N0. 11 MAINE vs. NO. 2 NORTH DAKOTA
Time, site: Friday, 7:30 p.m., Saturday 7 p.m., Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 1-1-2, North Dakota 3-0-1
Series, last meeting: UND leads 11-6-1, Maine 3-1 on 10/21/06
Key players: Maine — LW Spencer Abbott (4 goals, 3 assists), C Robby Dee (3 & 2), RW Joey Diamond (3 & 2), RW Gustav Nyquist (0 & 5), C Tanner House (3 & 1), D Josh Van Dyk (0 & 4), G Shawn Sirman (1-0-1, 2.60 goals-against average, .912 save percentage); North Dakota — RW Matt Frattin (5 & 1), C Corban Knight (2 & 4), LW Jason Gregoire (3 & 2), RW Brett Hextall (2 & 3), D Derek Forbort (0 & 5), D Chay Genoway (1 & 2), G Brad Eidsness (1-0-1, 3.36, .811)
Outlook: The Fighting Sioux have made eight straight NCAA tournament appearances and have averaged 26 wins in coach Dave Hakstol’s six seasons. They return seven of their top eight scorers off last year’s 25-13-5 team and received a big boost from the return of Genoway, who received a medical hardship waiver after missing all but nine games with post-concussion syndrome. He had 10 points in those nine games. North Dakota’s captain is the WCHA’s top-scoring active defenseman with 93 points. Eidsness will be shooting for his 50th career win. The Black Bears will try some new line combinations to try to create some balance against a deep UND lineup. UND is fast and talented and will have a decided edge in size. The Bears will have to be tenacious on the puck and keep their feet moving. Maine’s third and fourth lines will have to hold their own. Maine will need its best players to play up to their capabilities. Maine can’t afford to overhandle the puck, especially in the defensive zone, and they will have to get top-notch goaltending and opportunistic scoring. UND has surrendered an average of just 18.5 shots on goal.