Seven players who plan to join the University of Maine’s men’s hockey program within the next two seasons have hoisted other league championship cups this past season and three others lost in the finals.
The influx of talent will join a team that went 7-22-4 last season and exited in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs. The ten players with recent championship experience have all either signed National Letters of Intent or verbally committed to UMaine.
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Brothers Josh and Bradly Nadeau, Thomas Pichette, Grayson Arnott and Ryan Hopkins all helped lead the Penticton Vees to the Fred Page Cup awarded to the British Columbia Junior Hockey League playoff champion.
The Nadeaus and Pichette are forwards, and Arnott and Hopkins are defensemen.
Defenseman Luke Antonacci and the Sioux City Musketeers annexed the Clark Cup given to the United States Junior Hockey League playoff titlist by beating the Madison Capitols in the championship series.
Future Black Bears Reid Pabich, a forward, and defenseman Brandon Chabrier played for Madison.
And forward Anthony Calafiore and his New Jersey Titans claimed the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup by beating defenseman and future teammate Brandon Holt’s New Mexico Ice Wolves in the final series.
The Nadeau brothers, who will probably begin their UMaine careers in the fall of 2023, had terrific seasons for Penticton.
Josh had 40 goals and 32 assists in 54 regular season games including 14 power play goals. He led the team in goals and was second in points. His 12 playoff goals in 17 games led the team, and he was tied for second on the team in playoff points with his brother with 24.
Josh Nadeau had 12 assists to go with his 12 goals in the playoffs, and brother Bradly had 11 goals and 13 assists in 17 playoff games after registering 20 goals and 26 assists for 46 points in 49 regular season games.
Arnott (48 games, 6-31-37) and Hopkins (47, 7-24-31) were the team’s top two regular season point-producers on the blue line. Arnott had 1-6-7 in 16 playoff games and Hopkins had 2-4-6 in 12.
Pichette notched 8-15-22 in 47 regular season games before producing 5-3-8 in 16 playoff games.
Antonacci, who played for the NAHL’s Maine Nordiques two years ago, posted 5-18-23 in 61 regular season games for Sioux City before registering 1-3-4 in 10 playoff games.
Calafiore’s 59 points in 52 games on 26 goals and 33 assists tied him for second on the Titans during the regular season and he added 4-6-10 in 13 playoff games to tie him for fourth on the team.
Pabich racked up 44 points on 18 goals and 26 assists in 61 regular season games for Madison, and he added 4-7-11 in 14 Clark Cup playoff games. Chabrier was acquired by Madison from Sioux Falls during the season and had six assists in 14 regular season games along with four assists in 14 playoff contests.
Chabrier netted 4-8-12 in 38 regular season games for Sioux Falls.
Holt was the No. 2 point-getter on defense for New Mexico during the season with 13-22-35 in 57 games and he tied for first in the playoffs with 1-3-4 in 13 games.