Local hockey players to represent Maine at New England Festival

12 years ago

Nick Cowperthwaite and Payton Porter of Houlton have been selected to represent Maine at the New England Hockey Festival this weekend (March 23-25) in Burlington, Vt.
Cowperthwaite is the son of Eric and Audra Cowperthwaite of Houlton and Porter is the son of Joe and Misty Porter of Houlton.
    Both players will represent their respective age levels — Cowperthwaite is on the under-13 Maine team  and Porter on the under-15 Maine team — during the festival. The boys were chosen for the honor after a selection process, which included an initial tryout and subsequent call-back tryout January in Lewiston.
Each state in the New England District (Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Isle, Vermont and Maine) holds tryouts to send representatives to the New England Hockey Festival.
According to Joe Porter, Payton’s father, the final outcome is to send the 17 best players (15 skaters and two goalies) in each of the boys’ age groups (12-17) and the 12-13 girl age group, with the 14-15 and 16-17 girl age groups fulfilling allotments from each state.
“During the New England Festivals, the kids are there to showcase their talents,” explained Porter. “They are not there to win a tournament for their respective state. There is no championship game. Every team gets four games for the players to demonstrate their talents in playing the game of hockey.”
The players will be evaluated by Division I and Division III New England College and USA Hockey National Development Team coaches.
“The objective of USA Hockey’s Player Development Program is to select and train the most competitive men’s and women’s ice hockey teams to represent the United States at the Olympic, National, National Junior and Select levels of international competition,” added Porter.
Since both Cowperthwaite and Porter have been selected for the Festival, this summer they are also invited to one of the player development camps.
Nearly 1,300 athletes representing each of USA Hockey’s 11 districts participate in the weeklong Festivals and camps, which attract scouts and evaluators from every level of hockey,” Porter said. “Festival participants receive on- and off-ice training under the direction of leading USA Hockey coaches, along with current and former National Hockey League and Women’s National Team players.”
Porter played goalie on the Houlton-Hodgdon Black Hawks, while Cowperthwaite skated in the SAMHA League.
Chosen as alternates in their respective age divisions were Lucas Grant and Josh Malone, both Houlton-Hodgdon Black Hawks.