UMaine lands Minnesota Mr. Hockey finalist

Posted Feb. 27, 2013, at 1:47 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine men’s hockey team has landed its second Minnesota Mr. Hockey finalist in two years.

Left wing Zach Glienke plans to join former Eagan High School teammate Will Merchant in Orono in the fall after giving Maine a verbal commitment.

He will be a full scholarship player.

Mr. Hockey is given to the Minnesota’s top senior player.

Glienke, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound left wing, has 31 goals and 32 assists in 27 games.

“He’s a very good skater. He’s fast for his size, he has great hands and he can shoot the lights out,” said Eagan coach Mike Taylor.

Taylor said Glienke could be drafted by an NHL team anywhere from the second to fifth round based on what he has been told by pro scouts.

“He has a lot of potential. He’s strong for a high school kid, but he’s got to get stronger for that level, which he will. He will naturally fill out,” said Taylor, who added that Glienke is “very coachable” and plays in all situations, including the penalty kill.

“He’s one of our best shot blockers [covering the point],” said Taylor.

Glienke said there were several reasons for his decision.

“I liked the campus and I liked the location. It reminded me of northern Minnesota and I love being up there,” said Glienke. “The hockey program has great tradition. They have good fan support and they have a good track record of sending players to the NHL and that is my ultimate goal.”

He also liked the fact Merchant is here and consulted with his former teammate before he made his decision.

“He will be like my big brother out there,” said the 18-year-old Glienke.

He noted that four of the team’s top six scorers are freshmen.

“Looking down the road, we should be really good,” said Glienke, who intends to focus on getting stronger and developing all aspects of his game.

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

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