Jim Powers has seen the value and importance that Max Pickett brings to the York High School program for the past three years.

Pickett, a junior defenseman, was named to the Rookie All-Conference team after his freshman season, and on Sunday he was named the Class B South Defenseman of the Month, a first-time honor, for December.

“Max has logged a ton of ice time for us and been a good leader of our defensive core especially with freshmen getting ice time at that position,” said Powers, the head coach of the Wildcats. “Max has improved and gotten better every year. He commits a lot of time to hockey and his craft, he is well deserving of this.”

Pickett was one of four players nominated for the award, and received a near unanimous decision.

“There were a lot of teams who supported this recognition,” Powers said.

Pickett has four goals and seven assists through York’s first eight games of the season. Pickett had two goals and four assists for December, with a plus/minus of 8. Pickett had two goals and two assists his freshman year, five and three his sophomore year, and has four goals and seven assists so far this season.

“He has a plus-8 playing defense for a team that had given up 24 goals,” Powers said. “That shows what he has been doing on the ice for us.”

York senior Dalton McCann was nominated for Forward of the Month, and freshman Joe Neal was nominated for Rookie of the Month.

McCann had six goals and 10 assists for the month of December, while Neal had two goals and three assists.

Back at it

York (4-4) was scheduled to play host to Gorham on Tuesday at Dover Ice Arena. Results were not available at press time.

“These are the games we want to have,” Powers said after Monday’s practice at Jackson’s Landing in Durham, N.H. “These games will be competitive for us. We just need to keep showing up and try to do the things we are working on in practice. We have played a lot of hockey so far, and we’ve been building on this season game after game and we are seeing improvement all over the ice.”

The Wildcats were coming off a 7-2 loss to Thornton Academy on Saturday. McCann and senior Jake Nelson each had a goal and an assist, while senior Andrew Bertolini had one assist.

McCann got the Wildcats on the board less than 3 minutes into the game, but Thornton scored the next three goals of the game and took control.

“Thornton is very good team, and very disciplined,” Powers said. “They have a full three-line compliment that comes at you every single shift.”

The Wildcats beat Kennebunk/Wells, 8-1 last Thursday at Dover Ice Arena.

McCann had three goals, while Bertolini had a goal and three assists. Marshall Ford, Neal,Pickett and Nelson each had a goal for York.