ORONO, Maine — Entering this season, University of Maine defenseman Mark Nemec had scored three goals in 99 career games.
But his goal in the 2-2 tie with Massachusetts on Friday night gives him two in 12 games this season and that makes the senior tri-captain the team’s second-leading goal scorer.
Only sophomore left wing Connor Leen has more with three.
“It’s those goalies skates [practices] on Tuesday mornings,” grinned Nemec.
Nemec was referring to goalie practices in which he and some teammates shoot on the goalies.
“I’m just trying to get pucks to the net. It seemed to go right through him [UMass goalie Kevin Boyle] on Friday night,” said Nemec about his low snap shot from the high slot that squeezed through the pads of Boyle.
“I’ll take it,” added Nemec. “Obviously, we have to get more guys in the scoring column.”
Maine has scored more than two goals in a game just twice en route to its 2-9-1 record and is ranked 58th among 59 teams in goals per game (1.42).
Only independent Alabama-Huntsville (1.17) has scored fewer goals.
Nemec said the team has to shoot the puck more, get more pucks to the net and drive the net.
“We haven’t had a lot of ugly goals this year,” said Nemec.
He feels the team has made big strides the past couple of games and that has given them some confidence.
“We know we can compete and the younger guys are coming along,” said Nemec.
It was a good week for Nemec.
Not only did he score against UMass, earlier in the week he learned he was one of 20 candidates for the Senior Class Award.
The award is given to a senior hockey player who is committed to staying in school and portraying the values of community, classroom, character and competition.
Nemec and New Hampshire defenseman Connor Hardowa were the only two Hockey East representatives. A national selection committee will reduce the field to 10 finalists in February and the winner will be named at the Frozen Four on April 11-13 in Pittsburgh.
Nemec, a native of Rouses Point, N.Y., is a fifth-year senior after being a redshirt his freshman year.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in May and is pursuing a double major in management. He is a dean’s list student and a three-time UMaine Scholar-Athlete. He has been chosen to the Hockey East All-Academic team.
Nemec has also been active in the community, visiting children with serious medical conditions at Bangor’s Eastern Maine Medical Center and being involved in the Race for the Cure to benefit cancer research. He has also played in benefit softball games.
“I feel very honored to be up there with 19 other seniors across the nation,” said Nemec. “I’ve always been an academics-first kind of guy. I’ve done a good job balancing athletics and academics. I’ve been fortunate to do as well as I have.”
Nemec, who was originally a recruited walk-on, has played in 111 career games and has five goals and 10 assists.