Morgan Trimper hasn’t played her last game at the University of Maine’s Alfond Arena.
But when she plays her next game there, she won’t be in a Black Bear uniform.
Trimper, who was this past season’s University of Maine women’s ice hockey captain, has transferred to Hockey East rival Boston College. She was not invited back to play her fifth year at UMaine by first-year head coach Molly Engstrom.
“I loved Maine and my four years here. I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Trimper said. “But a good opportunity presented itself that I wanted to pursue and we’ll see where it takes me.”
Trimper, who will graduate in May along with her sister, will be leaving a program that has never earned an NCAA Tournament berth. BC has earned 10 NCAA berths in the past 13 seasons, although the Eagles have just one over the past four seasons.
The center played three sports at Bangor High School, including for the boys hockey team before transferring to the Taft School in Connecticut. Trimper’s twin sister, Ally, also wasn’t invited back to the UMaine team.
Morgan Trimper has a fifth year of eligibility remaining due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I love the coaching staff at BC. They were really welcoming,” said Trimper, referring to head coach Katie Crowley and assistants Courtney Kennedy and Andie Anastos.
Trimper also considered the University of Connecticut and Sacred Heart, but felt BC was the best fit.
“The academics are great and they have such a great hockey history,” added Trimper, who will work toward a master’s degree in leadership and administration.
She said there are high standards and expectations at Boston College and there are a lot of very talented and dedicated players on the roster.
“They really want to compete to win the Hockey East championship and I love that type of energy. I work really well with talented players,” Trimper said. “I will bring leadership experience to the program. I want to be that dynamic player off the puck who pushes my teammates to compete at higher levels thanks to the leadership skills I built at Maine.”
She said being a captain during a tumultuous season this year was beneficial.
Head coach Richard Reichenbach and his top assistant coach and wife, Sara, stepped down unexpectedly at the end of July and Engstrom was appointed the new head coach two weeks later.
“I had to deal with a lot of things so it prepared me well [for her leadership role],” Trimper said.
Trimper was UMaine’s sixth-leading scorer two years ago when she had six goals and seven assists for 13 points in 34 games.
But she had more of a checking line role under Engstrom this season and finished with two goals and two assists for four points in 34 contests.
UMaine went 15-18-2 overall, 12-13-2 in Hockey East and lost to Providence 5-2 in the quarterfinals, ending a run of three consecutive semifinal appearances.
Trimper appeared in 123 career games for the Black Bears and registered nine goals and 17 assists.
BC went 20-15-1 this past season, 16-11 in conference play, and lost to Northeastern in the semifinals 3-0 after beating UConn 4-3 in overtime in the quarterfinals.
Trimper, who will earn her bachelor’s degree in food science and human nutrition with a minor in psychology at UMaine this spring, anticipates it being “weird” when she plays against her former teammates.
“I’m not used to playing against Maine but I’m just going to focus on my game and do what I can to help my team win as many games as possible and win the Hockey East championship,” said the daughter of former UMaine baseball coach and current Stetson University coach Steve Trimper and his wife, Lisa.
Trimper said her twin sister, who will also graduate in May in the same course study, will remain at UMaine next year and work toward a master’s degree.