Wednesday, March 12, 2014
MORNING SENTINEL HOCKEY PLAYER OF THE YEAR
He led the team in goals, but that's not what made Nick DeBlois so valuable to the Waterville Senior High School hockey team this season. "He was our most consistent player," Waterville coach Dennis Martin said. "And he did everything for us."
TIRELESS WORKER: Nick DeBlois played a big role on Waterville’s special teams, took all the faceoffs, ignited the forecheck and scored a team-high 15 goals for a team that made the Class B championship game.
Kennebec Journal/ Morning Sentinel Hockey All-Stars
F —Nick DeBlois, Waterville
F —Josh Gaudette, Waterville
F —Todd Brow, Winslow
D —Matt Lee, Waterville
D —Travis St. Pierre, Messalonskee
G —Jesse Little, Winslow
F — Sam Dexter, Messalonskee
F — Devan Belanger, Lawrence
F — Erik Ogren, MHW
D — Forrest Chadwick, Gardiner
D — David Cook, Waterville
G — Nate DelGiudice, Messalonskee
Cony — F Brandon Clark, F Josh Zayac, D Derek Brotherton. Gardiner — D Jordan Caradonna, F Garret Benson, D Klayton Peckham. Kents Hill — F Tim Sullivan, D Matthew Provencher, F Bill Tobey, D Patrick Huard, G Austin Keiser, G Jake Cockrell. Lawrence — D Jeshua Dearborn, D Matt Woodbury, D J.J. Hutchinson. Messalonskee — F Cam Berard, F Chris DelGiudice. MHW — F Jared Bornstein, D Connor Lacasse, G Cody Patterson. Skowhegan — F Gradey Michonski, F Nate Powers, D Cam Harlow. Winslow boys — F Justin Bouchard, D Charlie Kriegel, D Dalton Thompson. Winslow girls — G Kristen Loubier, D Sarah Fowler, F Emily Caron, F Paige Thomas. Waterville — G Ryan Cormier, F Kyle Bishop, F Tim Locke, D Aaron Saucier, F Katy Massey.
DeBlois was instrumental on special teams. He took all the faceoffs. He ignited a tireless forecheck. And he also scored a team-high 15 goals.
For his accomplishments this season, DeBlois has been named the Morning Sentinel Hockey Player of the Year. Teammate Josh Gaudette and Winslow forward Todd Brow were also considered.
"I believe I brought intensity to the other players," said DeBlois, who shared the team lead in scoring (26 points) with Gaudette. "I hopefully brought a purpose to my game every time I went out there. I played with a lot of heart."
Added Martin: "Nick was relentless on both ends of the ice. He was just a relentless forechecker. He didn't lose faceoffs. He just always did his job. He took all of our key draws and he won most of them."
The Purple Panthers advanced to the Class A state title game for the second consecutive season. Waterville fell to Biddeford 3-0 in the championship game.
"I judge my success on my team's success," said DeBlois, a first-team All-State selection and a Travis Roy Award semifinalist. "We had a very strong season. We didn't accomplish our major goal, but we surprised many people. I just tried to lead by example."
DeBlois skated on a line with Tim Locke and JT Whitten. Locke said DeBlois made everyone better.
"He helped me out a lot," he said. "He told me where to go, what to do, and lead me in the right direction. He was the hardest working player on the team, too. If coach would let him, he'd go out there for five minutes straight every shift. Nick was awesome to play with. He always knew where to go. He was a great leader for us. He stepped up tremendously."
DeBlois last season settled into a more comfortable role of playmaker. With the Panthers loaded with goal scorers, including Eric Aldrich and Ian Rowe, DeBlois found it easy to set others up.
But his role changed this season. "My game is really assists, assists, assists," DeBlois said. "I don't think we had the depth we had last year. But we worked with what we had. For me, I knew I'd have to score some goals this year. Maybe I was a bit more shooter this year than a passer. I had to take advantage of the opportunities.
"I knew going into the season if I had a chance to shoot the puck I'd have to shoot the puck. I knew I had to create some opportunities for myself. I figured if me, and Josh (Gaudette) and Kyle (Bishop) could put up some big numbers we would have a good chance at reaching our main goal. We didn't put up huge numbers but we got the job done."
DeBlois saved his best game for his last -- the Class A state championship game against Biddeford.
Although the Panthers were held scoreless, DeBlois generated numerous scoring chances and his relentless play drew praise from the Tigers after the game.
"We leaned on him," Martin said. "If there was a crucial situation, Nicky was in it. He was just relentless and was just a solid hockey player. He just did all the little things for us."
Bill Stewart -- 623-3811, ext. 515