August 03, 2020
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Ice Bears: `We aren’t satisfied yet’

To make it to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four is a great accomplishment.

But the University of Maine Black Bears certainly weren’t reflecting on this year’s success when they boarded the plane at Bangor International Airport for St. Paul, Minn., and the Final Four on Tuesday.

“We aren’t satisfied yet,” said junior right winger Steve Tepper. “We aren’t going to settle for anything less than a national championship. We’ve been there twice before, but we’ve never even been to the championship game. This team has the capability of winning it. We aren’t going to beat ourselves like we did by not playing good team defense two years ago (in a 7-4 semifinal loss to Minnesota).”

Maine lost to Lake Superior State 6-3 in the 1988 semifinal in Lake Placid.

“We haven’t achieved our goal yet. We’re just beginning now,” said junior center Martin Robitaille.

Black Bear Coach Shawn Walsh said his team’s final Alfond Arena practice on Tuesday afternoon proved to him that his team is gearing up for Northern Michigan.

“The intensity was the highest it’s ever been,” said Walsh with a smile. “We had four skirmishes. The juniors are setting the tone for the rest of the team. It was an intense a practice as we’ve ever had.”

Walsh is leaving no stone unturned in his quest for a national championship; expert skate sharpener Jim Sady is along on the trip.

Sady, an Alfond Arena supervisor, has sharpened skates for 11 years and accompanied the team to Lake Placid for the Final Four in 1988. Sady has trained the student managers who have done a lot of the skate sharpening when he hasn’t been available.

“Jimmy and all the student managers have done a great job,” said junior left wing and tri-captain Scott Pellerin. “In a situation like this, we don’t need any distractions. We need the job done right.”

“Jimmy does a really good job and has a lot of experience,” said senior defenseman Brian Straub.

Sady said, “I’m looking forward to it. I’ve never been out there before.”

He said having an experienced skate sharpener “can help the guys mentally.”

The Blaine High School (Minn.) band will back the Black Bears at the Final Four along with some members of the Maine pep band.

“Blaine High School has the same school colors as we do (Blue and White) and their letter jackets are similar to ours,” said Walsh.

“When we contacted them, they were really excited to do it,” said Maine assistant athletic director for internal affairs Ian McCaw.

Maine has scored at least one power-play goal in 21 of its last 22 games and 27 of its last 29 games.

Maine is 48-for-134 over the last 22 games (35.8 percent) and is 60-for-175 in the last 29 games (34.3 percent).

The Black Bears have scored at least two power-play goals in 24 of their 42 games and opponents have done likewise just 11 times.

Opponents haven’t scored more than one power-play goal in a game in the last 14 (7-for-63, 11.1 percent).

Opponents have gone 18-for-110 on the power play against Maine (16.4 percent) over the last 22 games.

But the University of Maine Black Bears certainly weren’t reflecting on this year’s success when they boarded the plane for St. Paul, Minn., and the Final Four on Tuesday.

“We aren’t satisfied yet,” said junior right winger Steve Tepper. “We aren’t going to settle for anything less than a national championship. We’ve been there twice before, but we’ve never even been to the championship game. This team has the capability of winning it. We aren’t going to beat ourselves like we did by not playing good team defense two years ago (in a 7-4 semifinal loss to Minnesota).”

Maine lost to Lake Superior State 6-3 in the 1988 semifinal in Lake Placid.

“We haven’t achieved our goal yet. We’re just beginning now,” said junior center Martin Robitaille.

Black Bear Coach Shawn Walsh said his team’s final Alfond Arena practice on Tuesday afternoon proved to him that his team is gearing up for Northern Michigan.

“The intensity was the highest it’s ever been,” said Walsh with a smile. “We had four skirmishes. The juniors are setting the tone for the rest of the team. It was an intense a practice as we’ve ever had.”

Walsh is leaving no stone unturned in his quest for a national championship; expert skate sharpener Jim Sady is along on the trip.

Sady, an Alfond Arena supervisor, has sharpened skates for 11 years and accompanied the team to Lake Placid for the Final Four in 1988. Sady has trained the student managers who have done a lot of the skate sharpening when he hasn’t been available.

“Jimmy and all the student managers have done a great job,” said junior left wing and tri-captain Scott Pellerin. “In a situation like this, we don’t need any distractions. We need the job done right.”

“Jimmy does a really good job and has a lot of experience,” said senior defenseman Brian Straub.

Sady said, “I’m looking forward to it. I’ve never been out there before.”

He said having an experienced skate sharpener “can help the guys mentally.”

The Blaine High School (Minn.) band will back the Black Bears at the Final Four along with some members of the Maine pep band.

“Blaine High School has the same school colors as we do (Blue and White) and their letter jackets are similar to ours,” said Walsh.

“When we contacted them, they were really excited to do it,” said Maine assistant athletic director for internal affairs Ian McCaw.

Maine has scored at least one power-play goal in 21 of its last 22 games and 27 of its last 29 games.

Maine is 48-for-134 over the last 22 games (35.8 percent) and is 60-for-175 in the last 29 games (34.3 percent).

The Black Bears have scored at least two power-play goals in 24 of their 42 games and opponents have done likewise just 11 times.

Opponents haven’t scored more than one power-play goal in a game in the last 14 (7-for-63, 11.1 percent).

Opponents have gone 18-for-110 on the power play against Maine (16.4 percent) over the last 22 games.


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