By John Barry
Ross Mauermann is a beast in Hockey East.
The former Janesville Jet and North American Hockey League standout and 2009 Janesville Parker graduate is the leading scorer for Providence College. So far this season, the former Janesville Jet has 20 points in 26 games as a freshman.
Providence is 10-12-2 overall and 8-8-1 in the Hockey East Conference, including a 2-1 win over previously top-ranked Merrimac College. Mauermann had the game-winning goal in overtime in the 2-1 win over Merrimac.
Proving wrong the skeptics who said at 5-foot-9, he was too short to play Division I, Mauermann is thriving in his freshman year.
“”I’ve got the ice time from the start, and I’m trying to make the most of it,” Mauermann said. “It’s hard to believe I’m playing hockey at this level (Division I) after everything I went through, but it’s an exciting time right now.
“I don’t have a lot of free time between school, practice and study hall, but I really like where I’m at. This is a great campus.”
The Friars weren’t expected to contend in the rugged Hockey East Conference, but thanks to Mauermann and an influx of talented freshmen, the team is in the hunt for a postseason berth. Mauermann has eight goals and 10 assists in 24 games, and leads the team with three shorthanded goals.
Providence started the season 6-3-1, including a 5-3 win over fifth-ranked Boston University in the season opener, and was ranked in the top 20 at one point. The Friars are 2-4-1 in their last seven games.
“It’s such a tough league out here,” Mauermann said. “Everyone’s pushing to make the playoffs, and we’re one of those teams.
“We were picked by almost everybody to finish last in our conference, so to be where we’re at in the middle of the standings says a lot about our team.”
Mauermann played two years with Janesville’s NAHL team and left as the career-scoring leader with over 100 points. Current Jet player Connor McBride broke Mauermann’s Jets franchise record of 40 goals this season.
Mauermann played in both NAHL Top Prospect Tournaments last season. That and Mauermann’s impressive career numbers with the Jets caught the attention of the Providence staff, including first-year coach Nate Leaman.
Although Mauermann has exceeded expectations in his freshman season, there were a few growing pains early on. In his first shift of the Friars’ first game against Boston University, Mauermann was whistled for a penalty. He redeemed himself with a goal and an assist in the win over the Terriers.
“I thought for sure that after I got the penalty right away, the coach would keep me on the bench,” Mauermann said. “He stuck with me, though, and had confidence in me, and now I’m part of the power-play and penalty-killing units.
“But that first game against BU was something I’ll never forget. NESN (New England Sports Network) was there, we had a good crowd, and the atmosphere was unbelievable. That’s what you dream about growing up.”
Ross Mauermann’s dream has come true. He’s playing Division I hockey at a high level—a true beast in Hockey East.