Varsity Maine boys’ hockey Player of the Year: Sam Rumelhart, Scarborough

Scarborough’s Sam Rumelhart (5) led the state in scoring with 28 goals and 15 assists, and he assisted on both goals in the Red Storm’s 2-1 double-overtime victory over Thornton Academy in the Class A state championship game. Brianna Soukup / Staff Photographer

When Sam Rumelhart slammed that penalty box door, banged his stick against the boards and turned a 2-minute penalty into a 10-minute game misconduct and an automatic one-game suspension, he had no idea how his actions would change the rest of his season. At the moment, anger doesn’t consider consequences.

Sam Rumelhart

“I got caught up in the moment. I shouldn’t have slammed the door, ”said Rumelhart, a Scarborough High senior, two months after the incident. “It was a 2-1 game (and loss to rival Thornton Academy). There was 11 minutes left. We could’ve tied it up or even won if I’m playing. ”

That moment of frustration about a call that didn’t go his way could’ve defined Rumelhart’s season in a negative way. It likely cost Rumelhart a shot at the Travis Roy Award, given to the top senior boys’ hockey player in Class A. AJ Kavanaugh, head coach of Mt. Ararat / Lisbon and treasurer of the Class A coaches executive board, said while a game misconduct penalty does not automatically disqualify a player for Travis Roy Award consideration, character and leadership are factors in determining the award’s nominees.

Rumelhart had to sit out Scarborough’s next game, a 7-3 loss to Bangor. Looking back, Rumelhart thinks that moment is what kept his name off the list of semifinalists for the Travis Roy. He couldn’t take it back, but he could apologize and work at doing better.

“You see a kid gets kicked out (of a game), you don’t know what it’s for,” Rumelhart said. “I thought I had a chance to win the award, but I understand.”

The incident was a wake-up call for Rumelhart, who committed just two penalties over his final eight games. As Rumelhart peaked, the Red Storm peaked, coming from the No. 7 seed to win the Class A state championship with a 2-1 double-overtime win over Thornton Academy. Rumelhart had five goals and had assists in four playoff games, assisting on both goals in the state championship game. His 43 points (28 goals, 15 assists) led the state in scoring.

The attitude adjustment was what Rumelhart and his team needed, and for that, Sam Rumelhart is the Varsity Maine boys’ hockey Player of the Year.

“That’s recognizing he made a mistake and is learning how to move forward,” said Scarborough Coach Eric Wirsing. “We had a roller-coaster season as a team. Sometimes we were really good and sometimes we were awful. Maybe there was a level of consistency (coaches) weren’t seeing, and the game misconduct was a factor. I really felt bad (Rumelhart) was left off the list. But he used it as motivation. ”

Rumelhart recorded 10 goals and six assists over his final seven games to carry the Red Storm into and through the playoffs. His best game came in the quarterfinals, when he had three goals and an assist in a 4-2 win at No. 2 Bangor.

“I was trying to prove something in that game,” Rumelhart said.

With the Red Storm looking for consistency, Wirsing moved Rumelhart from center to wing, which opened up the ice for the 6-foot, 170-pound forward and allowed him to better use his speed.

“I have to say, Sam is one of the fastest kids on the ice I have ever seen, with or without the puck. He just has a lot of explosiveness, ”Wirsing said.

With the 2020-21 high school season shortened because of the pandemic coronavirus, Rumelhart played with the Vermont Lumberjacks junior team of the Eastern Hockey League. In 29 games with the Lumberjacks, Rumelhart had nine goals and 14 assists and learned he can play at a high level. Sticking with the junior club was never something Rumelhart seriously considered for this senior season, though.

“I would’ve lost football,” Rumelhart said.

Football is Rumelhart’s college sport of choice. A quarterback at Scarborough, Rumelhart will be a preferred walk-on at the University of New Hampshire in the fall, where he’ll try his hand at long snapper and whatever other positions the coaches throw his way.

“They told me they have a couple of positions in mind, so I’ll go where they need me,” Rumelhart said.


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