The University of Maine’s hockey program will soon see its 10th set of brothers play together.
James Duerr, a center-right wing from Chicago, has verbally committed to attend UMaine and join his brother Sam, a defenseman.
They will join a list of nine sets of brothers who were teammates at UMaine dating back to the program’s beginning in the 1977-78 season.
That list includes the Tortorella brothers (John and Jim), the Capuanos (Jack, Dave), the Swavelys (Jon, Steven), the Hopsons (Keenan, John), the Lundins (Mike and Matt), the Heistens (Chris, Barrett), the Lundbacks (Anders, Magnus), the Mansoffs (Jason, Shawn) and the Ferraro twins (Chris, Peter).
There were three Kariya brothers who played at UMaine — Paul, Steve and Marty — but they never played together.
James Duerr, who will turn 18 on Sept. 1, played for the Chicago Mission 18-under AAA team this past season where he notched 12 goals and 10 assists in 30 games. He also played in three games for the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League and scored a goal.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound James Duerr will play for the Green Bay Gamblers in the prestigious United States Hockey League this season.
“I’m super excited to play with my brother,” said James, who has never been on the same team with Sam. “I visited the campus a few months ago and I really liked it.”
He will be a scholarship player and could join the program as early as the 2023-24 season.
Duerr said his brother told him he really enjoyed playing for head coach Ben Barr and “that was one of the main factors” in making his decision.
Gino Cavallini, the president and hockey director for the Chicago Mission Hockey Club, said Duerr has the “prototypical” power forward frame.
“He is big and I’ve seen him single handedly take over games once he imposes himself,” said Cavallini, who scored the game-winning goal in the fourth overtime of the 1984 NCAA championship game between his Bowling Green Falcons and the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
“That is obviously what Maine and Green Bay saw in him,” Cavallini said. “His upside is limitless. He is going to be a tough player to play against and to contain.”
Duerr said he needs to be “more physical” and improve his playmaking ability.
“I also need to improve my skating and shooting,” he added.
His coming to UMaine is dependent upon his acceptance into the school and his meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.
Sam Duerr came to UMaine for the second semester this past season and will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Sam Duerr had four assists in 10 games before sustaining an upper body injury.