Monarchs’ defenseman commits to Black Bears

Posted June 02, 2009, at 12:17 a.m.

Mike Cornell, a defenseman who was a co-captain for the three-time U.S. Junior A Tier III national champion New Hampshire Junior Monarchs, has verbally committed to attend the University of Maine this fall.

The 21-year-old Cornell, a 6-foot, 195-pounder, had six goals and 21 assists in 45 games.

“He’s a huge late pickup for them,” said Manchester general manager-head coach Sean Tremblay. “He’ll be a great fifth or sixth defenseman for them. He’s an unbelievable penalty-killer. He’s a plugger who will get the job done defensively. He’s a strong skater with strong hands who distributes the puck well. And he’s tough.

“Off the ice, he’s one of the nicest kids I’ve ever met,” added Tremblay. “This was his first year with us after three years with another team [South Shore] but our kids still voted him a captain. That says a lot about him as a person.”

Cornell, a native of Franklin, Mass., said, “I’m looking forward to it. It should be a great experience. My goal and dream were to play college hockey at the highest level I could.”

He chose Maine for several reasons.

“The hockey program speaks for itself with its tradition and history. And with the academics and the academic support, I’ll have the best of both worlds,” said Cornell.

He also wanted to play for Maine assistant Bob Corkum, who used to be with the Monarchs, and likes having N.H. teammates Adam Shemansky, Matt Mangene and Kelen Corkum coming with him.

His coming to Maine is dependent upon his being accepted to the school and meeting NCAA requirements.

lmahoney@bangordailynews.net

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