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Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

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  • #91
    Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

    I originally wrote this in 2016. We are now at the point where freshmen were born after Shawn passed.

    This edition is about the giant we lost 15 years ago this week. I was fortunate enough to be around him at the height of his success in the early 90s. In two seasons we were 73-5-4, won a pair of Hockey East titles and our first national championship.

    There are stories I could tell to make Maine fans think he was the devil and others that would make the heart of the most ardent BU supporter melt. He was neither demon or saint. He was a man. Like any man he had success and failures; because of the notoriety of his position both were magnified.

    My favorite memory is from early in my freshman year between periods of a Friday night game. I've changed a few details to keep some measure of anonymity.

    I was stationed in the hallway outside the locker room. I would receive a signal when the zamboni had two laps left and would signal Shawn. Suddenly the door opened and there he was, with a player in tow. The kid had had a lousy week of practice and was having a rough game. I realized what was coming and wanted to get out, but the near door was blocked and the far door was simply too far away. Instead I tried to melt into the wall and not make a sound.

    Shawn rounded on the kid and we both braced ourselves for the verbal assault that was about to be unleashed. Instead Shawn put his hand on the kid's shoulder and asked what was wrong. We were both taken aback. "You're better than this. We brought you here for a reason." There was something in how he said it. The timbre of his voice, the expression on his face. The kid screwed up enough courage to reveal that a member of his family was in hospital and he was having trouble with it. He didn't tell anyone because he was embarrassed, and afraid of what it would mean for his place on the team.

    Shawn listened to him, thought for a moment then said the kid had a decision to make. If it was too much for him, call it a night and Shawn would make sure he got the first flight home. When the time came he could come back. Or he could stay, "But you aren't playing for yourself, you have to dedicate yourself to (them). What would they want you to do? Go sit down and think about what you want to do."

    The kid turned and went back to the room. Shawn gave his pep talk and everyone stood up to take the ice. The kid included. He scored a goal later that night and went on to have a good year.

    In my time in Orono I tried to learn as much as I could from Shawn. He was great at incorporating statistics, ruthless with off-ice planning and his motivational techniques were remarkable. I think I learned but the players I worked with at North Yarmouth Academy can tell you how well. What I never mastered was how he read people and situations so well. How did he know? If he had bawled the kid out as we both expected the reaction sure as hell would have been different. That poor kid might have broken that night. (And no, Shawn wasn't tipped off by a phone call from home because he certainly wouldn't have waited until between periods of a game to have this conversation.)

    In 1997 we played the high school state championship game at Alfond. I went to the UM locker room and a note was posted on the wall. It was Shawn personally thanking the seniors for sticking it out despite the NCAA sanctions. "Where would we be without them?" It wasn't something he just jotted down and he didn't say it because it sounded good. He meant it.

    We lost someone very special, but the loss for Tyler, Travis and Sean was grievous. He would be so proud to see the men you have become and are becoming. He isn't truly gone because his spirit lives on in you.

    Newer Black Bear fans cannot appreciate the treasure we had behind the bench, in the locker room, visiting the dorms and in the community. To them he is a picture in a book or a name on a building. It is up to those of us who knew him to keep his memory alive and remind those fans of just how special he was.

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    • #92
      Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

      Originally posted by AMC View Post
      They do count as state employees, but you are right that UMaine doesn't use PERS. I don't know the nuts and bolts on the TIAA plan, but there has to be some time requirement to fully vest in lifetime benefits.
      It's a 403.b plan. There is no guaranteed benefit. It's like a 401.k -- the employee and employer contribute money and you choose a mix of funds its invested in.

      at UMaine you are completely vested in your retirement plan on day one. you can retire any time and keep 100% of the money UMaine contributes to the 403.b plan on your behalf. For normal salaried employees, they contribute 10% of your salary (once upon a time I was a UMaine employee and I fell under the Professor and professional employee retirement plan). I don't remember if it was a base 5% contribution and match up to 5% or if it was a 2:1 match on employee contributions.

      UMaine won't be on the hook for anything after he retires -- the money will have already been paid into the 403.b (unless as a coach he can negotiate some additional deferred compensation that's paid into his 403.b over time)

      The University of Maine system is a quasi-government organization, like the Maine Turnpike Authority. It exists through an act of law, but is run independently from the state (and of course in the case of the University, they are appropriated some funding from the state). When I was a UMaine employee, I was not considered a State employee.
      Last edited by BassAle; 09-30-2019, 08:51 AM.

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      • #93
        Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

        2 games/away-home, this weekend to start the season...1st game at Providence is a chance to get the monkey off there back at winning @ Providence and ending a losing streak versus PC...then home to New Brunswick, which to tell you the truth I never like playing as it usually turns out with some rough hockey...and games that don't count...only plus is to get everyone ice time...and food for thought...play all three netminders a period each.

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        • #94
          Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

          Its either a 0-0 game at PC or Maine gets crushed
          I swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell.

          Maine Hockey Love it or Leave it

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          • #95
            Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

            Originally posted by walrus View Post
            Its either a 0-0 game at PC or Maine gets crushed
            You could very well be right...as Maine @ PC has not been forgiving...and as much as I am a big supporter of Swayman...he seems to have PC's number for better parts of periods and most of the game, only to have either a soft goal get PC back or have PC stun Maine at the end of a period where Maine has been the better team for 90% of it....if its time for Maine to win it would be opening night for both teams...3-2/2-1. Difference here is Leaman will exploit Maine's weakness while Gendron will go with the same old/same old....lapse in discipline/ poor defense in their own end, putting PC back in the game when it matters. But it would time to BEAT PC at Providence.

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            • #96
              Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

              Well, 1st coaches show of season on now. They should just leave Red home.
              Enjoy hearing from the players. A little personal insight from them is cool, but tough to get it out of them by Shields.

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              • #97
                Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

                Originally posted by walrus View Post
                Its either a 0-0 game at PC or Maine gets crushed
                A 3-1 PC win seems more likely to me. (Or maybe a 3-0 win with an ENG.)

                I don't see where Maine is going to find any scoring this season, against anyone.
                Last edited by Fishman'81; 10-01-2019, 10:05 PM.

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                • #98
                  Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

                  Originally posted by Fishman'81 View Post
                  A 3-1 PC win seems more likely to me. (Or maybe a 3-0 win with an ENG.)

                  I don't see where Maine is going to find any scoring this season, against anyone.
                  If Maine does struggle to score then it will be a LONG season, as much as I am big supporter of Swayman in net he can ONLY do so much, especially if he see's over 30/35 plus shots per game...AND as we all know that goaltenders do have ups/downs during the season...but I am going with a surprising win @ PC...Maine 2 Providence 1 overtime.

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Ma#1ne Hky View Post
                    If Maine does struggle to score then it will be a LONG season, as much as I am big supporter of Swayman in net he can ONLY do so much, especially if he see's over 30/35 plus shots per game...AND as we all know that goaltenders do have ups/downs during the season...but I am going with a surprising win @ PC...Maine 2 Providence 1 overtime.
                    Over the past several years they do seem to do ok early, just a feeling not substantiated with data research. I wont be too surprised with a win.

                    Im thinking low scoring games this year. Good goal tending, tighter D and not much offense scoring threat.

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                    • Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

                      Originally posted by NorthMike View Post
                      Over the past several years they do seem to do ok early, just a feeling not substantiated with data research. I wont be too surprised with a win.

                      Im thinking low scoring games this year. Good goal tending, tighter D and not much offense scoring threat.
                      Opening late afternoon WIN would be great..**NOTE game time is listed at 4pm @ PC, just for some that listen to the game via goblackbears.com**

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                      • Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

                        15 hours to go.

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                        • Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

                          It will be interesting to see how it goes this afternoon. I hope they play well.
                          I swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell.

                          Maine Hockey Love it or Leave it

                          Comment


                          • Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

                            Originally posted by walrus View Post
                            It will be interesting to see how it goes this afternoon. I hope they play well.
                            A win would be great way to start the season and especially down @ Providence. Discipline and team defense....and keep the shots on goal under 30.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Ma#1ne Hky View Post
                              Opening late afternoon WIN would be great..**NOTE game time is listed at 4pm @ PC, just for some that listen to the game via goblackbears.com**
                              Game is on NESN in case people have it and want to watch.

                              Comment


                              • Re: Maine Black Bears 2019-20: Seeing Red

                                Lines were released for today's game.

                                Tralmaks-Dohrety-Fossier
                                Drobot-Quinlivan-Hock
                                Dawe-Shea-Smith
                                Westerlund-Poisson-JSS

                                Greenway-Spicer
                                Tiuraniemi-Bisson
                                Butala-Sirota
                                Bruneski

                                Swayman

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