University of Maine senior defenseman Jakub Sirota came into this season with three career goals in 68 games.
Now just 10 games into this season, he already has three, which leads the team.
Already it is the most in a season by a UMaine defenseman since current Vancouver Canuck Brady Keeper scored seven in 2018-19.
Sirota has a chance to become the first Black Bear defenseman to score double-digit goals since the Vegas Golden Knights’ Ben Hutton scored a school-record 15 during the 2013-14 campaign.
He will look to add to his total when the Black Bears, 1-8-1 overall and 1-5 in Hockey East, travel to Boston College (6-5-1, 4-3) for a rare Thursday-Friday night series. Game times are at 7 p.m.
The Kromeriz, Czech Republic, native scored two goals on Friday night in UMaine’s come-from-behind 6-5 overtime win over Merrimack including the game-tying goal with 1:27 left in regulation.
He said two areas of his game he focused on during the offseason were his shot and his feet.
“My shot has always been a pretty big weakness of mine. Now that I’ve scored some goals this season, I’ll have more confidence shooting the puck,” he said.
In addition to his three goals, he also has three assists for six points. He shares the team lead in points with his defense partner, freshman David Breazeale (1 goal, 5 assists), and senior right wing Adam Dawe (2 & 4).
BC also has high-scoring defensemen in Jack St. Ivany (1 & 9), Drew Helleson (2 & 6) and Marshall Warren (3 & 4).
On the defensive side of the puck, Sirota shares the team lead in blocked shots with 10.
“He’s great in the defensive zone and he produces offense,” Dawe said.
“He has been great. He still has a ways to go to play at the next level,” said UMaine head coach Ben Barr.
“He knows his feet have to get a little bit better. He works on that all the time and you can tell his feet are getting better. He has a great stick, he has been a really good teammate and he has been really good for Breazeale, obviously.” Barr added.
Sirota credited Barr with improving his foot quickness.
“He pushed me hard,” Sirota said. “I was never slow. It was more of a mental thing for me. I get rid of a guy sometimes and then I look for a pass when I should be moving my feet and waiting for something to open up. Having that in my mind helps me a lot.”
Sirota is an all-situation defenseman who logs a lot of minutes.
“I’m very grateful for that. It’s just amazing to have this many opportunities,” he said.
“He runs our power play for a reason. He’s very dangerous with the puck and he skates well,” said junior left wing Ben Poisson. “He has been making great plays and scoring goals for us.”
The 6-foot-2, 208-pound Sirota and the Black Bears know they are going to have to be physical and slow down the highly skilled and swift-skating Eagles.
“We aren’t a skilled team. We have to do it the hard way,” Sirota said. “We have to focus on every single puck and be in the right place.”
The Eagles are coached by Jerry York, who is in his 50th season as a Division I head coach and his 28th at BC. He has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Jack McBain (6 & 10) and Marc McLaughlin (8 & 3) are his leading scorers.