ORONO, Maine — Maine lost three players this week in the wake of NCAA sanctions against the program, but reportedly will keep two important All-Americans on the roster, according to the Bangor Daily News.
Brad Mahoney and Tim Lovell, both seniors, transferred to rival Hockey East schools this week. Mahoney transferred to Northeastern to play for Bruce Crowder. Mahoney cited ice time as his main reason for making the jump.
Lovell transferred to UMass where he will sit out the 1996-97 season to work on his academics before finishing out his college career at UMass in 1997-98. Lovell’s move surprised many, especially when it was found out he would have to sit out at least half a season. UMass has finished in 9th and 8th place respectively the last two seasons.
Brett Clark, a Hockey East All-Rookie Team selection in 1995-96 has elected to try out for the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League (WHL). The Brandon Wheat Kings are a Major Junior A program, and Clark will lose his college eligibility by playing there. Clark was looking for more exposure to market himself as a player.
The good news for Maine, according to the Bangor Daily News, is senior goaltender Blair Allison, an All-American in 1994-95, and senior defenseman Jeff Tory, an All-American each of the last two seasons, have both decided to stay at the university. Both had considered trying out for the Canadian National Team.
To date Maine has lost seven players this off-season. Seniors Brad Purdie, Tony Frenette and Blair Marsh graduated, and forward Jamie Thompson left the team along with Lovell, Mahoney and Clark.
While it will help to have Allison and Tory back, Maine will miss Clark and will be thin on defense this season. Maine ended last year with only seven defenseman on scholarship, and with Clark leaving and no defensemen recruited on scholarship for Maine, it will be up to the six guys left to carry the load. Maine will return Tory, fellow senior Jason Mansoff, juniors Brian White, Jeff Libby and Leo Wlasow, and sophomore David Cullen on the blueline.
Maine was penalized on July 31 by the NCAA for numerous violations. Among those penalties against the program was a ban on postseason competition for Maine this season. Because of the sanctions, Maine seniors could transfer before the start of school without having to sit out the mandatory season.