BANGOR, Maine — The numbers speak for themselves. Parker Sanderson, Jordan Tracy and Zach Papsadora make up one of the state’s highest-scoring high school hockey lines.
In leading the Bangor High School Rams to a 6-1 start and the top spot in the Eastern Maine Class A Heal Points standings, they have combined for 27 goals and 28 assists.
Bangor has scored 44 goals, so the line has accounted for 61.4 percent of the team’s goals.
Senior left wing Sanderson leads all of the state’s Class A scorers with 25 points on 11 goals and 14 assists. Sophomore right wing Tracy has 20 points on 11 goals and nine assists and is the fifth-leading scorer and senior Papsadora has five goals and five assists for 10 points.
“They’re all talented, they all have quick hands and they all have hard shots,” said Brewer High senior defenseman and tri-captain Jake Caron, whose Witches dropped a 6-3 decision to Bangor. “They encompass everything you want in an offensive line. They don’t lack in any department.”
“Without a doubt, that’s the best line we’ve seen all year,” said Presque Isle coach Carl Flynn, whose team suffered a 15-4 setback to the Rams. “Our top line can skate with anyone’s top line but not with them.”
“They’ll tic-tac-toe [pass] when they get to your blue line and make four or five more passes before they get to the hash marks,” added Flynn. “And they have so much speed. Sanderson is lightning fast, has good hands and knows how to finish. Papsadora works hard for his goals and is unselfish with the puck. He’s a good passer. Tracy has a nose for the net and he’s unselfish as well.”
Sanderson, Papsadora and Tracy have a healthy chemistry and familiarity with each other that has paid dividends.
“We know each other’s strengths,” said Sanderson. “I know [Papsadora] is always going to be in the high slot and Jordan’s going to be behind the net scrapping for the puck. I just roam wherever.”
“We work well together,” said Tracy.
“We’re real good at finding each other in the slot,” said Papsadora.
“They read each other really well,” said Bangor junior defenseman Cam Dickson. “They all have a sense of where everyone is on the ice. They have [good] instincts and are able to pass the puck around.”
Dickson also said they give the other lines good ideas.
“The other lines will see what works for them and they’ll say, ‘maybe we can try it,’” explained Dickson.
Dickson also noted that going up against such a high-powered line in practice is a good challenge for their defensive corps and goalies and will help them improve.
Papsadora said they were put together during the preseason and there was instant success.
“We were on fire,” said Papsadora. “We can make tape-to-tape passes all the way down the ice.”
“We’ve been clicking ever since [they put us together],” agreed Sanderson.
Papsadora and Sanderson played on a line together several years ago.
“We were in eighth grade and played on a line with the Maine Freeze. We played a lot together, actually,” said Sanderson.
And Papsadora and Tracy were linemates for a portion of last season.
Bangor senior center Carl Farnham said they play their roles effectively.
“Jordan is the grinder. He goes into the corners and he gets the job done in front of the net,” said Farnham. “Papsadora is a passer and he also has the best shot in the state. He finds a way to get the puck to Parker, and Parker puts the puck in the net. Parker is the scorer. He makes it look easy. [Papsadora] is our best backchecker. He’s one of the fastest kids on the team and he gets back. He’s a great defensive player.”
Farnham also said their personalities mesh well.
“They’re all a little goofy in their own way,” said Farnham.
“We have a blast together. We’re always joking and smiling in practice. It’s great,” said Sanderson.
“It’s awesome. I love it. High school hockey is all about having fun and that’s what we’re doing,” said Papsadora.
Bangor coach Quinn Paradis uses them in all situations. They’re on the power play and they are also used as penalty-killers.
“A couple of them have shorthanded goals. They’re all great hockey players. And they’re unselfish,” said Paradis.
That line and the rest of the Rams will look to bounce back from their only loss, 3-2 to Class A West power Falmouth, against defending two-time Class A state champ Thornton Academy of Saco on Saturday at 5:20 p.m at Bangor’s Sawyer Arena.
“It was a good loss, not a devastating loss,” said Sanderson. “We realized we have to be more focused. Their defense did a phenomenal job pushing us to the outside and limiting our number of shots (12).”
“We’ve got to learn from it and move forward,” said Papsadora.