LEWISTON — He spoke of team. He spoke of a commitment to having fun. And he spoke of just about everything he could think of that didn’t involve playing hockey.
Ultimately, that approach to the game he loves — and the game he plays so well — is what endears Cam Poussard to so many other in the hockey community.
It’s also that approach that’s made him one of the best hockey players in Maine. Sunday, he earned the title as the state’s best senior player when the Maine Class A Coaches’ Association awarded the Lewiston goaltender the 15th annual Travis Roy Award in a ceremony at the Ramada Inn of Lewiston.
“Cam is a wonderful young man,” Lewiston coach Jamie Belleau said. “He epitomizes the kind of hockey player, the type of student-athlete you want to have on any hockey program, and we’re lucky to have him, as well as 10 other seniors on our team that really set a great example for our community and our school.”
In addition to his sparkling statistics — a goals-against average better than 0.75, a save percentage around .960 and 55 career wins and 27 career shutouts — Poussard is in the top five of his graduating class.
But one moment Sunday spoke volumes.
Already named the Travis Roy Award winner, Poussard sat with the other three finalists — Alex Parker of St. Dom’s, Nick Gagne of Biddeford and Sam Canales of Thornton — as Belleau presented Thornton with a trophy symbolic of winning the Class A state title. He stood to applaud, but had nowhere to rest his trophy. Instead, he grasped the award with his left hand against his midsection, and extended his right hand toward Parker. The St. Dom’s forward used his left hand to help Poussard applaud the Trojans’ efforts.
“We’re all friends up there as it is,” Poussard said. “Had it gone to him, we were all clapping for each other, we’re all buds. It just goes to show how tight-knit the hockey community is, how everyone is just friends. It’s just a good environment to play hockey in.”
With his gaudy statistics, it was easy for many to verbally anoint him as a front-runner. But Poussard never saw it that way.
“That’s not what I was thinking,” Poussard said. “The entire time, I’m thinking, I’m going up against the best of the best in the state, and they could have won this just as easily as I did. I commend them on what they’ve done for their teams this season. They deserve to win as well, I wish they could have given awards to everyone.”
Poussard becomes the first Lewiston player to win the prestigious award in its history. First awarded in 1996, the award is named for Travis Roy, a former North Yarmouth Academy star who went on to play at Boston University. Eleven seconds into his first shift as a freshman at BU, Roy fell awkwardly into the boards and was paralyzed from the neck down. He has regained some mobility in his arm, and remains active as a catalyst for spinal cord injury research as well as a motivational speaker.
The fact that he was the first player from Lewiston to earn the award was not lost on Poussard.
“One of my goals has always been to win a state championship with Lewiston,” Poussard said. “Lewiston’s won many state championships in the past, but never have we had a Travis Roy Award winner. I think the program respects that. Although we didn’t get done what we wanted to at the state game this year, I think getting the Travis Roy, it’s a big thing, not just for me, but for the program as well.”
“If you think about all of the good hockey players who have come through Lewiston over the years, I think it’s real special for Cam to be the first one to win this award,” Belleau said. “It’s certainly well-deserved.”
Poussard joined several teammates and several other area athletes on the annual list of all-state players, also released Sunday. Poussard, Sam Cloutier, Ben Wigant, Colt Steele, Cody Dussault and Scott Ouellette, all of Lewiston, Parker, Will Desmarais and Dakota Keene of St. Dom’s, Kolby Arnold of Poland/Gray-New Gloucester and Dylan Nadeau of Edward Little were all named to the Eastern Class A first team. Spender Martin, Nate Bergeron, Austin Christopher and Cody Rodrigue of St. Dom’s, Matt Therrien of Lewiston, Cody Russell and Rich Belanger of Edward Little, Connor Lacasse of Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop and Sam Meyer of Poland/Gray-New Gloucester were all named to the Eastern Class A second team.
Poland/Gray-New Gloucester earned the team sportsmanship award, and Andy Dube of Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop earned the Bob Boucher Award for Eastern Class A as the coach of the year.
Copyright (c) 2011, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine
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