Jacob Mucitelli, a goalie who posted three shutouts in eight starts for Clarkson University in the ECAC Hockey League this past season, is one of three hockey players transferring to the University of Maine.
University of Alaska forward Didrik Henbrant, who had a goal and three assists in two games against UMaine this past season, and Ferris State forward Justin Michaelian are the other two.
The three players will join a UMaine team in the midst of a rebuild, as University of Maine first-year head coach Ben Barr is retaining 12 players off this past season’s team and, as of now, has 10 incoming freshmen.
UMaine wound up 7-22-4 this season and finished last in Hockey East with a 5-17-2 league record. UMaine lost to Merrimack 6-2 in the first round of the playoffs.
UMaine, which has won two NCAA titles and been to 18 NCAA Tournaments, hasn’t qualified for the Hockey East semifinals or the NCAA Tournament since the 2011-12 season.
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The 6-foot-3, 188-pound Mucitelli, a sophomore from Deerfield, New York, who backed up Ethan Haider this season, compiled an 8-0-1 record, a 1.30 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage for the Golden Knights. He appeared in 10 games.
He saw action in just one game his freshman year.
Henbrant, also a sophomore, was Alaska’s leading goal scorer this past season with 11 and he tied for second on the team in points with 20 as he had nine assists. The 5-10, 169-pound Linkoping, Sweden, native had two goals and four assists in 36 games his freshman year in 2019-20.
Alaska, a Division I independent, didn’t play in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nanooks went 14-18-2 this season including a split at UMaine.
Michaelian, a 6-foot, 191-pound senior from Wizom, Michigan, was Ferris State’s leading scorer with 23 points on eight goals and 15 assists in 35 games.
He played 99 career games for the Bulldogs and has 22 goals and 27 assists.
His twin brother Brendan is a defenseman for Ferris State, which plays in the CCHA and went 11-24-1 this past season.
Mucitelli will compete with Victor Ostman and Connor Androlewicz for the starting goaltending job next season.
Ostman, a sophomore, was 5-14-1 with a 3.31 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.
Androlewicz appeared in only three games and had a 3.41 GAA and a .880 save percentage.
Junior Matt Thiessen (1-8-3, 3.11 GAA, .888 save percentage) is transferring.
Mucitelli said it was UMaine’s hockey history and the atmosphere that sold him on transferring and he also liked Barr and the opportunity to work with goalie coach Alfie Michaud.
Plus he will have an opportunity to compete for the starting job.
“I am confident in myself. Nothing is guaranteed but I am coming in there with a chance to win the job. It’s someone’s to take,” said Mucitelli, whose Golden Knights went 21-10-6.
Mucitelli is also cognizant of Barr’s desire to rebuild the program and he said he wants to be part of the rebuild.
“Having a winning season would be good for everybody,” said Mucitelli, who has had friends play at UMaine and describe the lively crowds at Alfond Arena.
Michaelian said he also wants to be part of the rebuild.
“I believe in what Coach Barr is doing and I want to help in any way I can,” Michaelian said.
He knows the program has had a tough time of late with the sudden death of head coach Red Gendron a year ago and its on-ice struggles.
“My goal is to come in there and help the team get back to the glory days,” Michaelian said.
He said he has established a good relationship with Barr and likes the fact he will be among a lot of new players being brought in to help rebuild the culture.
He knows the program is well-supported by the community and the students and noted that “winning will draw even more support.”
Michaelian said he was “very happy” with his season at Ferris State “but I’m not satisfied. I know I can get even better and help Maine win.”