Former University of Maine men’s hockey coach assistant coach Campbell Blair, now the top assistant at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, admitted he was really looking forward to Friday night’s game against the Black Bears in the Alaskan Goal Rush Tournament in Fairbanks, Alaska.
“This will be one of the biggest games I want to win this season,” said Blair, who played defense at Maine for two years and graduated in 1991.
Blair was the No. 2 assistant at Maine for five years but was bypassed for the top assistant’s job three years ago when Grant Standbrook announced he was going to step down. Standbrook became the volunteer assistant.
Guy Perron, the head coach of the Maine women’s program at the time, was eventually named the top assistant/recruiting coordinator after Blair left. Perron resigned last summer to become a scout for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. He was replaced by Bob Corkum.
“I miss Maine but the reason I left was I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to be the top assistant,” said Blair, who accepted the top assistant’s job offered to him by UAA coach Dave Shyiak.
Maine head coach Tim Whitehead said at the time he didn’t feel Blair had enough college coaching experience to warrant the No. 1 assistant’s job.
The 42-year-old Blair said he enjoys Anchorage and noted it has different challenges than Maine.
He said Alaska-Anchorage doesn’t have the storied tradition of Maine and the electric atmosphere at Alfond Arena, which is a top recruiting tool.
Like Maine, they have geographical challenges.
“We get kids who want the opportunity to play right away,” said Blair.
Blair was saddened to see Perron and Standbrook leave the Maine program but said he expects Corkum, his former teammate, to “do a good job.”
He said he was looking forward to “seeing the guys again” and the feeling was mutual.
“It’ll definitely be nice to see him and talk to him, see how things are going. And hopefully we’ll beat them,” said Maine senior defenseman Matt Duffy.
Senior right wing and co-captain Jeff Marshall said Blair came out to Saskatchewan a couple of times to recruit him and teammate Chris Hahn.
“He’s a great coach. I know his team will definitely be well-prepared,” said Marshall.
Blair’s wife, Kate, a former assistant women’s hockey coach at Maine, gave birth to their first child, James Patrick, in February.
“I can’t wait to take him out on the ice,” said Campbell.
The Seawolves went 7-21-8 a year ago after a 13-21-3 season two years ago. The league’s coaches chose them to finish 10th in the WCHA this season.
Bruno Dorismond honored
Former UMaine football player Bruno Dorismond has been announced as a regional winner of the Academic Momentum Award presented by presented by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports and the Scholar-Baller Program.
Dorismond, who graduated last spring with a degree in child development and family relations, hails from New Canaan, Conn. He played defensive tackle for the Black Bears.
The Scholar-Baller program bridges the gap between education and sport, utilizing student-athletes’ passion for entertainment and athletics.
The winners include students who were formerly ineligible, were “special admits” and others who overcame challenges to excel in the classroom and on the field.
Alfond Stadium dedication set
Colby College in Waterville will hold the dedication ceremony for the new Harold Alfond Stadium prior to today’s home football game against Hamilton.
The ceremony celebrating the opening of the $6 million project will be held at 11:30 a.m. Colby Trustee William Alfond (Class of 1972), along with Colby president William Ayers and athletic director Marcella Zalot will participate in the event.
Renovations included the installation of FieldTurf, a new track, facility lighting, a new scoreboard, and several other amenities.