The Midcoast Ice Cats, a cooperative high school coed ice hockey team, experienced a solid 2018-19 campaign and was involved in a bounty of topnotch rink action with players who represented Knox, Waldo and Lincoln counties.

Led by coach Phil Bellows, the 'Cats skated to a 9-3 record and enjoyed a stellar season on the ice, despite having only 12 skaters and one goalie.

The team, which faced off against mostly junior varsity opponents, played its home games at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport.

The Ice Cats this year included players from Belfast Area High School, Searsport District High School, Oceanside High School of Rockland, Camden Hills Regional High School of Rockport, Medomak Valley High School of Waldoboro and Lincoln Academy of Newcastle.

The team was comprised of Oceanside’s Maguire LeBlanc, Jeret Winchenbach, Caleb Powell, Jakob Johnson, Jameson Bell, Camden Powell and Kestin Guinn; Camden Hills’ Bryce Carlson; Belfast’s Vincent Bonarrigo; Searsport’s Andrew Donald; Medomak Valley’s Zack Benner and Lincoln Academy’s Alton Coolidge and Connor Betts.

“All things considered I feel that we played well this season and I definitely feel like we exceeded expectations,” said Bellows. ‘But there will always be areas where we can improve upon.”

Bellows said some of those areas were defensive zone positioning, a more effective forecheck and power play and overall movement of the puck.

LeBlanc led the team in total points with 23 (14 goals, 9 assists), while Johnson had 22 (18 goals, 4 assists) and Bonarrigo 19 (9 goals, 10 assists).

Others who chalked up points were Caleb Powell (6 goals, 2 assists), Camden Powell (3 goals, 3 assists), Carlson (3 goals, 2 assists), Benner (goal, 3 assists), Winchenbach (2 assists), Betts (goal) and Coolidge (assist).

In net, Donald started all 12 games and made 200 saves on 235 attempts (2.857 goals-against average), with two shutouts.

The Ice Cats’ season was highlighted by a midseason five-game win streak with victories over Camden Hills of Rockport, Gardiner, Poland, Cony of Augusta and Brewer.

Among those five wins was what Bellows called the team’s most important of the season, a 4-3 triumph over Gardiner on Jan. 15 at MRC.

The Ice Cats had lost to the host Tigers 5-0 earlier in the season.

“By the time our second game with them started, we were a bit more prepared and ready to go,” he said. “Both teams played a very physical game and it was close throughout the entire game. Our whole team played very well, both our seniors [LeBlanc and Carlson] tallied a goal each and we ended up winning by a final score of 4-3. Needless to say, our team gained a lot of confidence through that win.”

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