Tanner McClure shares a hug with a friend made through the Best Buddies program. Credit: CBS 13

GORHAM, Maine — A USM men’s hockey star Tanner McClure is making his mark both on and off the ice.

A four-year starter on the men’s ice hockey team, the senior is confident his Huskies can make a strong run into the postseason.

“We’ve proven we can play with all teams,” McClure said. “We lost only 2-1 to the #1 team in the country, so we are right there, and I think going into the second half, we’re looking to take the momentum we ended with and make a run, so we’re really excited going forward.”

Another important part of McClure’s life is the work he does off the ice with Best Buddies of Maine.

“Best Buddies is something I didn’t know anything about until this past summer, and I got in contact with Best Buddies Maine,” McClure said. “It’s an international organization that focuses on building one-to-one relationships with someone with intellectual or developmental disabilities.”

McClure and his Best Buddy Charlie have formed an unbreakable bond, something McClure hopes can spread throughout the campus and beyond.

“To go and build friendships with people who have developmental or intellectual disabilities is kind of refreshing, and you know, they’re always so happy and they spread joy, and I think that’s something that needs to be a bigger part not only of the USM community, but the world in general, and it’s really refreshing to build these relationships and see it affecting other people as well,” McClure said.

If you know a Mainer who’s making a difference in your community, please send Dave Eid an email at deid@sbgtv.com.