Cheverus junior Mikayla Talbot transferred from Camden Hills for her sophomore year and lives with family in Westbrook so she can compete with the Stags. (Photo by Cindy Russell)
Cheverus junior Mikayla Talbot transferred from Camden Hills for her sophomore year and lives with family in Westbrook so she can compete with the Stags. (Photo by Cindy Russell)
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With no girls hockey available for Mikayla Talbot at Camden Hills Regional High School, something had to change to make her dream of playing at the collegiate level possible. 

It wasn’t that she had a problem playing with the boys. In fact, the Lincolnville native had played club hockey with boys since she picked up the sport at 5. But her desire to play at the next level necessitated her transfer to a school with a girls hockey program. She opted to live with her uncle and aunt in Westbrook and play for Cheverus, where after an injury-riddled sophomore year with the Stags, Talbot exploded in her junior campaign, helping lead Cheverus to the state title this winter. 

“It was definitely a huge decision but it was the right one for me,” Talbot said. “I’m just passionate about women’s hockey, and that’s what I’m looking to play in college so I thought I’d be better off at a high school with girls hockey.” 

Cheverus junior Mikayla Talbot helped lead Cheverus to the state championship game. (Photo by Thom Scheele)
Cheverus junior Mikayla Talbot helped lead her team to the state championship game. (Photo by Thom Scheele)

Her situation is unique. Talbot could’ve gone to a boarding school for a much steeper price tag, but she chose Cheverus in part for the more reasonable tuition cost and the comfort and convenience of living with family. Talbot’s close with her parents, who make the roughly four-hour round trip drive to the Portland area multiple times a week to visit her and her younger brother Jake, a freshman on the Camden Hills boys hockey team. 

Cheverus also worked because of Talbot’s familiarity with some players and coach Scott Rousseau, through Casco Bay Youth Hockey. 

The move to southern Maine also opened up an opportunity to play in the club National Girls Hockey League (NGHL) circuit, where she plays with the Boston-based Lady Flames.  

“The stars aligned to make it work for her,” Cheverus coach Scott Rousseau said. 

Talbot, who also plays soccer for Cheverus, sees her living situation as a primer of what she’ll experience in college. She’s “not really outgoing,” as she put it, so she made a conscious effort to join the community. Guided independence, if you will. 

“It made me find out more about myself,” Talbot said. “I take care of myself more now and am a better person because of it.” 

Her first season with Cheverus didn’t go as planned. Talbot broke her right wrist in the team’s first preseason game. She came back midway through the regular season, but wearing a cast on her wrist all but sapped her ability to fire off a powerful shot. Nonetheless, Talbot led the team in scoring during the games she played as Cheverus fell in the south regional semifinals. She thrived this year in helping the Stags (18-3), totaling 47 points on 22 goals and 25 assists thanks to her, as Rousseau calls it, “tremendous hockey IQ, terrific hands and great passing.” 

Greg LevinskyCheverus split the regular season series with Yarmouth/Freeport with each team winning on home ice before the Stags emerged 3-2 in late February. 

Talbot feels that playing at Cheverus unlocked an opportunity to thrive and showcase her game to college programs. She might’ve had less opportunity to shine at a hockey-centric prep school. 

While her busy hockey schedule limits visits to her hometown to school breaks, Talbot keeps a strong connection with the community she grew up in. This year, she took a leading role in organizing the annual hockey tournament in Rockport dedicated in the memory of Theodore Hedstrom, a classmate of Talbot’s who died in a house fire in Camden in February of 2021. Talbot played on the same youth hockey team as Hedstrom, MidCoast Storm. The event’s proceeds benefit the regional growth of youth hockey, a sport Hedstrom loved. 

“It makes me feel really good that I’m able to give back while I’m also down here,” Talbot said. 

Greg Levinsky is a Portland native and follower of local sports. He is an alumnus of Deering High School and Boston University whose work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Detroit Free Press, and several Maine newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected].

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