By: Mark Allred | Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Last night the ECHL Maine Mariners played in the first game of the 2021/22 regular season and officially kicked off the new “AA” minor-pro affiliation with the NHL Boston Bruins. The Mariners got off on the right foot with a huge 6-3 opening night victory in front of 4,541 supporting fans at the Cross Insurance Arena in downtown Portland, Maine. Last night marked the first time in almost 30 years since the Boston Bruins had a minor-pro affiliation in the state of Maine when the original Maine Mariners occupied the Atlantic seaside area from 1987 to 1992.

The evening for the Mariners organization and surrounding Portland community was a great success all around, but the focus on the ice as a team was most instrumental. When talking about individual efforts, the player who stood out the most from last night’s home opener was former University of Maine forward Eduards Tralmaks, who scored a hat trick which was his first in the professional ranks. Tralmaks’ last Maine visit came when he played for the U. Maine Black Bears, where he posted 39-43-82 numbers in 119 career NCAA appearances two hours north in Orono, Maine.

The Latvian native isn’t a stranger to the New England area as he landed in the Northeast, joining the Boston Jr. Bandits of the EHL in the 2013/14 season after playing for his country’s SK Riga club. After four seasons with the Bandits, Tralmaks would move up to play one year of Tier-1 junior hockey in the United States Hockey League with the influential Chicago Steel, where he posted 11-16-27 numbers in 46 games in a Steel USHL Clark Cup Championship in 2017.

Coming up through the rigors of developmental hockey, Eduards has worked hard to help his teams reach successful moments of the game in any particular season. In his native Latvian country, he won a U-18 championship with SK Riga in 2013, a championship with the EJEPL Boston Bandits in 2015, awarded the EHL Forward of the Year and Most Valuable Player in 2016, and the aforementioned Clark Cup Championship in 2017, where he took home the USHL Clark Cup Most Valuable Player.

After Tralmaks left the NCAA ranks in his final year, the 6′-4″ 209-pound versatile forward signed a two-year deal in March of 2021 with the American Hockey League Providence Bruins. With the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey League Boston Bruins and an abbreviated 25 game season due to the pandemic, Eduards posted 2-2-4 totals in his first eight North American professional games.

This season is an important one for Tralmaks, as explained in a recent article before his arrival to the Portland, Maine city from new Mariners Head Coach Ben Guite. In a publishing from the Bangor Daily News writer, Larry Mahoney, Guite had these quotes below to say about Eduard’s game and attributes as the first-year bench boss was an assistant coach while he was an NCAA Black Bear player.

“It is a huge boost for our team, no question about it,” Guite said. “He has a great work ethic, and when he is playing his power forward game, he’s tough to stop.”

With last night’s hat trick in the win over the Worcester Railers, Eduards should get heavy consideration for a return to the AHL Providence Bruins club. If Providence has an injured forward come out of the lineup for a game or lengthy amount of time, Tralmaks could slot somewhere on the roster, either up the middle or on the left side. The 24-year-old was sent down to the ECHL from Providence’s AHL training camp on October 15th to prepare for the opening season under the new NHL Bruins affiliation.

The Maine Mariners are back in action this evening as they’re on the road to finish this back-to-back series against the Worcester Railers. Puck drop is set for 7:35 pm at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, and a little updated news that just came across my desk as I’m wrapping up this article. Per Mark Divver, beat writer for the New England Hockey Journal, mentioned below in a recent tweet that Eduards Tralmaks has, in fact, been recalled to the AHL Providence Bruins after his first game as a Maine Mariners player and single-game performance.