Prior to the University of Maine’s recent Hockey East series against Merrimack, sophomore right winger Adam Dawe needed head coach Red Gendron to sign a form for him.
“He told me it would cost me two even-strength goals,” said Dawe, who at that point had scored five goals — all on the power play.
He promptly went out and scored two goals, including the game-winner, to lead the Black Bears to a 6-2 triumph.
“The hockey gods intervened,” Gendron said.
The crafty and tenacious Dawe has had a productive season for the Black Bears after a second concussion ended his 2018-2019 season prematurely in January 2019.
He finished with one goal and six assists in 17 games.
Dawe has overcome the concussion symptoms, including disorientation and headaches. This season, he is the Black Bears’ No. 4 scorer with 20 points on nine goals and 11 assists.
He has played in all 33 games for 15th-ranked UMaine (17-11-5 overall, 11-9-3 Hockey East) going into Friday’s regular-season finale against Providence College.
Dawe is tied for the team lead with six power-play goals and also has seven assists with the man advantage. He has two game-winning goals.
He is the smallest Black Bear at 5-foot-8, 161 pounds, but neither his size nor his concussion history have prevented him from being one of the most physical players on the team.
“He’s my favorite player to watch,” UMaine senior right wing Sam Rennaker said. “As small as he is, he isn’t afraid to throw his body around.”
“I envy his game,” senior center Tim Doherty said. “He has a lot of grit. He’s also a super smart player.”
Dawe said he has always had an edge to his game, but has done a better job protecting himself so he doesn’t take massive hits.
UMaine associate head coach Ben Guite put him in touch with former Black Bears center Cam Brown who, at 5-7, 150 pounds, racked up 106 points in 146 games at UMaine.
“He gave me some tips on how to protect myself. That really helped,” said Dawe, who also received some tips from Gendron.
One of those suggestions was to “eat” the puck when he receives a pass along the boards in the defensive zone with an opposing defenseman pinching down on him, instead of turning and trying to head up ice where he would be susceptible to a hit.
Dawe, a native of Gander, Newfoundland, worked hard last summer to gain weight and improve his speed.
“I feel more comfortable with the puck and more confident,” Dawe said.
He noted that he is also more comfortable with his teammates this season, even though he was pretty shy when he arrived at UMaine.
“He has filled in a little bit. He has been great. He has been a big factor for us,” senior Patrick Shea said.
Dawe admitted that after a good start, he started wearing down a little bit but came back rested after the Christmas break.
“I came back fresher. The whole team has skyrocketed,” Dawe said.
UMaine has gone 9-3-2 since the break.
Dawe has netted four goals and logged four assists over his last 10 games. He has spent the last 16 games on a line with freshman center Ben Poisson and sophomore left wing Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup.
“We have built a chemistry I didn’t think we would have. We have been playing real well in practice and that has transferred over into the games,” Dawe said.
He said the team has developed a special bond this season.
“We have all bought into the system and stuck with it. I’m happy with how the team has done. No one expected us to do this well this year,” Dawe said.