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It will have been simple for Lynden Breen to play for the group he idolized rising up.
The College of Maine hockey group’s sophomore heart grew up in Grand Bay-Westfield, New Brunswick, simply 5 minutes away from Saint John, dwelling of the Quebec Main Junior Hockey League’s Saint John Sea Canine.
He seemed as much as gamers like Jonathan Huberdeau, who has gone on to amass 531 factors in 620 video games for the Nationwide Hockey League’s Florida Panthers.
Breen was drafted by the Sea Canine however he had already verbally dedicated to attend the College of Maine and he caught to his dedication.
Breen had performed for the Sea Canine’ Underneath-15 and Underneath-18 groups however these have been newbie groups.
The QMJHL Sea Canine are thought-about knowledgeable group within the eyes of the NCAA as a result of the gamers obtain financial compensation so that they aren’t eligible to play U.S. faculty hockey.
Breen stated he had a coach in New Brunswick who used to take him to tournaments in the USA and he wound up leaving New Brunswick to attend New Hampton Prep Faculty in New Hampshire and play hockey there in 2016-17.
He spent a few years there earlier than transferring on to the Central Illinois Flying Aces and the Fargo Power in the USA Hockey League, one of many prime breeding grounds for NCAA Division I gamers.
In his remaining season with the Power, he had 18 targets and 30 assists for 48 factors in 45 video games and was named the group’s Most Useful Participant.
He stated his resolution to maneuver to the USA and go the school route as an alternative of the Quebec Main Junior path was the results of him eager to strive one thing new.
“If I had stayed in Saint John, perhaps issues may have been higher in some conditions. However, then once more, I don’t remorse it one bit. I like it right here. That is the place I wish to play and that is the place I wish to win,” Breen stated.
Breen has been an impactful participant ever since he has been at UMaine.
He was the group’s second-leading scorer within the abbreviated 2020-21 season with three targets and eight assists for 11 factors in 16 video games and he’s tied for the group lead in factors this season with two targets and 6 assists for eight factors in 17 video games.
The tenacious and swift-skating Breen performs in all conditions and is among the many group leaders in ice time.
He can be one of many constructing blocks of the longer term for first-year coach Ben Barr.
“He does the whole lot for us and he by no means will get drained,” Barr stated. “You possibly can put him on the market for 25 minutes a sport and, for a ahead, that’s rather a lot. He’s in nice form.”
“He performs with lots of power and he offers the entire group a spark,” stated UMaine captain and heart Jack Quinlivan. “He has turn into a focus of the group. He’s going to be an ideal chief the subsequent couple of years.”
The fearless Breen, who performs a lot greater than his 5-foot-9, 168-pound body, stated he feels he has taken a “large step” the previous few weeks.
“I anticipated rather a lot from myself originally of the season and issues weren’t coming. I wasn’t producing rather a lot. I’m nonetheless not producing a complete lot but it surely’s coming. I’m getting extra pucks to the net, I’m attending to the net extra. I’m getting extra assured in my sport,” Breen stated. “I do know if I hold that up, a pair will go in for me.”
“He works actual laborious and he’s fast,” stated senior winger Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup. “He’s a tough man to deal with within the corners. He’s very shifty. It’s not simple to maintain up with him.”
The 20-year-old Breen and the remainder of the veterans have had rather a lot to beat. They needed to play all 15 of their common season video games on the highway final season because of COVID-19 restrictions and head coach Purple Gendron died unexpectedly in April so that they needed to adapt to a brand new coach this season in Barr.
They’ve struggled to the tune of a 2-11-4 file however will take a three-game unbeaten streak (1-0-2) right into a two-game dwelling collection in opposition to Alaska (Fairbanks) on Jan. 7-8.
“Coming in right here figuring out what an ideal hockey college it was, it’s and that it’ll be and to have all that occur was like getting hit within the face,” Breen stated. “However we’ve such a vibrant future. There are such a lot of constructive indicators to look ahead to.”
Bangor Every day Information