January 10, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS HOCKEY: Waterville will drop to Class B

By Bill Stewart bstewart@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

There could be plenty of changes to high school hockey in the coming months as several programs ponder a shift in Class.

One already made up its mind: Waterville.

The Purple Panthers, a traditional Class A hockey power, will drop to Class B next season because of shrinking numbers in the program.

"It's tough but we have to do what's best for the program," Waterville coach Dennis Martin said.

Martin said he had mixed feelings about the move, which the school board approved at its meeting Monday.

Waterville has won 20 Class A state championships, its most recent coming in 2009.

The Purple Panthers lost in the Class A state title game in 2010, but have struggled since. They finished 4-14-0 last season and entered Monday's game against Cony 2-5-0.

Furthermore, Waterville is struggling with numbers. The Panthers have been dressing as few as 14 players most games.

Martin said it's not going to get significantly better next season, making it increasingly harder to compete with the top teams in Eastern A, including Lewiston, St. Dominic and Bangor.

Bill Stewart -- 621-5640

bstewart@centralmaine.com

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