Maine Hockey Journal

UMaine announce incoming recruiting class

The University of Maine men’s hockey program has added two more signees from last week’s National Letter of Intent signing period.

Forward Ryan Smith from the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League and goalie Tyler Johnson of the North American Hockey League’s Topeka Roadrunners have joined seven other players in the recruiting class for next fall.

Center/left wing Tim Doherty, who attended Brown University but didn’t appear in a game and wound up playing for the Boston Junior Bruins of the U.S. Premier Hockey League, and 6-foot-8 goaltender Stephen Mundinger from the New York Aviators of the NA3EHL also are recent additions to go with Smith and Johnson and November signees Chase Pearson, Patrick Shea, Mitchell Fossier, Jake Pappalardo and Patrick Holway.

Pearson, Shea, Fossier and Pappalardo are forwards, and Holway is a defenseman.

“All of these guys are impact players,” said UMaine head coach Red Gendron. “I’m pretty excited about the class.

“We have a good blend. We have size, we have skill, we have speed and hockey sense,” said Gendron. “We have guys who have demonstrated that they are good at finishing.”

Goal scoring was UMaine’s most glaring deficiency as the Black Bears finished 55th among 60 teams in goals at exactly two per game, and their power play was 46th at 14.1 percent efficiency.

The immediate eligibility of Johnson and Doherty is up in the air because Johnson played in 10 minutes of a game for the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario (Major Junior) Hockey League and Doherty was at Brown for two months.

In the eyes of the NCAA, Major Junior teams are seen a professional teams because the players receive stipends.

Gendron said the university is “appealing” to the NCAA on behalf of Johnson and Doherty to have them eligible as soon as possible.

Smith will join UMaine by way of the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. The 6-foot, 195-pound forward has registered 12 goals and 12 assists during the 2015-16 Season. The Roanoke, Virginia, native also was a member of Team USA at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.

In describing Smith’s game, Gendron said, “[Smith] is a dynamic skater who plays a power forward type of game.”

Johnson (6-3, 185) will be a presence between the pipes for the Black Bears. The Amherst, New York, native has compiled a 2.56 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage en route to a 20-­13-­0 record while with Topeka.

“Tyler is an exceptional athlete with great size and instincts for the game,” Gendron said

Doherty (6-0, 185) comes to UMaine from the Boston Jr. Bruins of the USPHL. During his junior career he has amassed 61 goals 77 assists for 138 points in 117 career games.

In describing the Portsmouth, Rhode Island, native’s game, Gendron said, “Tim Doherty possesses exceptional offensive instincts, particularly around the net.”

Mundinger (6-8, 236) comes to UMaine by way of Smithtown, New York. As a member of the New York Aviators, the goaltender compiled a 2.71 GAA and a .936 save percentage.

“At 6-8, [Mundinger] might be the biggest goalie in hockey. He also possesses very good athleticism,” Gendron said.

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