The University of Maine’s men’s hockey team finished 32nd out of 51 teams in scoring during the abbreviated 2020-21 season. Then leading goal scorer Eduards Tralmaks left after the season to sign a free-agent deal with the Boston Bruins.
First-year head coach Ben Barr has landed a pair of transfers to help out in that area as forwards Grant Hebert and Matthew Fawcett will be joining the program.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Hebert was the third-leading scorer for Atlantic Hockey team Robert Morris (Pennsylvania) University this past season with eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points in 24 games. He had two power-play goals, two game-winners and was plus-six in plus-minus to share the team lead among forwards.
Robert Morris, which went 15-9, announced early this spring that it was dropping its men’s and women’s hockey programs but stated last month that it has partnered with the Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation to reinstate the programs.
The 5-foot-6, 148-pound Fawcett had four goals and five assists in 21 games for NCAA Tournament team Quinnipiac (Connecticut) from the ECAC. He was a sophomore and he hails from Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Barr called Hebert a scorer with a lot of upside who can move well for his size. Fawcett is “quick in the corners and has a good stick” who is pesky and tough to play against, the coach said.
Fawcett showed a scoring touch prior to college. In three seasons at the Winchendon School in Massachusetts, he had 71 goals and 93 assists in 82 games. In 2018-19, he had 10 goals and 10 assists in 21 games for Powell River in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League.
The 24-year-old Hebert played with current Black Bears A.J. Drobot and Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup with the Fargo Force in the United States Junior Hockey League, where they won a playoff championship during the 2017-18 season.
Barr is also hoping to get a boost from 6-foot-8, 245-pound Keenan Suthers, a winger who transferred to UMaine from St. Lawrence a year ago but had to sit out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. He was able to practice with the Black Bears.
He was the Saints’ leading goal scorer in 2019-20 with nine to go with five assists in 31 games. He shared the team lead in power play goals with three. The 23-year-old former United States National Team Development Program Under-17 and Under-18 player had 16 goals and 18 assists in 97 career games at ECAC school St. Lawrence.