ORONO, Maine — Former University of Maine goalie Ray Jean has begun his new stint as the volunteer assistant goalie coach at Maine. He replaces John Racine, who lives in Lewiston and received a job promotion that would limit his availability.
Jean, who backed up Jimmy Howard and Frank Doyle before transferring to Bentley and being a two-year starter, said he learned a lot from former Maine assistant Grant Standbrook and adheres to Standbrook’s belief that skating has to be a primary point of emphasis.
“Grant taught us how important skating is and we worked on it a lot,” said Jean, who is from Randolph and is a former Gardiner High School standout. “If you put a lot of time into skating, you are bound to be a better goalie regardless of your style.”
Jean, who owns a goaltending school, Own the Crease, with brothers Ryan and Cody, worked with the Maine goalies last Wednesday and was impressed with the trio of seniors Martin Ouellette and Dan Sullivan and sophomore Matt Strickrott.
“You’re always nervous when you work with goalies for the first time. But they were very open and very receptive. They were eager to hear what I had to say,” said Jean. “Marty and Dan already have their styles established so we fine-tuned stuff for them. We worked more on the situational aspects and how they play them.”
He also had them work on drills to improve their ice balance so they are in better position to make the first save, control the rebound and be in position to make any followup saves.
The 31-year-old Jean, who lives in Sidney and works at the Bank of Maine, will have special Wednesday morning sessions with the goaltenders and hopes to be on hand for the regular practice later that day.
He said he also will try to be on hand for some home games and other practices and the goalies can reach him by phone, email or text messages at any time.