What is the definition of a forgettable season?
When you are a hockey player who misses several weeks with a broken finger and then, in your first practice back, an errant puck breaks your jaw.
Welcome to Chris Hahn’s world.
Hahn missed 12 games a year ago, but he is trying to make up for lost time this season.
The University of Maine’s senior center has four goals and an assist, all in his last three games, and he hopes to continue that streak this weekend when Maine visits Providence College for a pair of Hockey East games.
Earlier in his career at Maine, he suffered a wrist injury, a separated shoulder and a concussion.
“I kept [former trainer] Mark Badurak and [current trainer] Paul Culina busy,” grinned Hahn. “Not this year.”
Hahn was limited to 67 games through his first three seasons, posting nine goals and 12 assists. He had career highs in goals (6) and points (10) a year ago despite the injuries.
He said his recent point surge can be attributed to his quality ice time and teammates. In addition to skating a regular shift, he is also on the power play and the penalty kill.
“I’ve been getting a lot of ice time. I’ve gotten some good breaks, I’ve been getting to the net and I’ve been the benefactor of a lot of hard work on the other guys’ parts,” said Hahn.
Maine coach Tim Whitehead hasn’t been surprised by Hahn’s play, saying he would have “taken a real big jump” last year if he hadn’t been injured.
“He’s been very effective in all situations for us this year,” said Whitehead. “He works so hard on and off the ice and has been a good role model for our younger players.”
Hahn is seeking more consistency.
“I’ve been a streaky player, but this year, I want to contribute [regularly] at both ends of the ice,” Hahn said.
He had been a winger during his first three seasons before moving to center this year.
“I played center throughout Juniors. I prefer it because it gives you more responsibility,” said Hahn.
Senior defenseman and co-captain Simon Danis-Pepin said Hahn has been “a lot more poised and confident with the puck this year.”
“He has taken on a huge role and is showing the younger guys how to do things, especially in tight games,” said Danis-Pepin.
Hahn said he worked on his puck skills over the summer and hopes to “keep getting better each week.”
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound native of Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, is a remarkable student, posting back-to-back 4.0 grade point averages. He is a two-time Maine Scholar-Athlete and recipient of the Dale Lick Academic Achievement Award.
He said education has always been important in his family and his parents (Gerhard and Pamela) sent him away to school to get a better education.
”I enjoy school. I’d be bored if I wasn’t trying to learn interesting things,” said Hahn, a business major.
He knows the Bears will have their hands full with Providence but he also knows they owe the Friars some payback.
“They came up to Orono and took it to us two games in a row [6-2, 1-0 last season]. That was the start of our prolonged [four-game] losing streak,” said Hahn.