Every athlete wants to have a memorable final season.
Eduards Tralmaks is off to a promising start during his senior season for the University of Maine men’s hockey team.
The right winger has registered five goals and three assists through his first eight games. That includes two short-handed goals, which leads the nation.
Tralmaks scored both goals, including a short-handed tally, in last Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Providence.
“The last three seasons, it was me basically building up to being the best power forward that I could be. That includes being physical, getting to the net and shooting pucks,” Tralmaks said.
He is operating under specific instructions from his coach.
“Coach Red told me he is happy when I shoot the puck and I want to make coach happy. That’s where those two goals came from last weekend,” Tralmaks said.
He is tied for second on the team with 18 shots on goal, one behind linemate Adam Dawe.
Tralmak’s goal is to become a complete player.
“I’ve seen a lot of minutes on the penalty kill this season and every part of the game I am playing in makes me confident,” he said.
Tralmaks’ short-handed goals are the first two of his career as he has taken on a much more prominent role on the penalty kill. He also has two power-play goals.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound native of Riga, Latvia, has strived to take on more of a leadership role.
“He is one of our hardest workers and is our hardest worker on many days,” Gendron said. “We’re grateful he is getting some payoff for all the work he has done. He also pays attention to detail and he is focused.”
Gendron said Tralmaks is at his best as a power forward when he is playing physical hockey and getting to the net.
Tralmaks went into this week’s series at Boston University with 80 points in 115 career games (38 goals, 42 assists). He is plus-23, meaning he has been on the ice for 23 more goals scored than goals allowed.
“I’m not nearly satisfied with how I’ve played. I have more potential. I want to be more consistent,” he said. “I’ve had success in some games but the team needed more from me in other games and I didn’t produce. My biggest goal is to give everything I have in every game to help the team win,” he said.
Tralmaks said the team is playing with more confidence since it held a players-only team meeting on Jan. 8 after a 5-4 loss at Vermont during which the players had been critical of each other on the bench.
They cleared the air and have won two of the last three games.
“We know we have the pieces to the puzzle on this team [succeed],” Tralmaks said.
The Black Bears (2-5-1) will have their hands full this weekend with a talented Boston University team (3-1).
The Terriers feature 13 National Hockey League draft choices (UMaine has two) and the Terriers rank second in the country with 4.25 goals per game.
That means UMaine will have to continue to be physical in all three zones to slow down the Terriers and limit their time and space with the puck.
“The more physical we play, the more we’ll have the puck,” Tralmaks said.