No. 7 MAINE vs. No. 3 BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Time, site: Saturday, 7 p.m., Agganis Arena, Boston
Records: Maine 4-1-2 (2-0 in Hockey East); BU 6-0-1 (4-0-1)
Series, last meeting: BU leads 54-45-11, Maine 5-2 on 3/19/10
Key players: Maine — LW Spencer Abbott (6 goals, 7 assists), RW Gustav Nyquist (2 & 10), C Robby Dee (5 & 6), C Tanner House (5 & 3), D Josh Van Dyk (0 & 6), G Dan Sullivan (2-1, 2.52 GAA, .892 save pct.), G Shawn Sirman (2-0-1, 2.73, .899); BU — D David Warsofsky (2 & 7), LW Chris Connolly (3 & 5), LW Sahir Gill (3 & 5), C Charlie Coyle (3 & 4), D Adam Clendening (0 & 3), G Kieran Millan (4-0-1, 1.97, .934)
Outlook: BU has equaled its best start in 32 years and it’s the first time the Terriers have gone into November with six wins. BU lost five of its top six scorers but has rebuilt thanks to an exceptional freshman class that includes first-round draft pick Coyle (28th overall, San Jose) and future first-rounder Clendening. Maine captain House is questionable with an upper body injury. BU is 9-1-1 against Maine at Agganis Arena. The swift-skating Terriers are an aggressive 2-1-2 forechecking team, so Maine’s defensemen will have to get rid of the puck quickly. The Terriers will have a dozen freshmen and sophomores in the lineup, so Maine’s veterans may be able to exploit that youth and inexperience, especially in the offensive zone. Maine’s power play, seventh-best in the country at 25.5 percent, will be pitted against BU’s third-best penalty-killing units (91.2 percent efficiency). Each team has ended the other’s season the previous two years, BU eliminating Maine in three games in their Hockey East quarterfinal series two years ago and Maine ending BU’s attempt to defend its national title a year ago in the Hockey East semifinals.
MAINE vs. NEW BRUNSWICK
Time, site: Saturday, 7 p.m. (exhibition), Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 8-21 (2009-10), New Brunswick 9-1 (2010 exhibitions)
Last meeting: UMaine won 94-79 on 8/23/10
Key players: Maine — 6-0 F Samantha Wheeler (10.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg), 5-9 G Katelyn Vanderhoff (6.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.2 apg, 2.1 spg), 6-3 F Samantha Baranowski (4.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg), 6-2 C Corinne Wellington (5.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg), 5-10 F Tanna Ross (6.7 ppg), G Ashley Roberts (1st season); UNB (statistics from Don Grant Classic) — 6-0 C Amanda Sharpe (24.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg), 6-0 G/F Claire Colborne (17.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.6 apg), 5-6 G Leah Corby (10.7 ppg, 4.3 apg), 6-1 F Emma Russell (5.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg), 5-4 G Megan Corby (4.3 ppg, 4.3 apg)
Outlook: This contest will be sort of a “rubber game” between the teams, which split two August exhibition games in Fredericton. UNB pulled out a 70-68 win on Aug. 22, then UMaine responded the next night. The Varsity Reds were picked to finish fifth in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national poll. The Bears continue to search for chemistry and cohesiveness as they gear up for their Nov. 12 opener against Harvard. UNB features a veteran nucleus that got to the foul line often in last year’s game, won by UMaine 85-56. The Varsity Reds may have trouble contending with the Bears’ bigger frontcourt, but the hosts must not complicate things with turnovers.