"We're not conceding this season as a 'rebuilding' year. This could be our biggest challenge since we fielded our first team in 1977".
Those are the emphatic words of head hockey coach Jack Semler, who is set for his fifth year (78 wins, 47 losses, two ties) at Maine. The 1980-81 New England Division One Coach-of-the-Year sees 1981-82 as another stepping stone in the Black Bears' quest to maintain their young hockey program as one of the East's best.
"The stakes are much higher now than 1977 because we are a Division One team," points out Semler, who will again be assisted by Gary Wright. "On the one hand, we've got a group of upperclassmen eager to prove themselves without being in the shadow of last year's graduated seniors. This is their chance to prove what an integral part of Maine hockey they have been. On the other hand, we've got a group of freshmen who I feel can prove themselves the strongest class ever recruited at Maine if they pull together and play with enthusiasm and emotion. With teams like Providence, BC, UNH, and Colgate having no key graduation losses, people won't be picking us to do much, but this factor alone is great incentive. If we make the playoffs, this team will have accomplished more than any Maine hockey team we've had."
University of Maine Department of Public Information and Central Services, "1981-1982 Maine Hockey Guide" (1981). General University of Maine Publications. 3106.
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