Maine Hockey Journal

Maine receives commitment from Brian Harris

The University of Maine men’s ice hockey team continues to reload the blue line for 2011 season as they Black Bears received a verbal commitment from Boston Advantage defenseman Brian Harris.

“I like the hockey program and everything about it,” said Brian Harris.

“He called me after the meetings and he fell in love with the school,” Boston Advantage Head Coach Tim Lovell said. “It had the hockey tradition and he was happy with the academic side.”

Harris is a 5’9, 186 pound defenseman has 16 goals and 37 assists this season along with 120 penalty minutes.

“Brian is an offensive defenseman,” said Lovell. He skates well, he handles the puck real well, and sees the ice real well.”

“Being a smaller guy, it’s definitely harder, but I have to take the hits,” Harris said. “I got to use my speed and play like a big defenseman.”

Harris said he doesn’t back down from anyone.

“A lot of the penalties are from taking the body, sticking up for teammates, and a lot of the (penalties) are from battling,” Harris stated.

“He’s a pretty tough kid, plays physical for his size” Lovell added. “He doesn’t shy away from anyone.”

Lovell, a former Black Bear from 1993-1996 said Harris is still fine-tuning his game from the back end.

“He has worked on his defensive game which has taken away from his offensive game,” he stated. “He’s trying to be good in his own zone and rush the puck.”

Harris has been told he plays a similar style like former Black Bear Bret Tyler.

“It’s pretty cool I can look up to Bret,” Harris stated.

The 17-year old Bridgewater, Massachusetts native has been receiving college interest since the ninth grade and Hockey East schools like Northeastern, UMass-Amherst, and UMass-Lowell showed interest in him

“My freshman year I went on an interview at Northeastern and they told me, I would be a (Division) I (player) if I kept working out and if I skate hard. I kept working up the ladder and kept working hard.”

Lovell believes other schools were waiting for a growth spurt from Brian.
“A lot of guys will be dead honest with you, they wanted him to grow more,” Lovell said. “He will be a 5’9-5’11, 200 pound defenseman. In today’s game, that’s a perfect size – 10-15 years ago it might have been different.”

Next year Harris plans to play in the Eastern Junior Hockey League and Lovell said he was lucky to have Harris for this season.

“He could have played in the EJHL this season and a couple of USHL teams looked at him to play for them this year,” said Lovell.

Harris joins fellow Boston Advantage teammate Cam Brown as a 2011 recruit for the Black Bears. Maine also has commitments from Jacob Rutt and Darcy Ashley for 2011.

Earlier this month USA National Team Development Program Under-17 team goaltender Matt McNeely de-committed from Maine and committed to Minnesota-Duluth for the 2011 season.

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