University of Maine senior left wing and assistant captain Mark Anthoine of Lewiston has signed an amateur tryout contract with the Evansville IceMen of the ECHL.
He is the third Black Bear to sign a contract with an ECHL franchise. An amateur tryout contract is for those players leaving college and turning professional.
Senior defenseman and captain Brice O’Connor signed with the Stockton Thunder (Calif.) and has already played three games. He has one assist.
Senior center Jon Swavely signed with the Reading Royals in his hometown of Reading, Pa.
“I am delighted for all of them. They have earned it,” said Maine coach Red Gendron.
The ECHL is the baseball equivalent of Double-A. The American Hockey League would be baseball’s Triple-A or the top minor league affiliate.
Stockton is affiliated with the New York Islanders, while Evansville’s parent club is the Columbus Blue Jackets and Reading is affiliated with the Washington Capitals.
O’Connor has been reunited with former Black Bear Joey Diamond, who has played four games for the Thunder after playing 36 for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. Diamond, UMaine’s all-time penalty minutes leader with 467, had seven goals, five assists and 71 penalty minutes for Bridgeport and has four assists and four penalty minutes for Stockton.
Anthoine had nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points at Maine this past season. He had two power-play goals, two shorthanded goals and a pair of game-winners. He was plus-12, which was third-best on the team.
Players receive a plus-one if they are on the ice when their team scores an even-strength or shorthanded goal and a minus-one if the opposing team scores one.
The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Anthoine finished his career with 26 goals and 24 assists in 146 games. He tied for the national lead in power-play goals with 11 during the team’s NCAA Tournament season in 2011-12.
He played in 128 consecutive games.
“He has been a great player here,” said Gendron. “He worked his tail off, he did everything we asked him to do, he was a great student and a great captain.
“He played on the power play, he killed penalties and he played on our top three lines all year,” said Gendron. “He had a great year.”
The 5-11, 190-pound O’Connor, a native of Londonderry, N.H., had two goals and seven assists in 34 games this season and concluded his 104-game career with five goals and 20 assists.
“I have been around a lot of great captains over the years and there have been some who were as good as Brice, but there haven’t been any better,” said Gendron. “He was a good defensive defenseman and he improved his offense this year.”
The 5-9, 175-pound Swavely had three goals and three assists in 35 games and was a valuable penalty-killer.
He concluded his career with seven goals and 15 assists in 118 games.
“Jon was a great, hard-working player who was a pure competitor. He was excellent defensively,” said Gendron.