BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor High School hockey team has been extremely stingy so far this season. The result has been a 4-0 start, including a rare 5-1 victory over Falmouth.
“We haven’t beaten them in three years,” said Bangor senior center Nick Boudreau, an All-Northern Maine Class A first-team selection last season.
The Rams have allowed two goals thus far as senior goalie Jacob Henry, a Class A North second-team all-star, has posted an 0.55 goals-against average and a .968 save percentage.
Henry is quick to credit his teammates for his success.
“Everybody has been really hustling to the puck. There has always been five solid players in front of me and that has helped a lot,” Henry said.
Senior defenseman Zach Cowperthwaite said Henry has been a key component in their start.
Cowperthwaite said it is reassuring knowing, “you have a goalie who is going to save you once in a while.”
Sixth-year head coach Quinn Paradis said his team is experienced and understands Bangor’s style of play.
“We have a hard-working group that makes teams go 200 feet with the puck. We have been holding teams to 15 shots on goal or less. It’s a lunch-pail group that goes to work for 45 minutes,” he said.
The offense has been led by the high-powered line of Boudreau between junior David Brown and senior Reid Higgs. The trio has combined for 13 of Bangor’s 20 goals.
Brown has registered six goals and two assists, Boudreau has posted five goals and five assists, and Higgs has netted two goals with three assists.
“We started playing together our sophomore year in club hockey,” explained Boudreau, who had 15 goals and 10 assists last winter. “Then they put us together on the high school team last year and we just took off.”
“I’m glad I don’t have to play defense against them every game,” Cowperthwaite added.
The second line features junior Ben Brook (1 assist) between seniors Josh Sherwood (2 & 1) and Hunter Neale (1 & 0).
Sherwood played club soccer for the first half of last season before returning to the hockey program for the second half.
“He helps us in the speed category and on the offensive side,” Boudreau said.
The third line is composed of junior Sean Hyatt between senior Garrett Henderson and freshman Daniel McCarthy, son of former Bangor High standout and University of Vermont player Joey McCarthy.
Freshman Cooper Ireland has scored two goals.
Cowperthwaite (2 & 5) anchors a veteran defense corps along with his partner, junior Zach Burpee (0 & 1). Junior Jacob Munroe (0 & 1) is with junior Anthony Caccese and junior Drew Dorr (0 & 1) has been on a tandem with freshman Morgan Rochefort.
Freshman Jake Hirsch, son of former University of Maine goalie and Orono High School hockey coach Greg Hirsch, is the other goaltender.
Another important factor in Bangor’s success has been its discipline as Paradis said it is taking fewer penalties.
“We took a lot of penalties last year and it ended up hurting us,” Cowperthwaite said. “This year, we’ve been trying to stay out of the box, we’ve skated away from bad stuff.”
The Rams, who also have beaten Saint Dominic of Auburn (3-0) and Class B teams Hampden Academy (6-0) and Brewer (5-1), said the team chemistry has been another positive.
“We have a group of guys in the locker room who really gel,” Boudreau said.
The Rams, who finished 12-8 last season, know the quest for the program’s first Class A North championship goes through division rival Lewiston, the three-time defending state champion.
Lewiston eliminated the Rams 5-2 in the Class A North semifinals a year ago, the fourth straight season the Blue Devils had knocked Bangor out of the playoffs in either the semifinals or the final.
“We aren’t looking too far ahead,” Cowperthwaite said. “We’re just going to keep working.”
“The sky is the limit as long as we keep picking each other up,” Boudreau said. “We can’t get down on ourselves if something goes wrong.”