Maine captain O’Connor gets Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award

Maine defenseman Brice O’Connor was named the 2014 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award winner on Friday.

O’Connor, the Black Bears senior captain, is a three-time Hockey East all-academic team selection and a finalist for this year’s Dean Smith Award as the top scholar-athlete at Maine.

“In 34 years of coaching at virtually every level of our game, I’ve seen one or two captains as good as Brice but none better,” Maine coach Red Gendron said in a news release. “He holds himself daily to the highest possible standards and holds his teammates accountable to do the same. He models the right behaviors and he is vocal in getting his teammates to adhere to those same high standards.”

O’Connor had five goals and 25 points in 104 collegiate games.

A finance major with a minor in innovation engineering, O’Connor served as treasurer of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He also was involved in the community, visiting hospitalized children and helping to install a new basketball court at the local YMCA.

The award is named after former Army player Derek Hines, who was killed in the line of duty in 2005 in Afghanistan.