Boys prep hockey: Lewiston and Auburn players fill key roles for NYA
Mar. 10—The pipeline of boys hockey players from the Lewiston-Auburn area to North Yarmouth Academy was plentiful and productive for the Panthers this season.
A total of seven players from Lewiston, Auburn and Turner suited up for NYA this year, headlined by leading scorer Daxton St. Hilaire, a former Lewiston High School player.
NYA coach Mike Warde said that St. Hilaire's twin brother, Cooper, was part of a stud defensive pairing with fellow Lewiston native Connor Wolverton.
Another Lewiston product, Nick Pelletier, was fourth among NYA's forwards in points (24), and Warde said newcomer from Lewiston, Tanner Anctil, was probably the most improved player from the start of the season.
Warde added that Anctil was playing his best hockey the last month of the season, which ended for the Panthers on Feb. 24 in a NEPSAC Holt Conference semifinal loss to eventual champion Berwick Academy.
Auburn's Ethan Brochu made, according to Warde, a "big jump" from his sophomore to junior seasons. Classmate Matthew Powers, of Turner, helped man the defense for the Panthers.
"I can't say enough about what those guys brought to the table," Warde said of the Lewiston-Auburn contingent of players, adding that they never took a day off from practicing hard.
That played a part in NYA sporting a 20-10-3 record during the season, which set a record for the most wins in the program's NEPSAC (New England Preparatory School Athletic Council) history.
Among the season's highlights, according to Warde, were a January win over seventh-ranked Holderness School and winning the Travis Roy Maine Prep Cup championship with a victory over Kents Hill on Feb. 13.
The Panthers will have to replace the St. Hilaire brothers, who racked up a combined 59 points — 39 for Daxton, and 20 for Cooper from the blue line.
Warde noted that it was hard to get the twins to come to NYA in the first place two years ago, because they were so attached to the Lewiston community. And he was thankful to get a season with Anctil, who stuck around for another season at Lewiston before coming over for his senior year.
All three are looking to play junior hockey next year, but Warde said he wasn't aware of any set plans for any of them.
The Panthers will have Wolverton and Powers returning next season, along with Pelletier and Brochu at forward.
Other underclassmen on the roster from Maine include: goalies Aidan McAuslin (Cumberland, junior) and Braydon Fitch (Raymond, sophomore); defenseman Dylan Kullman (Westbrook, sophomore); and forwards Grey Perham (Brunswick, junior), Asher Nagy (Gardiner, freshman), Cole Lambert (North Yarmouth, junior), Harry Seeley (Scarborough, freshman), Caden Violette (Windham, junior), Jack Hebert (Yarmouth, sophomore) and Hugo Daniel (Yarmouth, freshman).