capable of beating any team on any given night.”
The good thing is that the round robin will play itself out again through the rest of the year.
For one thing, we could see a whole lot of jockeying for playoff position during the second half of the regular season.
And for another, we could be in for some exciting hockey.
By the way, two interesting tidbits emerged from the TA/Scarborough tilt.
The first is that dynamic Thornton forward C.J. Maksut tallied three points, which enabled him to tie the school career scoring mark for points (111).
The other is that it marked the first time that Gagne and Gagnon had opposed each other as head coaches since the Class A state championship game in 2008, when Gagnon’s Biddeford squad defeated Gagne’s Lewiston unit, 4-2.
Both coaches left those posts after that season.