Girls hockey: Alyssa Marcoux and Ava Geoffroy stepping up for Lewiston in multiple ways

Dec. 31—LEWISTON — Last season, forward Alyssa Marcoux and defenseman Ava Geoffroy were depth players as the Lewiston girls hockey team won its fourth state championship in school history.

Now the two best friends are leaders for the Blue Devils after the loss of eight players from the championship-winning team, along with head coach Ron Dumont stepping down after last season.

"I knew coming into the year, this year would be more of a rebuilding year," Marcoux said. "My goal this year is to help the younger girls and the girls that are less experienced become more experienced players, so we can be an all-around team."

Geoffroy has also embraced her new responsibilities.

"It's definitely different, but it's definitely exciting playing a role that helps everyone out," Geoffroy said.

Coach Scott Laberge said the senior pair became leaders before the season began and he rewarded them by naming them team captains.

"Honestly, it almost seemed like it came naturally to them," Laberge said. "Before we even had our first practice, they were reaching out to me and they were already getting girls in line and putting out information to the girls of stuff they needed to know to be aware of coming into the season."

Laberge credits Geoffroy, Marcoux and sophomore Avaya Desjardins for recruiting five players to join the team.

With a younger team this season, Geoffroy wanted to make sure everyone felt at ease joining the team.

"I have been there, Alyssa has been there, where it's something new," Geoffroy said. "There was an expectation of what they expected from us. It definitely helps when you have someone who can lead you and make it so it's more comforting."

Geoffroy reminds her teammates that she's not perfect and makes mistakes from time to time.

"If I give them examples or tell them something during plays on the ice that can benefit us as a team or them, that will make life easier," Geoffroy said. "I will say, 'I am still not the best at it, but I recommend doing this.'"

Laberge, who stepped into the head coaching role this season after being an assistant to Dumont the past few years, said he was happy to have Geoffroy and Marcoux acting as coaches on the ice during practice as they started the season with no assistant coaches, until Scott Cloutier started filling the role recently.

"Especially since Scott just came on board this week, so I was out there by myself," Laberge said. "Those leaders, not only the stuff off the ice, but on the ice. Doing a lot of the drills in the past, they were able to put the girls in the right position and explain the drills to them on the side. I'd see them in the corner giving pointers and stuff like that to the newer players."

On the ice, Geoffroy and Marcoux are catalysts for Lewiston's offensive production, as Marcoux has 10 points, which is tied with Desjardins for the team lead. Both have seven goals and three assists. Geoffroy has five points (three goals and two assists) in seven games played. For what could be considered a rebuilding year, the Blue Devils are doing pretty well so far with a 6-2 record.

Marcoux nearly has matched her offensive output from a season ago, when she had 13 points (five goals and eight assists). Geoffroy had six points (two goals and four assists).

Marcoux made her presence felt the week of Christmas, scoring game-winning tallies against rivals Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland and St. Dom's/Winthrop/Monmouth.

"Alyssa has been in the right place at the right time to get a couple of big goals," Laberge said.

The Blue Devils lost a majority of their offensive production from last year — 94 goals, to be exact. Marcoux is just trying to do her part of replacing the likes of Leah Landry and Leah Dube.

Marcoux said she needs her teammates to produce offensively.

"Last year, we definitely lost a lot of skill throughout our whole team," Marcoux said. "This year, I have had larger shoes to fill for this team. I am glad to be able to help them to fill the role, but they also helped me in ways."

Meanwhile, Geoffroy is enjoying the power-play time she gets as last year's top defensemen, Lilly Gish and Charlotte Cloutier, both graduated.

"The power play is something I always loved to practice," Geoffroy said. "I love practicing power plays and that's one of my favorite things to do on the ice."

While they are relishing their new roles in their senior year trying to defend the state championship, the best friends hope to leave the program in a good place for the 2023-24 season.

"We are trying to grow the sport and program," Marcoux said. "We not only want to be a winning team this year, but we want to be a winning team in the years to come. If that means my role this year is to develop the girls to become better players in the upcoming years after I graduate, that's what I will do."