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  • Originally posted by Drew S. View Post

    I actually consider Tralmaks more of a diamond in the rough type guy.

    Some others I would add to your list are Vesey, Byron, Breen, and Dawe. When they committed it was obvious they all had a lot of talent and all of them showed it at the college level. I just don’t see much of that right now beyond the guys we previously agreed on.

    Hopefully where there are so many players committed enough develop that it doesn’t matter we don’t have the surefire guys but I have my doubts. I am excited to see how this years team looks and hope to be pleasantly surprised. Honestly when the polls came out last year I thought there was no way in hell Maine would be so bad and then they were. Because of that I’m a little reticent to have much for expectations this year but hopefully that hesitancy is misplaced.
    Barr's system seems to me much more skating oriented and less physical than Red's system was. But, being his first year, he was left with a roster mostly of players brought in to play Red's more physical style, and while you can coach fluid players to play physical, coaching up physical players to be more fluid is much more difficult, if not outright impossible. It wasn't really a coincidence that one of the least physical players from the old guard (Sirota) and a new guy brought in at the last moment by Barr (Breazeale) were two of your best players all season long. And, to top it off, the alleged discord among the players would not have helped at all either. For what it's worth, my source who told me that the team was unhappy in the room also told me in the middle of last season that a player was going to retire from hockey entirely after his junior year, and that appears to be the case; AJ Drobot isn't on the roster this year and never entered the transfer portal.

    I think things are undeniably looking up and I have complete faith in the process and in Ben Barr.

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    • Barr named 6th best recruiter in the country.

      https://theathletic.com/3591225/2022...ankings/?amp=1

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      • From Mike McMahon .... FWIW

        Maine’s recruiting class is ranked No. 9 in the nation by Neutral Zone and the Black Bears did an excellent job in the transfer portal. Justin Michaelian (Ferris State) brings some veteran offense along with Didrik Henbrant (Alaska).

        Maine’s biggest portal addition was Clarkson goalie Jacob Mucitelli, who I thought was the top goaltender available in the portal this past spring. He has a .941 career save percentage in 11 games, the bulk of which came last season.

        Those reasons, combined with two promising rising juniors - Lynden Breen and Donavan Villeneuve-Houle - who led the team in scoring last season as sophomores, should mean some immediate improvement for Ben Barr in his second season behind the bench.

        Maine finished No. 51 in the Pairwise last season, so like with Vermont, I’m expecting a big jump.

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        • Originally posted by Jackcurtis23 View Post
          From Mike McMahon .... FWIW

          Maine’s recruiting class is ranked No. 9 in the nation by Neutral Zone and the Black Bears did an excellent job in the transfer portal. Justin Michaelian (Ferris State) brings some veteran offense along with Didrik Henbrant (Alaska).

          Maine’s biggest portal addition was Clarkson goalie Jacob Mucitelli, who I thought was the top goaltender available in the portal this past spring. He has a .941 career save percentage in 11 games, the bulk of which came last season.

          Those reasons, combined with two promising rising juniors - Lynden Breen and Donavan Villeneuve-Houle - who led the team in scoring last season as sophomores, should mean some immediate improvement for Ben Barr in his second season behind the bench.

          Maine finished No. 51 in the Pairwise last season, so like with Vermont, I’m expecting a big jump.
          I hope you're right.

          We're not going to drive into Boston this year, but we have two at Colgate.

          If we see some improvement there, we might drive into Boston again next season.

          Not holding my breath, though.

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          • Originally posted by Jackcurtis23 View Post
            From Mike McMahon .... FWIW

            Maine’s recruiting class is ranked No. 9 in the nation by Neutral Zone and the Black Bears did an excellent job in the transfer portal. Justin Michaelian (Ferris State) brings some veteran offense along with Didrik Henbrant (Alaska).

            Maine’s biggest portal addition was Clarkson goalie Jacob Mucitelli, who I thought was the top goaltender available in the portal this past spring. He has a .941 career save percentage in 11 games, the bulk of which came last season.

            Those reasons, combined with two promising rising juniors - Lynden Breen and Donavan Villeneuve-Houle - who led the team in scoring last season as sophomores, should mean some immediate improvement for Ben Barr in his second season behind the bench.

            Maine finished No. 51 in the Pairwise last season, so like with Vermont, I’m expecting a big jump.
            I think there absolutely are reasons to be optimistic. The flip side for me is Maine was just so inconsistent last year I worry we could see more of the same this year. Hopefully where it’s a new group that isn’t the case but time will tell.

            I listened to Barr last night and it was hard to get a read on how he is feeling about the team. He didn’t really single any of the newcomers out which is a bit of a concern but did say the team has a lot more depth. He is going to treat Saturday as more of a regular game which I strongly agree with. Where Maine has practiced so much I think that makes more sense than trying to get everyone ice time.
            Originally posted by BobbyBrady
            Crosby probably wouldn't even be on BC's top two lines next year

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            • Originally posted by Drew S. View Post

              I think there absolutely are reasons to be optimistic. The flip side for me is Maine was just so inconsistent last year I worry we could see more of the same this year. Hopefully where it’s a new group that isn’t the case but time will tell.

              I listened to Barr last night and it was hard to get a read on how he is feeling about the team. He didn’t really single any of the newcomers out which is a bit of a concern but did say the team has a lot more depth. He is going to treat Saturday as more of a regular game which I strongly agree with. Where Maine has practiced so much I think that makes more sense than trying to get everyone ice time.
              I think its hard to be consistent when you have 12 guys on the team that should be in D3 and your captains are frequently getting benched.

              A top 10 recruiting class hasn't happened at Maine in 14 years since 08 with Nyquist, Abbott, Flynn, Diamond, Hagerty, O'Neil, and Darling. Although Flynn was a walk on so I guess he doesn't count for class rankings.

              Barr is the right guy. They're headed in the right direction. They'll be at the Garden next season.

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              • Jeff Cox has them at 10, Vermont at 11.

                It will be good for the league to get Maine back toward the top of the standings, as the Black Bears have the best fanbase in Hockey East. However, it might take second-year head coach Ben Barr and his assistants one more season to get to where they want to be.

                Maine returns its top two leading scorers, Lynden Breen and Donovan Villeneuve-Houle, both now juniors. Jakub Sirota and David Breazeale are back to anchor the blue line. Freshmen to watch are forwards Reid Pabich, Killian Kiecker-Olson and Parker Lindauer and defensemen Brandon Chabrier and Luke Antonacci.The goaltending duties will fall upon Clarkson transfer Jacob Mucitelli and junior Victor Ostman.

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                • UMaine either finishes 9th, ahead of UNH and UVM, or ekes into 8th ahead of Merrimack.
                  Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                  Montreal Expos Forever ...

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                  • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                    UMaine either finishes 9th, ahead of UNH and UVM, or ekes into 8th ahead of Merrimack.
                    Agree.

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                    • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                      UMaine either finishes 9th, ahead of UNH and UVM, or ekes into 8th ahead of Merrimack.
                      This sounds about right to me as well. Anything higher will be a pleasant surprise.

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                      • No Houle, Hebert, or Henbrant tonight. Are they hurt, suspended, or something else?

                        I’m really excited to see the new players tonight.
                        Originally posted by BobbyBrady
                        Crosby probably wouldn't even be on BC's top two lines next year

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                        • Arnott looks really sharp, he’s getting a lot of ice time and I haven’t seen him make a bad play.

                          A lot of new players so it’ll take some time to get but they look fast and are playing physical. Mucitelli might be the guy in net.

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                          • Originally posted by BlackBearFan19 View Post
                            Arnott looks really sharp, he’s getting a lot of ice time and I haven’t seen him make a bad play.

                            A lot of new players so it’ll take some time to get but they look fast and are playing physical. Mucitelli might be the guy in net.
                            I thought Arnott and Trudeau were definitely best in show as far as the freshmen go. The freshman forwards are much better than the transfer forwards from what I have seen.
                            Originally posted by BobbyBrady
                            Crosby probably wouldn't even be on BC's top two lines next year

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                            • I didn't get to see them play, but I know they won 1-0. What did we think? Did they play well? Thoughts on the new guys, both freshmen and transfers? Any stupid penalties?

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                              • Maine played with a lot of grit and appeared to have good overall speed. Hard to know when seeing them play in only one game against a team I know nothing about. Maine was one for 11 on the PP and scored the only goal of the game while on the PP. Had a couple of 5 on 3 as well. It was a very physical game but I didn't think Maine committed any stupid penalties. Both goal tenders (Ostman and Mucitelli), played well as evidenced by the shutout. There were no one or two players who really stood out to me. Playing Air Force and the national champion will be a real challenge for this team. I saw 10 students sitting behind the PEI bench get ejected. I don't think I have ever seen that many before.

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