As part of our Throwback Thursday’s section, we’re taking a look at arguably the greatest collegiate hockey team of all time. This, of course, was the Maine Black Bears – winners of the NCAA Tournament Championships in 1993 and 1999. The Black Bears also made it to the Frozen Four 11 times, along with 18 tournament appearances and five Conference Tournament Championships. The team even won three regular conference championships, and continues to be a major player in the Hockey East division.
The Black Bears won the 1992-93 Championship with an incredible run and series. In fact, this team may have been the greatest squad assembled in NCAA Men’s Hockey history. The Bears took on Lake Superior State in the finals, defeating them 5-4 in a closely tested competition back on April 3, 1999 in Milwaukee.
The Bears featured the freshman sensation, Paul Kariya – who would go on to become a seven-time NHL All-Star. The team also included Jim Montgomery, who was the University of Maine’s all-time leading scorer. The squad even had the Peter and Chris Ferraro – identical twins – who confused their opponents on the ice. Rounding out the team were also Mike Dunham and Garth Snow – one of the best duos in NCAA collegiate hockey history.
The Black Bears were eager to dominate the season after losing 3-2 to Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA 1992 tourney. With this in mind, Coach Shawn Walsh inspired his team to pick up the pieces and forge ahead. With a strong emphasis on speed, stick handling, swift passes and letting the puck work for the team, the Bears would go on to beat the Boston University Terriers four times. The latter included a dramatic 5-2 victory over the Terriers in the Hockey East Tournament Game.
With an impressive 42-1-2 record, Kariya led the Bears with the school’s single-season record of 100 points! Montgomery also scored 32 goals to end the season with a record 301 career points. In what still stands as the University of Maine’s greatest sports accomplishment, the Black Bears would win the 1992-93 NCAA Ice-Hockey Championship – making them the first-ever Hockey East Team to clinch the title and win the Frozen Four.
According to Lake Superior State head coach, Jeff Jackson, “They’ll go down as one of the greatest teams in college hockey history.” This was said after the game – and it still stands true today. Here is an extensive videohighlighting the Black Bears phenomenal season and championship victory back in 1993.
Today, the Black Bears continue to be a dominant force on the ice. However, fans still cherish the everlasting memories of their incredible 1992-93 season. So much so that, in 2012, fans overwhelmingly voted Maine’s 1992-93 squad as the greatest team in Frozen Four history!
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