University of Maine junior Allen Ledbetter continued his steady climb up the all-time Black Bear rebounding list on Saturday as he cracked the top 10.
Ledbetter, a rugged 6-foot-6, 225-pound forward from Gary, Ind., grabbed 11 more rebounds in a 94-82 loss to Delware. That gives him 654 in a career that has spanned just 71 games (9.2 rpg), and moved him past Dave Svendsen into 10th place in UMaine history. Svendson tallied 653 between 1962-65.
Ledbetter entered this season nearly on pace to become only the second Black Bear player to grab 1,000 rebounds in his career, and has improved his output markedly from past seasons.
Ledbetter averaged 7.4 rebounds per game as a freshman, upped that to 9.5 boards a contest last year, and is pulling down a whopping 12.1 rpg so far this year. That ranks him third in the nation and first in America East.
So far, Ledbetter has passed 11 former Bears in 13 games this season in his steady trek up the all-time list. Bob Warner sits first with the virtually unreachable total of 1,304 that he gathered in a stellar career spanning 1972-76.
To put that mark in context, with Ledbetter’s ninth rebound on Saturday he finally reached the halfway mark en route to Warner’s record. If Ledbetter is able to rebound at the same pace he has held this year, he would still finish nearly 200 rebounds shy of the record.
At the time, Warner’s mark was even more impressive: he averaged 13.6 rpg over his entire career and smashed the UMaine rebounding mark that existed when he enrolled at the school – Guy Strang’s 727 – by 577 boards.
Still, if Ledbetter is able to continue rebounding at this pace and the Bears play 14 more games (13 regular season and one conference playoff) he would finish his junior year in third place on the list, firmly entrenched between No. 2 Jeff Cross (894) and No. 3 Rufus Harris (806).
Junior college transfer Linnell Marshall made his University of Maine debut against Delaware on Saturday night, scoring no points and grabbing one rebound in seven minutes of action.
Marshall joined the Bears in late December, then broke a finger on his left (non-shooting) hand on Dec. 29.
Marshall is a 6-foot-8 forward who played at Champlain College in Burlington, Vt., last season and attended the school during the fall semester to get the necessary credits to transfer.
The first women’s college hockey championship game will be held prior to the Hockey East championship game at the FleetCenter in Boston on March 21. The women’s game will be at 4 p.m. with the Hockey East title game set for 8 p.m.
The women’s national championship game won’t be sanctioned by NCAA because there aren’t enough teams yet.
New York Rangers scout Bob Crocker, New York Islanders scout Jim Madigan and former Boston Bruins scout Joe Lyons, now a hockey consultant for the Cooney Management Company, said incoming Maine recruits Doug Janik and Peter Metcalf, both defensemen, will significantly help the Bears next season.
“They are both top recruits,” said Lyons. “Janik could be a franchise-type player. He’s a great skater. Metcalf will be steady defenseman.”
Crocker said, “Janik is a big-time player. He’s got all the tools. He could play for anybody in the country. He’s a good pro prospect. Metcalf has the potential to be a good college player. He’s a good catch.”
Madigan said Metcalf will be a “good, solid Division I player” and Janik is a smart player who moves the puck well and has pro potential.
Maine and New Hampshire, this weekend’s combatants in Orono, will play Colgate and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, respectively, in the first ECAC-Hockey East doubleheader at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 22.
“It’ll be a great Christmas trip for our players,” Walsh said.
If the Madison Square Garden L.P. Cablevision Systems Corporation televises the game, it’ll be great exposure for the teams, Walsh added.