2012-12-21 / Sports Spotlight

Sports Spotlight

Defenseman has Storm focused on goal
By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

Junior Brenna Kent has played an important part in the defensive efforts of the Scarborough High School girls’ hockey team. Through Scarborough’s first six games, the team has only allowed one goal. (Michael Kelley photo) Junior Brenna Kent has played an important part in the defensive efforts of the Scarborough High School girls’ hockey team. Through Scarborough’s first six games, the team has only allowed one goal. (Michael Kelley photo) The Scarborough girls’ hockey team has one goal this season: to get through the semifinal round of the Class A playoffs. For the last three years the team has failed to get through that round of the playoffs. In 2011, Scarborough lost 2-1 to York High School and in 2010, the top-ranked Red Storm lost to Biddeford 2-1.

Head coach Caitlin Cashman said the team is determined to break that streak.

“They are hungry this year. I’ve never seen them so hungry,” said Cashman, who played hockey at the University of Southern Maine and has been coaching in Scarborough for four years. “They know they can do it. They have a certain confidence this year.”

One of the players that has emerged to lead that effort is junior defenseman Brenna Kent. Kent, who has been playing hockey close to her entire life, said the goal is to “keep getting stronger everyday.”

“Our big goal is to make it to the state final and win. As of right now we are still developing and getting to know each other,” Kent said before a Dec. 11 practice at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland.

So far it looks like Scarborough is the team to beat this year. During the first six games of the season — all wins — Scarborough (6-0) has outscored its opponents 33-1. It is something that would not be possible without strong defense from Kent and junior goalie Devan Kane, who has not let up a goal as of Wednesday, Dec. 19. Scarborough was scheduled to play a team made up of players from Portland and Deering (1-5-1) Thursday, Dec. 20

“I like defense. I have a defensive mind and outlook to the game,” Kent said. “Devan, she’s a great goalie. I hate to get beat and let her down. Sometimes it is not about scoring goals, it is about keeping goals from getting scored on us.”

Once Kent started playing hockey she was immediately drawn into the sport.

“I’ve been playing since I was 5 or 6. My dad got me into it because he played for Plymouth State. I have a brother and a sister, and he had us skating almost as soon as we could walk,” Kent said.

“It is a really competitive sport. I love being competitive,” she added “Everyone that plays hockey shares that passion for the game.”

Cashman said Kent is a good role model for her teammates because of the way she carries herself on and the ice.

“She has a great work ethic. She is really receptive to what a coach is saying. She is a pretty sound defender and knows her position well,” Cashman said.

Hockey, however, is just one of the things that keeps Kent busy. She is a member of the varsity softball team, president-elect of the student council, a member of the United Nations Club and a recent inductee into the National Honor Society. Kent also plays in the school band and works at Mr. Bagel.

Because of this busy schedule, Cashman said Kent is a role model off the ice as well.

“Brenna’s enthusiasm and work ethic motivates her teammates,” Cashman said. “She challenges herself and others to become a better hockey player and student. She may be a busy teen but she gives 100 percent into everything she does and does it with a smile on her face.”

The team is scheduled to face Greely High School, the defending Class A champion Saturday, Dec. 22 at 12:30 p.m. at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

“They are definitely a really strong team. I hope we can pull through and beat them,” Kent said.

Beating a tough opponent, however, is but one of the challenges Scarborough faces.

Another challenge for the team is finding ice time to practice and play games. Over the course of an 18-game schedule, the team has home games at the Cumberland County Civic Center, University of Southern Maine Ice Arena in Gorham and Maine Hockey Group Ice Centre in Saco.

Kent said finding ice time for all the league’s teams has gotten better in recent years.

“We can’t complain. We only had ice two or three days a week a couple years ago. As long as we get ice time, we can’t really be complaining,” Kent said.

Since ice surface varies at each ice rink, Cashman said the lack of a home arena helps the girls get used to playing in a wide variety of ice rinks.

“It is definitely difficult. You just have to meet every challenge. I tell my players it is a challenge that is going to make you better as a team,” she said.

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