The sport of ice hockey at Thornton Academy traces its roots to the 1920’s when a coach by the name of Napoleon Edmond started a club at the school. Edmond’s squad played a five-game schedule during that winter and earned two wins and a tie during that stretch. The program only lasted for one season, and ice hockey had its second incarnation beginning in 1983.
Thornton Academy enjoyed one of its most successful periods during the coaching tenure of Shawn Rousseau. They won 47 games in three seasons under Rousseau’s guidance and competed in two regional championship games. In 2012, the Golden Trojans defeated rival Biddeford in the Western Maine Class A championship contest and faced powerhouse Lewiston on their home ice in the state title game. An exhausted Thornton Academy team rode the goaltending of Jameson Finch into overtime, winning the contest when C.J. Maksut redirected a Samuel Canales drive into the net for the game-winner.
The Golden Trojans posted their finest season in 2011-2012 under Jamie Gagnon. The team compiled a school record of 20 victories and a tie in 22 contests en route to its second consecutive state championship. The current edition of Thornton Academy ice hockey is coached by Michael Roux, who served as the first assistant under both Rousseau and Gagnon. Roux’s 2018-2019 squad won the SMAA championship.
Thornton Academy ice hockey has featured some of the finest players to ever lace up skates in the area. Sam Butts was a star defenseman for the Golden Trojans from 2005-2009 and was a finalist for the Travis Roy Award (given to the state’s top senior boys ice hockey player). C.J. Maksut is the all-time leading scorer for Thornton Academy; he won the Travis Roy Award and was profiled in Sports Illustrated magazine’s “Faces in the Crowd” feature. Scoring standout Chandler Bilodeau and playmaker Luke Chessie are recent all-state performers for Thornton Academy.
Girls interested in playing ice hockey have the opportunity to participate in a cooperative team effort with Biddeford and Wells. The girls’ season begins two weeks earlier than that of the boys.
The Thornton Academy boys and cooperative girls ice hockey teams play eighteen-game schedules against some of the best competition in the southern and central Maine areas. The boys team also competes in two preseason tournaments, including its own Earl Goodwin Icebreaker Tournament, which also serves as a fundraiser for “Toys for Tots”. All boys and girls ice hockey practices and home games take place at the Biddeford Ice Arena. Participation in Thornton Academy ice hockey is a six-day per week commitment with several regular season contests taking place on Saturdays.
Tryouts for Thornton Academy ice hockey teams take place in the month of November. The highest skilled players compete for the varsity team while less experienced players participate at the junior varsity level.