February 10, 2012

High School Journal: Thornton Academy crushing the competition

By Ed Flaherty

For those not paying attention, the Thornton Academy boys hockey team isn’t resting on its laurels as Maine’s Class A champion. 

The Trojans took on two of the state’s top teams in their most recent contests and turned in a pair of dominating performances.

First, Thornton of Saco – currently ranked No. 1 in Western Maine – took on the current No. 1 from the West, Bangor High School. Thornton entered the contest with a 10-1-1 record, while Bangor was 10-2.

The Trojans scored four times late in the first period and added three more tallies in the second for a convincing 7-0 victory over their visitors from the north.

Robert Downing had a hat trick to lead Thornton Academy, while Greg Lodge (two), Tyler Danley and Alex Lambert also scored. Goaltender Joe Ferrante recorded the shutout for the Trojans.

Thornton Academy followed that win with another strong showing, this time against a top Western Maine contender.

Facing a Marshwood/Traip team that has been at or near the top of the Western Maine standings all season, Thornton Academy dominated once again with an 8-1 win.

Andrew Carignan had four goals for Thornton Academy, C.J. Maksut scored twice and Bryan Dallaire added a goal.

The one-sided wins were nothing new for Thornton Academy, which is 9-0-1 in its last 10 games. In those contests the Trojans have outscored their competition 75-12.

The lone team to have any success against the Trojans this season is Falmouth, which has a win and a tie against Thornton Academy.


After starting the season with two straight losses and losing three of its first four games, the Darien boys have rolled off 10 consecutive victories to make a steady climb up the Division 1 ladder.

Darien earned its 10th straight win on Feb. 8 with an 8-0 victory against Trumbull.

In those 10 straight wins, Darien has outscored its competition 50-8 while posting five shutouts.

Junior Brendan Hathaway leads Darien with 14 goals and seven assists for 21 points, while four other Blue Wave players have 15 points apiece: senior Nick Bruno (five goals, 10 assists), junior Trent Bergin (seven goals, eight assists), senior George Gregory (five goals, 10 assists) and junior Jack Knowlton (eight goals, seven assists).

Senior Max Rothston has seen the majority of time in net for Darien, posting a 1.77 goals-against average.

Darien will face a tough test in trying to keep its winning streak alive when the Blue Wave faces 14-1 Ridgefield on Saturday night.


The Maine girls playoffs have begun, with two quarterfinal-round games played on Wednesday.

With 10 teams in the tournament, six teams earned first-round byes while four teams played quarterfinal contests.

In the Western quarterfinals, Portland/Deering eliminated Cheverus, 6-2. Kylie Dalbec had two goals and two assists for Portland/Deering, while Raechel Allen added two goals.

Portland/Deering, the No. 4 seed, will now face top-seeded Falmouth in the semifinals. The other Western semifinal will feature No. 2 York vs. No. 3 Scarborough.

In Eastern Maine, No. 5 Yarmouth/Freeport defeated No. 4 Lewiston, 2-0. Freshmen Emily Johnson and Michelle Robichaud scored for Yarmouth/Freeport, while freshman goaltender Hannah Williams earned the shutout.

Yarmouth/Freeport will face No. 1 Brunswick in one Eastern semifinal, with No. 2 Greely facing No. 3 Leavitt/Edward Little in the other semifinal.


The Cambridge Rindge and Latin boys have to forfeit four victories because of the use of an ineligible player.

A waiver of the so-called five-year rule was not filed in a timely manner, due to illness and hospitalization of Maryann Cappello, the director of athletics for Cambridge Public Schools.

The five-year rule states that a student’s eligibility expires four years after graduating from the eighth grade.

The player appeared in four Cambridge Rindge and Latin victories, requiring the team to forfeit those wins.

The school reportedly appealed the decision of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, but the appeal was denied. …

The Wilmington boys will hold a breast cancer fundraiser at their game against Melrose on Saturday. The game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Ristuccia Arena. Proceeds from the game will benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

New Hampshire

The Pinkerton Academy boys had their seven-game winning streak snapped by Trinity High School on Jan. 28, but the Astros have rebounded with three straight wins to improve to 12-2 in Division 1.

Pinkerton holds a one-game advantage over Manchester Memorial (11-3) in the Div. 1 standings.

Following a Feb. 15 game against Exeter, Pinkerton will face Memorial on Feb. 18 in a game that will go a long way to deciding the top seed in Div. 1.

Rhode Island

The Warwick/Pilgrim/Toll Gate cooperative girls recently set a new school record with their seventh win of the season.

Warwick surpassed the previous high-water victory mark of six set in 2006, the program’s first year.

At 7-5-1, Warwick is currently sitting in second place in the DeCosta Division, trailing Barrington/Mount Hope/Portsmouth.

Emily Fox is Warwick’s leading scorer with 18 goals and 14 assists for 32 points. Freshman Abby Ellis is second on the team in scoring with nine goals and eight assists for 17 points.


The Essex High School boys kept their unbeaten streak alive with a hard-fought 5-3 win over Colchester on Wednesday night.

Essex improved to 13-0-1 on the season, while Colchester dropped to 9-5-1.

Colchester threw a scare into the Yellowjackets, holding a 2-1 lead in the third period.

Essex took care of business, however, as Lucas Martin scored a pair of third-period goals as the Yellowjackets pulled away. Pat Abbott and Steve Morse also scored in the third for Essex.

J.T. Begnoche had the other Essex goal, while Pat Campbell stopped 25 shots in goal for the Yellowjackets.

Game of the Week

Vermont’s top two teams will meet on Saturday at 3 p.m. when Essex puts its unbeaten record on the line against South Burlington, which has now won 14 straight games.

Essex stands at 13-0-1 entering Saturday’s game, while South Burlington is now 14-1.

New England high school power rankings


1. Fairfield Prep (13-2)

2. Ridgefield (14-1)

3. East Haven (11-2-2)

4. Notre Dame West Haven (12-3-1)

5. Glastonbury (11-3)

6. Darien 11-3

7. Newington/Berlin (12-2)

8. Trumbull (10-5)

9. Guilford (9-3-1)

10.West Haven (9-5)


1. Thornton Academy (12-1-1)

2. Scarborough (10-2-1)

3. Brewer (14-1)

4. Bangor (11-3)

5. Messalonskee (13-2)

6. Lewiston (10-3-1)

7. Marshwood/Traip (11-4)

8. St. Dominic (9-5)

9. Greely (9-3-2)

10. Cape Elizabeth (9-3-2)


1. Malden Catholic (11-1-3)

2. St. Mary’s Lynn (15-1-2)

3. Hingham (13-2-1)

4. Needham (14-3)

5. Burlington (10-1-3)

6. Woburn (10-3-3)

7. Westford Academy (10-3-3)

8. BC High (9-4-3)

9. Franklin (13-1-1)

10. Marshfield (14-2-1)

New Hampshire

1. Pinkerton (12-2)

2. Memorial (11-3)

3. Merrimack (10-3)

4. Bedford  (10-3)

5. Alvirne (12-0)

6. Kennett (11-0)

7. St. Thomas (7-5-1)

8. Bishop Brady (7-5-2)

9. Pelham/Windham (9-3)

10. Hollis/Brookline (9-4)

Rhode Island

1. Hendricken (12-1-1)

2. La Salle (8-4-1)

3. Johnston/North Providence (11-1)

4. Coventry (10-1)

5. Cumberland (10-3-1)

6. Prout (11-2-2)

7. Pilgrim (9-2-1)

8. Middletown (9-3-2)

9. Burrillville (9-5)

10. Mount St. Charles (8-5)


1. Essex (13-0-1)

2. South Burlington (14-1)

3. BFA St. Albans (13-2)

4. U-32 (10-1-2)

5. Burr and Burton (10-3-3)

6. Northfield (14-2)

7. Stowe (11-4-1)

8. Colchester (9-5-1)

9. St. Johnsbury (10-6)

10. Missiquoi (9-6)

Ed Flaherty can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com.