ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine’s men’s hockey team has added some needed size up front.
Six-foot-two, 195-pound right winger Andrew Tegeler, who spent a season and a half at the University of Massachusetts, has transferred to Maine.
Tegeler scored a goal in five games his freshman year at UMass and played in one game during the first semester last season before leaving to play for the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League.
Don Cahoon, who had recruited Tegeler, retired after Tegeler’s freshman season and was replaced by John Micheletto. Tegeler left to get more playing time.
He had six goals and 15 assists in 28 games for the Vipers.
Tegeler is one of just four forwards on the Maine roster taller than six feet.
New Maine head coach Red Gendron was at UMass when Tegeler was being recruited before leaving to become an assistant at Yale.
“I know him. He’s a zero-maintenance kid. He’s a worker and is also a big body that can fly,” said Gendron. “He gives us a dimension of speed and size.
“He’s got good skill. He’s the kind of player who will go up down the wing and finish his checks and he can also shoot the puck well. He’s fearless. He’ll create some havoc,” added Gendron.
Gendron said it isn’t known yet when Tegeler will be eligible. It could be immediately or for the second semester. UMaine is also waiting to find out if Tegeler will have two or three years of eligibility remaining.
“I’m excited to be here and start a new chapter,” said Tegeler. “I had a good season in Vernon. We had a pretty young team. It was a good time.”
He said he heard from several college coaches including Gendron, who had first contacted him when he was at Yale and then after he became the head coach at Maine.
He visited the school and was impressed particularly with the “tradition and history” of the hockey program and the important role it plays within the athletic program and the community.
He attended Gloucester County College in his native Sewell, N.J. over the summer and has already earned a two-year associate’s degree. He took 30 credit hours.
Before attending UMass, Tegeler played for the Boston Junior Bruins in the Eastern Junior Hockey League and had 23 goals and 24 assists in 58 games. He was also a plus-30 in plus-minus.
Players are awarded a plus-one if they are on the ice when their team scores an even-strength or shorthanded goal and a minus-one if their team allows one.
Tegeler, who turned 21 years old last month, has met some of his teammates and said “I feel like part of the team already. I had a lot of fun with them.”
Tegeler isn’t the only addition to the Black Bear hockey program.
Gendron said John Racine, who was the goalie coach for the former Lewiston Maineiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will be the team’s volunteer assistant coach/goalie coach.
Gendron said he was impressed with Racine and he was highly recommended by friend and former Lewiston head coach J.F. Houle.
“John has some experience at a reasonable level and will be with us a couple days a week and at some games,” said Gendron. “He has a full-time job.”
Racine has been involved in coaching since 1988 and had previously been the goalie coach at his alma mater, St. Dominic High School and with the Maine Moose junior team and the University of New Hampshire’s club team. He is also a referee. He is a senior staff member and the goaltender coach at Rousseau’s Hockey Clinics.
The university has also added a strength and conditioning coach in Matt Murray, who will work with the men’s and women’s hockey program beginning with dry-land training which gets underway this week.
“He’s a young guy with a ton of enthusiasm and a great knowledge base,” said Gendron. “He has worked with hockey players before. He worked with Northeastern’s hockey teams. He has a feel for it. It’s very enticing to (women’s coach) Maria Lewis and me.”