Unlike most kids in New England, Ryder Shea didn’t grow up with a college hockey allegiance. Despite living in Framingham, Mass., just a 30-minute drive west of top Hockey East programs, he didn’t have a favorite Beanpot school, although he does still have his Boston University Jack Eichel bobblehead.
So when the University of Maine came calling last August, Shea, a netminder, was all ears. He drove to Orono, Maine, with his father, Dennis. He saw the campus and the rink. He saw what a normal Maine college student’s life is like. He talked to head coach Ben Barr.
Shea turned to his father on the drive home.
“Dad,” he said. “I want to be a Black Bear. This is where I want to go.”