ORONO, Maine — Patrick Holway is putting together a strong sophomore season for the University of Maine men’s hockey team. He has been one of the catalysts behind the Black Bears’ seven-game unbeaten streak.

He ranks sixth in the country in points per game among defensemen and was the Hockey East Player of the Month for December. Holway takes a five-game points streak (3 goals, 6 assists) into Saturday’s Hockey East game at Boston University.

He contributed assists on three of the game-winning goals during the 6-0-1 stretch for UMaine (10-7-1 overall, 4-4-1 HE).

Holway’s nine points in December tied him for the lead in Hockey East.

“The guys around me are really helping me out,” said Holway. “I’m just trying to keep things simple and make the smart play at the right time.”

Holway has five goals and nine assists in 15 games (0.93 ppg). After missing the first three games due to injury, he notched a goal and two assists in a 6-3 win over Miami of Ohio in his season debut on Oct. 21.

“He has very good puck skills and pretty good hockey sense,” said UMaine head coach Red Gendron. “He has more experience now and that has slowed the game down for him. He has learned when to get rid of the puck quickly and when he can hang onto it a little bit longer.”

Holway said having a year under his belt has definitely played a part in his success.

“Just making the right play at the right time and keeping things simple has really helped my game out … I’ve been able to analyze and react quicker and smarter to every situation,” said Holway.

He pointed out that most of his points are assists, “so the guys around me are making plays as well.”

“He’s so good at just getting the puck up (the ice) and moving it to the offense. He makes the first pass so often and then we get a rush off it,” said UMaine junior defenseman Keith Muehlbauer.

Senior center and alternate captain Cedric Lacroix said Holway has exhibited a lot of confidence with the puck.

“His head is always up. He’s able to recognize if there’s a shooting lane and if there is one, he has a very good release. He can also dish the puck,” said Lacroix.

Holway plays in all situations and said receiving a lot of ice time has been beneficial.

The 6-foot-4, 201-pound Holway had a productive freshman season in 33 games (4 goals, 9 assists), second among UMaine defensemen behind Rob Michel’s 19 points.

The Cohasset, Massachusetts, native, a sixth-round draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings in 2015, said his defense must improve.

“My decisions with the puck could be smarter,” said Holway. “I could definitely be more physical so I’m looking to improve those.”

Holway, who worked hard on his conditioning over the summer, is looking forward to Saturday’s game against the Terriers (8-10-1, 6-6-1 HE).

The Black Bears beat BU 5-2 in Orono on Nov. 17 but the Terriers dealt them their most lopsided loss of the season (7-0) the next night in Portland.

“There is definitely some animosity between us. We’ll be focused and ready for the game,” said Holway. “We aren’t going to try and settle the score, we’re just going to try to win a hockey game.”

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