Bangor High School’s Quinn Paradis said he was honored to be named the Class A hockey Coach of the Year at the banquet in Auburn on Saturday night, but that it is a team award.
“It feels good. It shows you that your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. But my assistant coaches played a big factor in it,” said the 39-year-old Paradis, who just completed his 11th season behind the Rams bench.
This is the second time that Paradis has won the award, which is voted on by the league’s coaches. He guided the Rams to a 14-3 regular season record, which was his best in his 11 seasons, and five players from the team were also placed on the All-State Class A teams.
Mike and Jack Hersom are Paradis’ longtime assistants and Greg Hirsch and Guy Perron came on board this season.
Hirsch and Perron both played at the University of Maine and have extensive coaching experience as Hirsch was a highly successful head coach at Orono and Perron was a well-respected assistant at UMaine who was also the head coach of the UMaine women’s team and had a stint as the Bangor head coach and Dartmouth men’s assistant.
Perron was also the head coach and general manager of the Chicago Freeze in the North American Hockey League.
“They both played for Shawn Walsh and brought a lot of stuff to the table like different drills and different systems. I learned a lot from them,” Paradis said.
Bangor was the second seed for the Class A Tournament but got upset by eventual state champion Scarborough 4-2 in the quarterfinals.
Goaltender Jake Hirsch and center Cooper Ireland were first team selections along with defenseman Isaac Bonenfant, while left wing Cameron Legassie and defenseman Mike McLean were second team picks.
All are seniors except McLean, who is a junior.
Hirsch was one of four finalists for the Travis Roy Award that goes to the state’s top senior Class A player. Ireland was one of the eight semifinalists.
Hirsch had an outstanding season, posting a 10-3 record, a 2.17 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage.
“He had a great four-year career. He was an all-state first-teamer his sophomore year and he was the player of the year in our pod last year,” Paradis said. “He worked hard and put up some great numbers.”
Ireland scored 28 goals to tie Scarborough’s Sam Rumelhart for the most goals in Class A, though Rumelhart played three more games. Ireland also had six assists.
“He was a goal scorer who always scored big goals when we needed them. He worked hard in practice and goalies always knew when he was shooting on them,” Paradis said. “He brought us great senior leadership.”
Bonenfant had a goal and two assists in 16 games but was rock solid on the defensive end, according to Paradis.
“He was a hard-nosed defenseman who was hard to play against. He provided a physical net-front presence that really helped our team the last two years,” Paradis said.
Legassie finished with 15 assists to go with five goals in 18 games.
“He was a set-up man this year who set up [Ireland] for a lot of his goals,” Paradis said. “He was a hard worker on that line [with Ireland and Cole Neale].”
McLean had seven assists in 17 games and was a “really skilled, good-skating defenseman who moved the puck up the ice,” according to Paradis.
“He had great gap control. He kept everything in front of him. He didn’t give up many goals.”