ROCKPORT, Maine — Fifth-year Camden Hills High School hockey coach Karl Enroth entered this season expecting his team to be able to put the puck in the net.
He was right.
The Windjammers have scored 24 goals en route to a 3-0 start that included a 13-6 triumph over Lawrence of Fairfield.
“They’re very good,” said Hampden Academy coach Bill Schwarz, whose Broncos dropped a 6-2 decision to Camden Hills. “They’ve got two or three highly skilled kids who can dangle the puck. Their coach does a good job with them. They’re really aggressive on the forecheck. Their top line is very good.”
Their top line is composed of two junior, all-conference players in center Grayson Szumilas and left wing Jack Orne.
Szumilas was an All-Western Maine Class B second-team selection a year ago when he notched 16 goals and 14 assists. Orne was a third-teamer thanks to his 15 goals and 11 assists.
They have picked up where they left off. Orne already has six goals and seven assists and Szumilas has 5 and 5.
Sophomore Simon Lydon is the right wing on that line and is coming off a freshman season in which he had three goals and three assists.
“Simon is a solid player who gets in on the forecheck and does a lot of dirty work for those guys,” said Enroth.
They also have some players capable of providing supplemental scoring led by senior center Steve Hand.
Hand centers the second line and is off to a fast start with five goals and two assists. He had 8 and 5 a year ago.
James Annis, a sophomore speedster who “chases down puck” according to Enroth, is the right wing with either Chase Matteo or Jonah Cameron on the left side. Matteo and Cameron are freshmen and whoever doesn’t play on that line will play on the all-freshman third line with Austin Gallant and Nick Czuchra.
Enroth also uses a fourth line from time to time and that is made up of freshmen Riley Andrews and Gunnar Hilt along with junior Sean Beacham.
Enroth has a mix of experience and youth on defense.
Senior Cal Robbins headlines the defense corps after splitting time between defense and forward last season.
“He has looked really good. He’s a good skater with good shots. He can rush the puck and he also plays solid defense,” said Enroth.
Robbins, who had 3 and 4 a year ago, also quarterbacks the power play.
Junior Parker Lawson (2 and 3 last year) is a strong, physical defenseman who can move the puck, according to Enroth.
Senior Evan Neilson is another solid defenseman who played youth hockey in the area before moving away for “three or four years.” He returned this season and has played well.
“He’s getting better and better every day,” said Enroth.
Junior Nick Bennett, who is recovering from a shoulder injury, and freshmen Matt Prescott and Nick Tassoni will also see minutes on the blue line.
The Windjammers had an All-Western Maine Class B second-team goalie in Aaron Daniello last season but Daniello left to play Junior hockey. Daniello would have been a junior.
That leaves the goaltending in the hands of freshmen Jet Magri and Zach Hand, Steve’s brother.
Magri is 6-foot-1 while Hand is 5-2, according to Enroth.
“Jet eats up more net and is good at controlling rebounds while Zach is more of a butterfly-type goalie with a good glove,” said Enroth. “They’ve both played a lot of youth hockey. So far, so good.”
Enroth has stressed backchecking and the defensive aspect of the game to help out his young goalies.
“I’ll continue to emphasize that we have to play two-way hockey. It’s not all about offense,” said Enroth, whose Camden Hills teams have made the playoffs twice in four years and went 10-7-1 a year ago before losing to Yarmouth 7-6 in the quarterfinals.
They avenged that loss earlier this season 5-2.
In addition to Daniello, four other players who could have returned didn’t.
They include 13-point scorers Jamey Zanca, an All-WM Class B Rookie team choice on defense, and forward Jordan Tyler, both of whom are playing at prep schools.
Zanca is playing on the Stanstead College (Quebec) JV team while Tyler is at Hebron Academy.
In addition to goal scoring, Enroth feels his team’s speed is another strength.
“We like to get after the puck and apply pressure,” said Enroth, who has just three seniors.
His primary concern is “the defensive end. But we’ve been good so far. We’ve played good team defense.”
Enroth feels defending state Class B champ Greely of Cumberland Center is the team to beat in WM Class B.
“They’re the cream of the crop,” said Enroth. “They’ve got a lot of players back. York, Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth will all be up there and Gardiner could be tough. It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out.
“Our goal is to make the playoffs and make a run in the playoffs,” said Enroth.