To our readers,

The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-century type story, ... Click here to continue

High school ice hockey

Slap shot: Windjammers prepare to play intrasquad games

Pandemic puts interscholastic action on ice, for now, but Camden Hills hopeful outside competition in future
By Ken Waltz | Jan 10, 2021
Photo by: Ken Waltz Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. Windjammers Alex Kurzius, front, and Zak Higgins.

Rockport — Although the pandemic has seemingly put the Camden Hills Regional High School interscholastic hockey season on ice, the Windjammers have no plans to stay in the penalty box for an infraction they did not commit.

Thus, the Windjammers are back on home ice at the Midcoast Recreation Center rink, working daily to hone skills for the now — and future.

Camden Hills will not, at this point, play other schools due to COVID-19 restrictions. Schools can play regional schedules and Windjammer hockey opponents are situated outside their county geographical zone. Instead, the Windjammers will practice and also play intrasquad games on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Watch video and see 65 photos below.

“It was touch and go if we were going to have any start at all,” said Windjammer coach John Magri. “Even with that uncertainty we had 27 players sign-up for the CHRHS ice hockey program which is pretty robust. We have had two players leave the program, one before our first practice and another after two weeks of skills conditioning practices.  Both have said they will be spending time this winter skiing.”

Magri said his squad, annually in the mix to challenge for regional supremacy in Class B North, previously spent a few weeks on the ice for conditioning and individual skill drills.

Beginning on Monday, Jan. 4 full-team practices, with competitive play, were allowed, and on Monday, Jan. 11  games against regional opponents will be allowed.

Regional is defined as within county or adjacent counties. Magri said most Maine high school ice hockey teams are in Kennebec, Penobscot, Cumberland and Androscoggin counties and Knox County, in which Camden Hills sits, is not adjacent to any of them so the Windjammers do not have their usual opponents.

"I can’t say I am confident that this will come to fruition, but the players are staying elevated with the hopes that Maine will improve to Phase V in February, which allows games anywhere within Maine or the possibility that the [Maine Principals' Association] will conduct a playoff series in March," the coach said.

Magri added, "Until such time the high school has supported the team with practice ice and game ice inclusive of officials so we will be playing intrasquad games in full uniforms on many of the Wednesday and Saturday evenings in January and February, unless the opportunity opens up for us to use this ice for a competitive game against another high school."

Magri said he has been impressed with the buy-in of student-athletes who have no guarantees of games against outside foes.

"All in all, with no promises for games the players have been completely engaged, enthusiastic and extremely dedicated in growing their game through hard work at practice," he said. "We are all looking forward to our first intrasquad games this Wednesday [Jan. 13] and Saturday [Jan. 16] assuming our [athletic director] can lock in on officials as due to COVID-19 and the pre-COVID shortage of ice hockey officials in the state of Maine, officials are in high demand and short supply."

Magri said he and others also are doing what they can to help student-athletes who might have played with the Midcoast Ice Cats, a cooperative ice hockey team that often saw teenagers from Oceanside of Rockland, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, Camden Hills, Belfast and Mount View of Thorndike, among other schools, combine to play a mostly junior varsity schedule.

"We are also working on a way to safely involve in our intrasquad games the current Ice Cat players that have found themselves without a hockey home, but that is a work in progress," he said.

Magri said the Camden Hills program has seven talented freshmen to combine with more seasoned player and "we are looking forward to a rewarding winter on the ice and a positive journey towards success in the coming years."

Camden Hills ice hockey practice
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Video by: Ken Waltz and Zack Miller)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey practice on Jan. 8 at Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at knox.villagesoup.com/join.
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at knox.villagesoup.com/donate.
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.
Note: If you signed up using our new subscriber portal, your username is the email address you registered with and your password is in all caps