As we are at the halfway point, I took sometime off to enjoy the holidays. But with the Florida College Classic just days away, I’d thought I’d give my top five players, so far.
5. Mark Anthoine
The senior assistant captain is having quite the season so far, 6 goals and 7 assists totaling 13 points as he has been one of Maine’s brightspots in 2013. Early on he was the points leader for the Maine Black Bears. He saw early success including a 4-point game against Umass on October 26 before taking a dip in the month of November. He’s currently on a 3-game point streak, very disciplined as he’s only committed two penalties. He’s what defines solid veteran leadership as an assistant captain on this Black Bears team.
4. Freshmen Forward Line (Morgan-Brown-Byron)
For the #4 on my countdown I decided to do the entire freshmen line together or the Kid Line 2.0 as some call it has been together for almost all 16 games. Why do you ask? Well they’ve played well together and they’re producing. Together they’ve scored 12-17-29 as they amount to over 20% of the offense Maine has shown so far.
Brian Morgan has taken the backseat on that line, he’s played well producing a stat line of 4-3-7, but he hasn’t made the impact like Cam Brown and Blaine Byron have.
Cam Brown, for only being 5’9” he’s got some speed. He’s centers that line and distributes the puck effectively as he’s been credited with 9 assists, he’s also scored two goals including a big one against Umass-Lowell earlier this month.
The big star on this line has been Blaine Byron, the sixth-round Penguins draft pick has done nothing but impress me over the semester. He’s evenly balanced goal scoring with accumulating assists as he boasts a stat line of 6-5-11. He’s got this swagger, and he carries himself well. While he doesn’t score points on a nightly basis, he’s balanced his scoring well and continues to be a dominant force on this young Black Bears squad.
3. Ben Hutton
The co-leader in goals scored has enjoyed a great semester as his scoring has been often enough to make him #3 on my list. Similar to Anthoine, he was a leader in points and has been neck-and-neck with Devin Shore all season long. Has managed to get at least 1 point in 11 of Maine’s 16 games. The sophomore defensemen and Canucks draft pick continues to build off his successful freshman campaign. He currently is among the leaders in goal scoring among defensemen in the whole country. He leads the teams in PP goals. His offensive consistency has been key for the Black Bears, when he scores a point Maine is 7-3-1.
2. Devin Shore
The offensive MVP at the halfway point is Devin Shore. The sophomore and Stars draft pick has been getting better as the season progresses. He didn’t get off to a hot start only accumulating 2 goals in the first 5 games, but he’s been improving on his game as he’s now is on a 7-game point streak. He’s the leader in points for the team and is on quite a run recently scoring 14 points in the last seven games.
1. Martin Ouellette
The #1 overall player so far has been the man between the pipes for the Black Bears Marty. In fifteen games he’s shown no sign of a “sophomore slump” as his predecessor Dan Sullivan showed last season. He’s only allowed more than 3 goals only three times this season boasting a 2.06 GAA. He’s gotten two shutouts this season … so far (11/8 vs. Vermont, & 11/15 vs. Boston University). Marty has been the key in even Maine’s losses when you think about it. He’s kept the team in the majority of their games (on the road), unfortunately Marty doesn’t play offense as well. If Maine’s offense were to have scored a few more goals on the road, Maine would’ve won a couple of road games. He has been the X factor for Maine so far and will continuee headed into the second half which starts this weekend in Florida.