Maine Hockey Journal

Gordon leads by example

Photo by Southern Maine Athletics

Photo by Southern Maine Athletics

Gorham, ME – Dan Gordon, a forward at the University of Southern Maine, has endured the best and worst times in his collegiate career.

Still, he wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Gordon began his collegiate playing career with UMass-Amherst with the dreams of playing Division I hockey, which may allow him to someday of making it a career. He had already committed to Norwich University, a Division III school, but UMass-Amherst came knocking on his door with the promise of playing time and more importantly a scholarship.

The offer was too good for Gordon to pass up, so he was heading for Amherst, Massachusetts, which was about two hours from his home in Lynnfield, Mass. and it allowed him a chance to play Division I hockey.

In his first year as a freshman, he played 25 games for the Minutemen excelling in his role on the team under head coach Don Cahoon.

In 2005-06, something changed for Gordon. He went from playing 25 games as a freshman, to not seeing any action as a sophomore. He grew increasingly frustrated at the process and begun to look elsewhere for playing time, whether it was another Division I school or Division III.

“I guess I didn’t fit the player type of what (UMass-Amherst) were trying to do that season,” said Gordon.

While looking for a place to play, he remembered a little school in Maine that he had visited a few years prior.

The Southern Maine men’s ice hockey program had turned a corner over the last several years due in part to the hard work and long hours put into recruiting by head coach Jeff Beaney.

As someone who has been with the program for 22 years it doesn’t hurt when he’s knocking on doors and speaking with possible future players – even if they don’t show up on day one.

“I remembered Coach Beaney and the Southern Maine program,” said Gordon. “I contacted him (while looking for a new school) and he was still interested in me coming. I really liked the school when I came to visit and the program was doing much better than years ago.”

“The program was on the rise and I figured it was the school for me, it had a great facility and wasn’t too far from home.”

In his first season at Southern Maine, Gordon made an instant impact on the team with his offensive capabilities, scoring 13 goals, 16 assists for 29 points in 25 games. He’d finish the season ranked second in team scoring.

“I came into that season, not playing a game the previous year so it was a little tough for me to get back into game shape, but it felt great to be back playing again,” said Gordon.

However, sometimes his capabilities got the best of him, as Beaney would need to settle down the young upstart.

“At times, I was a little too excited coming back and coach (Beaney) took me aside and told me not to worry about doing too much,” he said.

Photo by Southern Maine Athletics

Photo by Southern Maine Athletics

Entering his senior year, the young 23-year old is one of eight seniors on this year’s squad and there was a buzz about the team after last season run that unfortunately came up short.

On the ice, Gordon is the one yelling commands, but off, he’s very quiet and reserved often letting others voice their opinions, unless he feels something needs to be said.

“I try to let the captain’s do their role of talking,” he said. “I’m a quiet guy who goes out and (competes) hard. I try to get the team going by my play on the ice, but if something needs to be said, I will say it.”

Gordon spent this summer working very hard to get ready for the season. He’s nearly finished with his B.A. in Business Administration and completing his education was important to him and his parents, but wanted to make sure his on the attributes on the ice would be remembered as well.

“The key for me was this summer was I said that this was my senior year,” he said. “I want remember my senior year and I just put a lot of effort into working out and getting my body ready for the season.”

“This was the most prepared I’ve ever been and I feel that has to contribute to my success this season.”

Gordon’s numbers speak for themselves at this point of the season. In 15 games, he’s has nine goals, 15 assists for 24 points.

His contribution will be vitally important for the Huskies as they play their final 10 games against ECAC East or NESCAC opponents. Southern Maine is currently 7-8-0 overall (4-5-0 ECAC East) after losing a pair of games last weekend to Amherst and Hamilton.

They have a chance to right the ship, so to speak, as they will play Babson (5-7-1 overall, 4-5-0 ECAC East) and UMass-Boston (5-7-2 overall, 2-6-1 ECAC East) this weekend as both teams have struggled at time this season.

Southern Maine won’t return back to the USM Ice Arena until Feb 6 when they take on Skidmore.

Gordon knows what’s at stake after last season.

“It’s not about the points in my column, but the points we get as a team,” he said.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply