In the 37 years of the men’s hockey program at the University of Maine, players from all over the United States, Canada and Europe have put on the Black Bear jersey.
But they have just landed their first player from the state of Georgia.
Left wing Mitch Fossier, who is from Alpharetta, Ga., has verbally committed to attend Maine on a scholarship beginning in the 2015-16 season.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Fossier is currently playing for the Atlanta-based Thunder Tier 1 Midget AAA team where he has seven goals and 11 assists through 15 games. Last season, Fossier racked up 32 goals and 29 assists in 40 games and had three goals in five playoff games.
Maine associate head coach Jay Leach was a mentor in the Thunder program who worked with players and coaches for three seasons prior to coming to Maine this summer.
“Mitch is a very dynamic player who can do a lot of different things,” said Thunder Midget team coach Paul Flache. “He can be a goal scorer or a playmaker or he could also be the guy blocking a shot late in a game.
”He’s still growing and as he gets older and his body develops, he will be even more dynamic and more effective,” added Flache.
“Jay Leach talked to me a lot and when I visited Maine, I loved it,” said Fossier. “The hockey atmosphere is incredible, they have a great coaching staff and the school offers courses I’m interested in.
“There were a few other schools that were interested but Maine seemed like the right fit for me,” added Fossier, who will turn 17 on Dec. 21.
Fossier was drafted by Cedar Rapids of the United States Hockey League and is hoping to play for them next season.
Fossier is from an athletic family. His father, Rick, played hockey at Yale before transferring to Michigan State and his mother, Grace, is a volleyball coach.
His coming to Maine is contingent upon his being accepted into the school and meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.
Eyes on Boston for 2014-15 Frozen Four
University of Maine men’s hockey coach Red Gendron and his players were excited to hear the news that the 2014-15 Frozen Four was awarded to the TD Garden in Boston. The last time it was held in Boston, in 2004, Denver beat Maine 1-0 in the title game.
“Boston is a great city and there is an awful lot for the fans to do there when they aren’t watching hockey,” said Gendron. “The building is great and it’s a great hockey town.”
“That’s pretty sweet,” said junior defenseman Jake Rutt from Scarborough. “If we make it, it would be easier travel and the Garden has been known as Alfond South when we play there. It should be interesting if we make it.”
“That’s really exciting. That would be a dream come true for all of us, to be able to play at the Frozen Four in Boston. That would be as close to a backyard venue as you could get from Maine,” said sophomore center and assistant captain Devin Shore. “If we get that privilege, I think our fans would be incredible and it would be an experience we would never forget.”
Gendron said he also liked the other Frozen Four venues: the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., in 2016, the United Center in Chicago in 2017 and the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., in 2018.
Chicago is the only venue that would be hosting its first ever Frozen Four.
“All of the venues are in areas where people support hockey and are passionate about it and each has a lot of amenities outside of hockey for the Frozen Four fans,” said Gendron.
The Regionals in 2014-15 will be held in Providence (East), Manchester, N.H. (Northeast), South Bend, Ind. (Midwest) and Fargo, N.D. (West) and, in 2015-16, they will be held in Albany, N.Y. (East), Worcester, Mass. (Northeast), Cincinnati (Midwest) and St. Paul, Minn. (West).
This season’s regionals will be held in Worcester, Bridgeport, Conn., Cincinnati and St. Paul and the Frozen Four will be at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia April 10-12.