There is nothing better than making history, especially when it means your team also is the best in the state and has earned an opportunity to play for the New England championship.

That is the scenario for the Maine Coast Skaters Association Peewee Tier III ice hockey team as the talented group of youngsters finished the season unbeaten and became, over the weekend, the first MCSA youth hockey team to win a state crown.

The Storm defeated Casco Bay Orange 2-1 after overtime and a shootout Saturday afternoon in the Maine Amateur Hockey Association state championship game at the Kennebec Ice Arena.

Team members for MCSA Storm, which finished 19-0-2 during the regular season and 4-0-1 overall in the state tournament, include Joseph Bridges, Calvin Cameron, Nicholas Czuchra, William Davee, Austin Gallant, Zachary Hand, Nathan Hersom, Gunnar Hilt, Kieran Lydon, Patrick Madden, Chase Matteo, Rory McCaffery, Matthew Morse and Nick Tassoni. The team is coached by Steve Hand and assisted by Scott McCaffery, Darryl Czuchra and Ross Cameron.

The peewee hockey squad is comprised of 11- and 12-year-olds from Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville, Hope, Northport, Washington, Nobleboro and Thomaston.

The Storm faced its rivals in the state final Saturday.The two teams first game of the season ended in a 1-1 tie and then the Storm secured a 1-0 win, followed by a 2-1victory. “We all knew this would be a tough game and we expected nothing less. All the boys from both teams came to play in the game of their lives,” said Amy Hand.

With Saturday’s state title game scoreless, Casco Bay was able to push the puck past the Storm to grab a 1-0 lead in the third period. The Storm mounted pressure and tallied the equalizer as Tassoni put a shot in deep from point where Lydon managed to push the puck into the net. The third period ended with 1-1 tie.

Neither team scored in the exciting 10-minute, sudden death overtime period. “The multitude of fans were going crazy,” Amy Hand said. “The boys had a huge crowd of family and friends to cheer them on.”

Then the real pressure began with a shootout that consisted of five players from each team getting the opportunity to skate in and shoot on the opposing goalie. McCaffrey was first up for the locals and put the puck in the back of the net to put the Storm ahead.

Storm goalie Zach Hand then shut down four shooters from Casco Bay. Then Bridges, the MCSA’s fifth shooter, scored the deciding goal and the Storm became the Peewee Tier III state champions and will represent Maine in the New England Sectional Tournament Saturday, March 19 at the Lewiston Collisee.

This season, Zach Hand played between the pipes, while the offense was led by McCaffery, Lydon, Davee, Matteo, Morse, Hersom, Hilt, Gallant and Cameron and the defense spearheaded by Bridges, Nick Czuchra, Madden and Tassoni.

After finishing the regular season 19-0-2, MCSA went 3-0-1 in previous weekends during the playoffs with victories over the Huskies (5-2), the Gladiators (2-0) and the Maine Freeze (3-2), while salvaging a tie with Casco Bay Black (1-1) to advance.

It is the second time this group of youths have advanced to the state finals, with the same team advancing two years ago in the Squirt Division. The MEAHA has three divisions— Squirt, Peewee and Bantam.

The final regular-season standings for the Peewee Tier III League were: MCSA, 19-0-2 (40 points); Casco Bay Orange, 13-4-4 (30 points); Casco Bay Black, 12-6-3 (27 points); Hurricanes, 7-10-4 (18 points); Gladiators, 6-10-4 (17 points); Biddeford, 7-14 (14 points); Maine Freeze, 5-12-4 (14 points); and Huskies, 3-16-2 (8 points).

MCSA had the lowest goals-against average in the league (.90) and the third-best scoring average (3.19 goals).

Village NetMedia Regional Editor/Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at