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Maine Black Bears
Maine Black Bears.gif
Institution University of Maine
Location Orono, ME
School Founded 1865
Enrollment 10,000
Colors Blue & White
President Robert Kennedy
Athletic Director Blake James (interim)
Rink Alfond Arena
Capacity 5,587
Dimensions 200'x85'
Men's Coach Ben Barr
Women's Coach Guy Perron (Maine '90)
NCAA Championships Men: 1993, 1999
Hockey East Championships Men: 1989, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2004
Major Rivals New Hampshire

The Maine Black Bears are a Men's Division I and Women's Division I team in Hockey East.

Men's program

The University of Maine, then known as the University of Maine at Orono, officially developed an NCAA sanctioned men's ice hockey program in 1977. Creation of this program occurred simultaneously with the construction of the Harold Alfond Sports Arena (See Alfond Arena), the facility that is still used for home games today.

This was not, however, the first attempt at birthing a permanent hockey program in Orono. UMaine played 2 seasons of recognized college hockey in 1922 and 1923 totalling 17 games, and primarily playing other Maine colleges such as Bowdoin, Colby and Bates. This program did not stick, and it would be over 5 decades before organized hockey would become a staple at the state's Flagship University.

Upon foundation in 1977, the program was coached by Jack Semler (University of Vermont '68). Maine enjoyed modest success under Semler boasting winning records in 3 of their first 4 regular seasons. The Black Bears competed in The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) during their first 7 years of existence, all of which were under Semler. The ECAC was recognized as Division-II hockey until 1979 at which point the conference, and thus Maine, became Division-I - the level of competition they have competed in ever since.

Shawn Walsh era (1984–2001)

Many changes emerged for Maine following the 1983 season. One being the creation of The Hockey East Association, a new division-I men's ice hockey conference comprising many teams Maine competed against in the ECAC. The other was parting ways with coach Jack Semler and hiring Shawn Walsh, a 29 year old ex-3rd string goalie out of Bowling Green State University. After stints as an assistant coach for his alma mater as well as Michigan State University where he and Ron Mason turned the Spartan's program from being sub-.500 performers to national contenders in only half a decade, Maine liked his potential.

He inherited a struggling team, so win/loss improvement was not immediate; Maine posted a 23-57-2 record over Walsh's first two years with the program. However, Walsh was attracting top recruits, and convincing the school, the state, and its fans that UMaine had the potential to become a powerhouse in college hockey.

1986 brought the first of many significant accomplishments for Walsh and the program. At 24-16-2, he posted his first winning season as a head coach. The team also made its first NCAA tournament appearance this season, ironically losing in the first round to Michigan State.

After finishing as the conference runner up in '87 and '88 they brought home their first significant championship during the 1988-89 season. Walsh's Black Bears skated past Boston College in a 5-4 win for their first of 5 HEA Championships. 4 of these would come under Walsh. Due to the success and popularity of the program, Alfond Arena expanded its capacity from 3,800 to well over 5,000 in 1992.

1993 National Championship

Maine was a heavy favorite to win their first national championship during the 1991-1992 season. Unfortunately, their hopes were broken when they suffered a surprise first-round loss to MSU. After losing the likes of Hobey Baker Award winner Scott Pellerin, threatening scorer Jean-Yves Roy, and many other impact players following the season, expectations for the team dropped entering '92-'93.

However, college hockey would soon learn that the Black Bears had an exceptionally gifted freshman class on their hands in 1992. This included future NHL Star Paul Kariya, and highly touted identical twin forwards, Peter and Chris Ferraro. This caliber of talent joining Maine's all time leading scorer Jim Montgomery, "Little" Cal Ingraham, defensive stud Chris Imes, and arguably one of the best goaltending tandems in college hockey history in Garth Snow and Mike Dunham, Maine was set up to make a historic run.

Kariya scored a single season school record 100 points, while Montgomery put an exclamation point on the end of his successful college years finishing with a school record 301 career points. All this was en route to an amazing 42-1-2 season record, a HEA regular season championship, the HEA conference championship, and their first ever national championship.

Their destiny was almost blown during the Frozen Four semi-finals against the University of Michigan when the referees disallowed an otherwise legitimate Maine goal. The backside of the net raised when the puck slid in causing deception as to whether or not it really went in. As a result, the game was tied at the end of regulation when Maine felt they should have won. In overtime, Lee Saunders made everything right by scoring the game winner and sending Maine to the title game against defending champ Lake Superior State University.

Maine's near-perfect season found itself in jeopardy once again in championship game. Despite an early and promising 2-0 lead, the Bears found themselves trailing the seasoned Lakers 4-2 after two periods. Working double shifts for period number three, two likely heroes emerged. Jim Montgomery scored a natural hat-trick in the third period lifting Maine to a 5-4 win. All three goals were assisted by Paul Kariya.

There was a crackdown on many big college hockey programs during the 1990s for playing players that were deemed ineligible. Maine was one of these teams, and they suffered consequences including forfeited losses both retroactively and in future seasons. Some questioned the legitimacy of the 1993 title, but the NCAA did not touch it because the players in question were from previous seasons and did not participate in Maine's championship.

1999 National Championship

The middle years of the 1990s were bittersweet for the Black Bears. They enjoyed some on-ice success and finished the national runner up in 1995, but due to sanctions and penalties for reasons previously mentioned, they were unable to compete in the NCAA tournament in 1996 and '97.

The 1998-1999 season crowned a much less likely champion than that of 1993. Maine did not win the regular season crown, nor did they even finish 2nd in the conference tournament. They advanced to the NCAAs on an at-large bid due to a successful regular season, but were not most analysts' favorite to win the national championship.

Following wins over Ohio State and Clarkson, Maine advanced to the 1999 Frozen Four in Anaheim, California where they would meet some familiar foes. Not long after Maine and Boston College met in the Hockey East semi-finals, they squared off again (this time) in the national semi-finals. This result would fair better for Maine as goalie Alfie Michaud bested Scott Clemmensen lifting the Black Bears past the Eagles 2-1 in overtime.

Though Maine's traditional nemesis for years was Boston University (not only through meaningful games, but because of a well documented rivalry between Shawn Walsh and BU Head Coach, Jack Parker), an even bigger feud was emerging between Maine and the neighboring New Hampshire Wildcats.

Led by Hobey Baker Award winner Jason Krog and future NHL goaltender Ty Conklin, #1 ranked UNH was primed to win their program's first national championship. Goals by Ben Guite and Niko Dimitrakos (Maine), and more outstanding goaltending by eventual tournament MVP Alfie Michaud kept Maine competitive and the scoreboard read 2-2 at the end of regulation.

Shortly after the 10 minute mark in OT, a careless play by UNH in their defensive zone turned into Maine's opportunity as Cory Larose swiped a drifting puck off the nearside boards and made a cross-ice pass to Marcus Gustafsson. Conklin made the initial save but with no defensive help, Gustafsson collected his own rebound and scored the game winner to clinch Maine's 2nd National Championship.

The Death of Walsh

Coach William 'Shawn' Walsh inherited a relatively new and obscure hockey program at The University of Maine in 1984 and he was convinced that it could be built up to greatness. His finger was clearly on the pulse of every aspect of the program, and he held a sincere understanding of what it would take to develop success.

It would take a diligent combination of recruiting the right players, a proper coaching staff to develop talent, the support of the University and the Athletic Department, and a highly engaged fan-base and student fan-base to create a one of a kind experience in college hockey.

He took personal ownership in each of these categories. During its grassroots, there are even great stories passed on of Shawn marching into the student dining commons, standing up and shouting on the tables- rallying students down to the games, and encouraging them to create a loud and hostile environment for Maine's opponents. The light blue "Maine-iak" shirts [1] worn by the students at UMaine were one of his many ideas.

Most supporters and enthusiasts of the program credit the foundation of greatness held by the Black Bear Men's Ice Hockey team almost exclusively to Shawn Walsh.

In June 2000, Shawn was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma (cancer of the kidneys). Knowing that his time may be limited, he hand selected the coach he wanted to take over the team if anything were to happen. Always known as a fiery coach, some were surprised when he selected mild mannered ex-UMass Lowell Riverhawk coach, Tim Whitehead (Hamilton '85). Whitehead earned his graduate degree in education at The University of Maine approximately 10 years prior, and during this time he worked with Walsh as a graduate assistant coach.

Shawn Walsh lost his battle with cancer on September 24, 2001.

A green clover with his name underneath is hung with the other 3 retired numbers in Alfond Arena in his honor. In 2006, The Shawn Walsh Hockey Center, a new extension of Alfond Arena with coaching and administrative offices, meeting areas, and brand new player facilities opened. This several million dollar project was funded through private donations --- many donations coming from dozens of players Walsh coached through his 17 years with Maine.

Tim Whitehead era (2001–present)

As expected, Tim Whitehead became the interim head coach following the tragic passing of Shawn Walsh at the start of the 2001-2002 season. He was later named the permanent head coach after a very successful first campaign in a year where he was eventually honored with the Spencer Penrose award which recognizes the NCAA coach of the year. Walsh won the Penrose award in 1995.

The team reached the championship game in 2002, the first season under Whitehead. Attempting to "win it for Shawn", they had to play The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in their home state for the finals. They were 1 minute away from a win when Minnesota tied the game with their goalie pulled. In overtime, after a controversial non-call against Minnesota, followed shortly by a questionable 2nd penalty in a row against Maine gave the Gophers enough power play time to find the back of the net and win the game.

Two years later, backed by the most statistically strong single-season goalie tandem in the NCAA record books (Jimmy Howard 1.19GAA .953 Save pct *both NCAA records; Frank Doyle 1.81GAA), future NHL player Dustin Penner, a slew of popular forwards including Todd Jackson, Colin Shields, Maine's own Greg Moore and Derek Damon, conference rookie of the year Michel Leveille, and tough-guy defenseman Prestin Ryan, Maine found itself back in the big game.

The Bears controlled the tempo and jumped on the board early against Denver University on a Derek Damon goal, but the referees disallowed the goal explaining that part of the skate of Mike Hamilton crossed a line on the goalie crease as the goal went in. Though Howard only allowed 1 goal, Maine's offense could not find its rhythm after the disallowed goal and they lost 1-0.

That offseason, the NCAA reviewed the rule it followed to call off Maine's goal. They decided to adjust the rule to emulate the NHL's policy on this type of play, that is, only making a "man-in-the-crease" call if the player whose skate crosses the crease actually effects the outcome of the play or the goalies ability to make the save. In retrospect, Damon's goal would have counted.

In the summer of 2008, Assistant Coach Guy Perron and Volunteer Assistant Coach Grant Standbrook both stepped aside from the program. Standbrook retired, while Perron was hired as an amateur scout for the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League.[2]

Current roster

As of August 15, 2010. [3]

# State Player Catches Year Hometown Previous Team
30 Flag of Pennsylvania Dan Sullivan L Freshman York, Pennsylvania Texas (NAHL)
31 Flag of Maine Josh Seeley L Junior Howland, Maine Maine (IJHL)
33 Flag of Ontario Shawn Sirman L Senior Blezard Valley, Ontario Kingston (OJHL)
51 Flag of Quebec Martin Ouellette L Freshman Saint-Hippolyte, Quebec Kimball Union
# State Player Shoots Year Hometown Previous Team
2 Flag of Massachusetts Mike Cornell R Sophomore Franklin, Massachusetts New Hampshire (EJHL)
3 Flag of New York Mark Nemec R Sophomore Rouses Point, New York New Hampshire (EJHL)
4 Flag of Ontario Mike Banwell L Senior Scarborough, Ontario Pickering (OJHL)
5 Flag of Ontario Josh Van Dyk L Senior Woodstock, Ontario Hamilton (OJHL)
6 Flag of Colorado Jeff Dimmen R Senior Colorado Springs, Colorado St. Louis (NAHL)
8 Flag of New Hampshire Brice O'Connor R Freshman Londonderry, New Hampshire New Hampshire (EJHL)
27 Flag of Massachusetts Will O'Neill L Junior Salem, Massachusetts Omaha (USHL)
44 Flag of Massachusetts Ryan Hegarty L Junior Arlington, Massachusetts US NTDP (USHL)
# State Player Shoots Year Hometown Previous Team
5 Flag of Minnesota Robby Dee L Senior Plymouth, Minnesota Omaha (USHL)
10 Flag of Massachusetts Brian Flynn R Junior Lynnfield, Massachusetts New Hampshire (EJHL)
11 Flag of Sweden Theo Andersson L Junior Gothenburg, Sweden Frölunda HC Jrs.
13 Flag of Ontario Spencer Abbott R Junior Hamilton, Ontario Hamilton (OJHL)
18 Flag of Pennsylvania Jon Swavely R Freshman Reading, Pennsylvania New Jersey (EJHL)
20 Flag of Massachusetts Kelen Corkum L Freshman (RS) Newburyport, Massachusetts New Hampshire (EJHL)
21 Flag of Arizona Kyle Beattie R Sophomore Avondale, Arizona New Hampshire (EJHL)
24 Flag of Maine Mark Anthoine L Freshman Lewiston, Maine Sioux Falls (USHL)
26 Flag of New Jersey Adam Shemansky L Sophomore Robbinsville, New Jersey New Hampshire (EJHL)
29 Flag of Alberta Tanner House R Senior Cochrane, Alberta Penticton (BCHL)
39 Flag of New York Joey Diamond L Sophomore Long Beach, New York Hamilton (OJHL)
57 Flag of New York Matt Mangene R Sophomore Manorville, New York New Hampshire (EJHL)
71 Flag of Minnesota Nick Pryor L Sophomore Woodbury, Minnesota Waterloo (USHL)
89 Flag of Sweden Gustav Nyquist L Junior Malmo, Sweden Malmo Jr.
91 Flag of Sweden Klas Leidermark L Sophomore Gavle, Sweden Brynas Jr.
92 Flag of Ontario Carlos Amestoy L Freshman Toronto, Ontario Toronto (OJHL)

Season-by-season record

Season GP W L T Playoffs
1977-78 27 15 12 0 N/A
1978-79 34 25 8 1 N/A
1979-80 32 15 16 1 N/A
1980-81 34 23 11 0 N/A
1981-82 29 8 21 0 N/A
1982-83 29 5 24 0 N/A
1983-84 34 14 20 0 N/A
1984-85 42 12 29 1 N/A
1985-86 40 11 28 1 1st Round of Hockey East Tournament
1986-87 42 24 16 2 NCAA Tournament Participant
1987-88 44 34 8 2 NCAA Tournament Participant
1988-89 45 31 14 0 Hockey East Champion
1989-90 46 33 11 2 Hockey East Finalist/NCAA Quarterfinalist
1990-91 43 32 9 2 Hockey East Finalist/NCAA Semifinalist
1991-92 37 18 17 2 NCAA Tournament Participant
1992-93 45 42 1 2 NCAA National Champion
1993-94 36 6 29 1 1st Round of Hockey East Tournament
1994-95 44 32 6 6 NCAA Finalist
1995-96 39 26 9 4 Did Not Qualify
1996-97 34 23 10 1 Did Not Qualify
1997-98 36 17 15 4 Hockey East Finalist
1998-99 41 31 6 4 NCAA National Champion
1999-00 40 27 8 5 Hockey East Champion/NCAA Semifinalist
2000-01 39 20 12 7 NCAA Tournament Participant
2001-02 44 26 11 7 NCAA Finalist
2002-03 39 24 10 5 NCAA Tournament Participant
2003-04 44 33 8 3 Hockey East Champion/NCAA Finalist
2004-05 40 20 13 7 NCAA Tournament Participant
2005-06 42 28 12 2 NCAA Semifinalist
2006-07 40 23 15 2 NCAA Semifinalist
2007-08 34 13 18 3 N/A
2008-09 39 13 22 4 N/A
Totals 1234 705 449 81

Hockey East season-by-season record

Season GP W L T
1984-85 34 8 26 0
1985-86 34 8 25 1
1986-87 32 19 12 1
1987-88 26 20 4 2
1988-89 26 17 9 0
1989-90 21 14 6 1
1990-91 21 15 5 1
1991-92 21 12 7 2
1992-93 24 22 1 1
1993-94 24 3 20 1
1994-95 22 15 3 6
1995-96 24 14 6 4
1996-97 24 16 7 1
1997-98 24 10 11 3
1998-99 34 17 5 2
1999-00 24 13 7 4
2000-01 24 12 7 5
2001-02 24 14 5 5
2002-03 24 14 6 4
2003-04 34 17 5 2
2004-05 24 13 6 5
2005-06 27 17 8 2
2006-07 27 14 12 1
2007-08 27 9 15 3
2008-09 27 7 17 3
Totals 327 226 55

Award winners/finalists

Steve Kariya:

  • 1996 NCAA Hockey East All-Rookie.
  • Winner of NCAA Sportsmanship Award in 1997, 1998, and 1999.
  • NCAA All-America First Team in 1999.
  • NCAA All-Star Team Hockey East in 1999.

Paul Kariya:

  • NCAA Hockey East First All-Star Team in 1993.
  • Hobey Baker Memorial Award Winner in 1993.
  • 1993 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Scott Pellerin:

  • Hobey Baker Memorial Award Winner in 1992.

Chris Imes:

  • Hobey Baker Memorial Award Runner-Up in 1995.
  • 1993 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team
  • 1995 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Jean-Yves Roy:

  • Hobey Baker Memorial Award Finalist in 1991.
  • Hobey Baker Memorial Award Finalist in 1992.
  • 1991 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Jim Montgomery:

  • Hobey Baker Memorial Award Finalist in 1993.
  • 1993 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Mike Golden:

  • Hobey Baker Memorial Award Finalist in 1988.

Dave Capuano:

  • Hobey Baker Memorial Award Finalist in 1988.
  • Hobey Baker Memorial Award Finalist in 1989.
  • 1988 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Jim Leger:

  • 2000 College Hockey Humanitarian Award Winner.

Garth Snow:

  • 1992 Hockey East Second All-Star Team
  • 1993 Hockey East Second All-Star Team
  • 1993 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Blair Allison:

  • 1995 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Dan Shermerhorn:

  • 1995 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Alfie Michaud:

  • 1999 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

David Cullen:

  • 1999 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Niko Dimitrakos:

  • 1999 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Michael Schutte:

  • 2002 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Peter Metcalf:

  • 2002 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Robert Liscak:

  • 2002 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team

Michel Leveille:

  • 2006-07 first team All-American
  • 2005-06 second team All-American
  • 2003-04 Hockey East Rookie of the Year
  • 2006-07 NCAA East Regional MVP

Greg Moore:

  • 2005-06 first team All-American

Jimmy Howard:

  • 2003-04 second team All-American
  • 2002-03 Hockey East Rookie of the Year
  • 2004 Hockey East tournament MVP

Prestin Ryan:

  • 2003-04 second team All-American
  • 2003-04 Old Time Hockey Hockey East best defensive defenseman

Todd Jackson:

  • 2003-04 second team All-American
  • 2003-04 Hockey East best defensive forward

Colin Shields:

  • 2003-04 second team All-American

Season-by-season leading scorers

Season Player GP G A TP
1978-79 Gary Conn 20 19 21 40
1979-80 Gary Conn 31 21 24 45
1980-81 Gary Conn 34 30 33 63
1981-82 Robert Lafleur 29 27 23 50
1982-83 Ray Jacques 29 15 18 33
1983-84 Todd Bjorkstrand 32 15 37 52
1984-85 Ray Jacques 41 14 27 41
1985-86 John McDonald 39 11 24 35
1986-87 Dave Capuano 38 18 41 59
1987-88 Dave Capuano 42 34 51 85
1988-89 Dave Capuano 41 37 30 67
1989-90 Jean-Yves Roy 46 39 26 65
1990-91 Jean-Yves Roy 43 37 45 82
1991-92 Jim Montgomery 37 21 44 65
1992-93 Paul Kariya 39 25 75 100
1993-94 Mike Latendresse 33 20 19 39
1994-95 Jeff Tory 40 13 42 55
1995-96 Shawn Wansborough+ 36 27 16 43
1995-96 Dan Shermerhorn+ 39 20 23 43
1996-97 Steve Kariya 35 19 31 50
1997-98 Steve Kariya 35 25 25 50
1998-99 Steve Kariya 41 27 38 65
1999-00 Cory Larose 39 15 36 51
2000-01 Martin Kariya 39 12 24 36
2001-02 Niko Dimitrakos 43 20 31 51
2002-03 Martin Kariya 39 14 36 50
2003-04 Colin Shields 44 18 26 44
2004-05 Derek Damon 39 14 13 27
2005-06 Greg Moore 41 28 16 44
2006-07 Josh Soares+ 40 20 25 45
2006-07 Michel Levielle+ 40 19 26 45
2007-08 Wes Clark 30 10 11 21
2008-09 Gustav Nyquist 38 13 19 32
2009-10 Gustav Nyquist 39 19 42 61

The (+) denotes a tie in total points at the end of the season.

Women's program

See Maine Black Bears women's ice hockey


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