Bangor High School captain Mike McLean is one of nine semifinalists for the Travis Roy Award that goes to the state’s top senior hockey player.
The award is named after the late Travis Roy, a Yarmouth native who was paralyzed from the neck down when he crashed into the boards on his first shift for the Boston University hockey team.
He became a motivational speaker and formed the Travis Roy Foundation to help spinal cord injury survivors and fund spinal cord injury research before his death in 2020.
The versatile McLean is a center but he also played back on defense a little this season.
The other finalists are Falmouth High School linemates Mitch Ham and Aaron Higgins, fellow forwards Campbell Cassidy from Edward Little High in Auburn, Miles Frenette from St. Dom’s in Auburn and Owen Galligan from Lake Region/Fryeburg/Oxford Hills, along with defensemen Jamie Sperlich from Biddeford/Old Orchard Beach/Massabesic, Richie Gilboy from South Portland and Lucas Hubbard from Thornton Academy in Saco.
McLean is tied for the team scoring lead for the Rams with 17 points on four goals and a team-high 13 assists.
He played a handful of games on defense when they were short on defensemen. He saw duty at forward and defense last year.
“He’s a great puck-mover. He doesn’t score a lot of goals but he sets up his teammates. He’s on the point on the power play,” said Bangor coach Quinn Paradis.
“He’s also a very good defensive player. When he’s out there, it’s like having three defensemen on the ice.”
Paradis also said McLean plays in all situations and is one of their best penalty-killers. Paradis uses him up front or on defense on the penalty kill.
McLean is a “great leader,” according to Paradis, who noted that all the players respect him.
The only Bangor player to win the Travis Roy Award was Parker Sanderson in 2012-13. Sanderson is currently an assistant coach with the Bangor team.
Higgins and Ham appear to be the favorites along with Cassidy.
Higgins and Ham are leading Class A in scoring with 60 points apiece. Cassidy has 51.
Higgins has 33 goals and 27 assists while Ham has 23 goals and 37 assists.
“They’re a dynamic duo,” Paradis said of the Falmouth linemates. “They’re quick, they have great hands, they know where each other is on the ice and they feed off it.”
Cassidy has paced the Red Eddies with his 22 goals and 29 assists.
Paradis said Cassidy is another speedy skater with excellent hands.
“He plays the middle of the ice very well and he can finish,” Paradis said.
The Bangor coach added that to have three players have this many points in one season is something “we haven’t seen in our league in a long time. It’s very impressive.”
Sperlich is a versatile offensive-minded defenseman who is his team’s second-leading scorer with 18 points on nine goals and nine assists. Galligan is his club’s top point-producer with 24 and goal scorer with 15, while Gilboy is a reliable defenseman who is tied for second on South Portland’s team in goals with 8 and third in points with 10. Frenette has averaged more than a point per game for the Saints with 22 in 17 games as he has scored seven goals and assisted on 15 others, and Hubbard has been the backbone of Thornton Academy’s blue line corps and has also produced 18 points which is fourth-most on the team.
South Portland’s Cullen Adams won the Travis Roy Award last year.