David Breazeale didn’t have any Division I schools interested in bringing him into their program this past fall. One school was interested in him for a year or two down the road.
But first-year University of Maine head coach Ben Barr offered him a scholarship based largely on the endorsement from assistant coach Jason Fortier. The rangy defenseman has rewarded them for the opportunity by being named to the Hockey East Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team.
He was joined on the All-Rookie team by goalie Devon Levi from Northeastern; defensemen Ryan Ufko and Scott Morrow from UMass and Ty Gallagher from Boston University and forwards Matt Crasa from UMass Lowell along with the Northeastern duo of Justin Hyrckowian and Jack Hughes.
The 6-foot-4, 201-pound Breazeale, a native of Grandville, Michigan who grew up a University of Maine hockey fan, is tied for third on the team in scoring with 16 points on two goals and 14 assists. His 14 assists are second most on the team. The smooth-skating Breazeale has the third-most points among all freshmen in the league and is 11th among defensemen.
Breazeale’s overtime game-winner in a 6-5 win over Merrimack on Nov. 12 supplied Barr with his first collegiate win as a head coach. The coach praised his work ethic and said his rise to the all-rookie team is an “amazing story.”
“He has had a tremendous impact on our program and he will continue to for years to come,” he said.
Breazeale has registered at least a point in 11 of UMaine’s 32 games and has had four multi-point games including last Saturday’s 8-1 Seniors Night victory over No. 14 Boston University in which he had two assists.
The 21-year-old Breazeale captained the Shreveport (La.) Mudbugs of the North American Hockey League to the Robertson Cup, awarded to the league’s playoff champion. He had five goals and 16 assists in 54 games for the Mudbugs and a goal and four assists in 10 playoff contests.
Breazeale and the Black Bears met Merrimack in a first round Hockey East playoff game on Wednesday night.