Adam Dawe had his head down when he skated out of the corner with the puck. He never saw Northeastern University’s Brandon Hawkins.
The University of Maine winger wound up taking an elbow to the head in that Jan. 12 game, resulting in his second concussion of 2018-19. He missed the rest of the hockey season.
Adam Dawe admitted that he worried his hockey career might come to a premature end.
“Obviously, that is always a concern with a head injury,” a now healthy Dawe said after the Black Bears’ practice Wednesday afternoon at Alfond Arena in Orono. “But I wasn’t going to make a decision while I was hurt. You want to keep going as far as you can.”
He experienced a lot of the symptoms that accompany concussions, including headaches and disorientation.
“I was really out of it. I remember everything, but I was dazed. I didn’t know what was going on. It was a scary moment. But I’m fine now,” Dawe said.
With the help of a specialist in Portland, he was able to keep up with his schoolwork and return to good health.
“It was a little challenging at first, but I got through it,” Dawe said.
Dawe didn’t strap on a pair of skates until May as doctors and trainers wanted to make sure he eased back into vigorous activity.
He returned to his native Newfoundland for the summer where he worked, skated and trained.
“I got a good rest over the summer. I got my head better, and I’m really excited to get back into the lineup,” Dawe said.
“I am beyond thankful that I get to play again. I couldn’t see myself not playing,” Dawe said. “I love [being back], seeing the guys.”
UMaine has begun preparations in earnest for the upcoming season, which begins with its Oct. 5 opener at Providence.
Dawe wound up playing in 17 of UMaine’s 36 games last season, and he finished with one goal and six assists. He posted a goal and three assists in his last five games.
In addition to being a crafty player with offensive skills, the 5-foot-8, 161-pound Dawe is also one of the Black Bears’ most physical players. He landed several jarring checks a year ago.
“We are delighted to have him back,” UMaine head coach Red Gendron said. “He is a really nifty player. Despite his diminutive size, he has a lot of courage. He’ll play in the dirty [high-traffic] areas. But it’s his hockey sense that makes him exceptional.”
UMaine junior Eduards Tralmaks said Dawe impresses with his skill and intensity.
“For a little guy like him, he has all the tools,” Tralmaks said. “His heart will always be there, and his work ethic will never change. He will always go out and hit people and help the team.
Tralmaks said Dawe is a player who has earned respect through his resilience and determination.
“He has battled through some real bad injuries that could have ended his career. He is stronger and better than ever now. He loves the game. I have huge respect for him.”
Dawe plans to continue to play a physical brand of hockey, although he may tone it down a little and will look avoid absorbing big hits.
“I’ll take some extra looks,” he said.
He feels he has improved every part of his game from last year and is 15 pounds heavier.
“I’m just going to take it one game at a time. I want to produce more than I did last year,” Dawe said.
“It’s awesome to see him back,” UMaine senior captain Mitch Fossier said. “He was down and dejected last year because he was worried about his future playing hockey, something he loves. But now he’s smiling every day, having a good time.”