Hockey season update

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 10:45 AM EST
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The High School hockey season is underway. Houlton-Hodgdon opens the season this weekend and the Presque Isle Wildcats will play their first game next weekend. Presque Isle Athletic Administrator Mark White is on the Maine Principals Association Hockey Committee and he talks about some of the changes this year.

(Mark White):” The games are now rather than 3 15 minute periods they are two 23 minute halves. What we are trying to do is that within an hour and a half we can play and maybe even leave time for overtime if it is necessary.”

White says like all sports no spectators are being allowed and to meet the 50 person limit there will be few people working at the game.

White:” We are not having goal judges anymore. All you will see for staff member is myself and Mrs. Ackerson possibly. The two people who work the scorer’s table and the officials. It is going to be different, but we do have streaming and those streaming outlets will be announced.”

Carl Flynn is the Wildcats veteran hockey coach. He says that things will be very different this year.

(Carl Flynn):” We are not vying for a state championship this year. There isn’t a regional championship. We are trying to get the kids some experience, some ice, some exercise and trying to get them back into the routine that they need and love and yearn for.”

Rinks in the Bangor area are also limiting the number of coaches and players on each team. They are only allowed a total of 18 people including coaches.

Flynn:” We are going to have a shorter bench and playing two 23 minute halves as opposed to three 15 minute periods creates a lot of fatigue late in the period. We saw it last night Hampden playing Bangor they gave up four goals all in the last three minutes of each half. If you can play three lines or play a full bench you are going to have more gas in the tank at the end of those long periods.”

Conditioning could be a problem for the Wildcats who just started on ice work last week, but as always the Wildcats will work very hard when they are on the ice. He says the players have great attitudes as they prepare for the season.

Flynn:” The kids have been wonderful. They have been happy there’s been no bickering or fighting. They have been compliant with wearing their masks. They have been trying to socially distance. They are doing everything we have asked of them. They are doing whatever it takes to be able to play.”

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