MAINE vs. BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Time, site: Sunday, 1 p.m., Alfond Arena, Orono
Records (through Thursday): Maine 6-6 (0-0 America East), Boston U. 5-8 (0-0)
Series, last meeting: BU leads 55-39, BU 76-56 on 2/27/10
Key players: Maine — 6-7 F Troy Barnies (11.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.0 spg), 6-3 G Terrance Mitchell (11.3 ppg, .567 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-7 F Murphy Burnatowski (10.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, .407 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-3 G Gerald McLemore (9.9 ppg), 6-1 G Raheem Singleton (9.1 ppg, 3.7 apg), 6-7 F Alasdair Fraser (7.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, .569 FG pct.); Boston U. — 6-5 G/F John Holland (18.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.5 spg, .833 FT pct.), 6-6 G Darryl Partin (12.3 ppg, 1.1 spg), 6-8 F Jake O’Brien (11.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.0 bpg), 6-0 G D.J. Irving (6.5 ppg, 3.1 apg, 1.1 spg), 6-7 F Dom Morris (5.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg)
Outlook: The Black Bears, coming off Thursday’s 74-71 loss to Columbia, hope to get back into a good rhythm as they open conference play. UMaine must try to slow one of the league’s most dynamic players in Holland, a two-time, All-AE, first-team choice. The one-man highlight reel was AE’s top scorer last season. The Bears need to contest BU’s 3-point shooters, as the Terriers love to bomb away. UMaine should have more depth, but can’t afford to send BU (72 percent) to the foul line too often. BU, which played Friday night at UMass, had lost five of its previous six games.
MAINE vs. BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Time, site: Sunday, 1 p.m., Case Gym, Boston
Records: Maine 2-10 (0-0 America East), Boston U. 3-8 (0-0)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 40-26, BU 56-49 on 1/30/10
Key players: Maine — 5-11 G Amber Smith (11.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, .784 FT pct.), 5-9 G Ashleigh Roberts (8.8 ppg, 2.1 apg), 5-9 G Katelyn Vanderhoff (7.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.9 spg), 5-11 G/F Tanna Ross (7.3 ppg), 6-2 F Corinne Wellington (6.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg), 5-7 G Brittany Williams (3.1 ppg, 1.8 apg, 1.3 spg); Boston U. — 5-9 G Alex Young (14.6 ppg), 5-8 G Chantell Alford (11.8 ppg, 3.1 apg, 1.6 spg, .425 3-pt. FG pct.), 5-7 G Mo Moran (8.9 ppg, 3.0 apg), 6-0 F Caroline Stewart (7.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg), 6-2 F Kerry Cashman (6.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.4 bpg)
Outlook: UMaine is hoping to build off the confidence and excitement of Wednesday’s home victory over Massachusetts. The Black Bears have lost five straight to the Terriers. UMaine continues to operate without junior catalyst Samantha Wheeler, who has missed seven games with postconcussion symptoms. Getting more production and consistency out of its post players, led by Corinne Wellington, is another key. BU had lost five of six going into Friday night’s game at Providence. The guard-oriented Terriers have neither shot well nor rebounded effectively. However, they take care of the ball and are adept at blocking shots in the paint. Alford was the AE Rookie of the Year last season.
MAINE vs. US UNDER-18 TEAM
Time, site: Sunday, 4 p.m., Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland
Records: Maine 9-5-4, USA Under-18′s 12-15-2
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 6-0, Maine 4-0 on 1/23/10
Key players: Maine — RW Spencer Abbott (11 goals, 11 assists), RW Gustav Nyquist (6 & 16), C Robby Dee (8 & 11), LW Brian Flynn (9 & 5), D Josh Van Dyk (0 & 9), G Dan Sullivan (5-4-1, 2.59 GAA, .891 save pct.), G Martin Ouellette (2-1-1, 2.17, .909); USA Under 18′s — C Rocco Grimaldi (20 & 13), LW Reid Boucher (10 & 13), RW J.T. Miller (5 & 16), C Travis Boyd (8 & 11), D Robbie Russo (2 & 11), G John Gibson (6-7-2, 3.10, .911), G Matt McNeely (6-8-0, 3.58, .902)
Outlook: Maine will make its annual trip to Portland and face a U.S. National Team Development Program that gave North Dakota a run for its money in its last game on Dec. 18, dropping a 2-1 decision in Grand Forks. The Under-18s are 1-7 against college teams with the lone win coming over Division III Bowdoin College 4-1. There is plenty of talent on the USA roster as 20 players have committed to NCAA Division I schools. Grimaldi and Miller are two players who will face Maine next season as they have committed to North Dakota. Grimaldi made it to the last cut for the U.S. World Junior Championship team. LW Adam Reid (Northeastern) and D Michael Paliotta (Vermont) and Barrett Kaib (Providence) are the three Hockey East-bound players. This will serve as Maine’s last tune-up before it finishes with 16 Hockey East games.
MAINE vs. NO. 8 PROVIDENCE
Time, site: Sunday, 8 p.m., Monday, 3 p.m., Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 8-7-4 (2-3-2 Hockey East); Providence 13-5-1 (4-2-1 HE)
Series, last meeting: PC leads 29-1-9, PC 3-1 on Nov. 7
Key players: Maine —C Brittany Dougherty (10 & 12), LW Jennie Gallo (10 & 7), RW Myriam Croussette (8 & 9), RW Danielle Ward (7 & 9), LW Dawn Sullivan (5 & 8), D Ashley Norum (1 & 8), G Brittany Ott (6-6-3, 2.30 goals-against averge, .931 save percentage); PROVIDENCE— LW Kate Bacon (14 & 6), C Alyse Ruff (5 & 13), RW Corinna Buie (6 & 8), D Jennifer Friedman (4 & 10), C Ashley Cottrell (7 & 5), G Nina Riley (no stats), G Christina England (no stats)
Outlook: Both teams have played well of late. Providence has a four-game winning streak and a 6-2 mark over its last eight games. Maine is 4-1-4 over its last nine games. Maine has been practicing with half a team since Tuesday because the blizzard prevented the others from returning until Friday. But PC will be without goalie Genevieve Lacasse (13-5-1, 1.88, .939) who is playing for the Canadian Under-22 team in the MLP Cup in Switzerland. That means either freshman Nina Riley will make her debut or senior Christina England will play. England has only four minutes and 48 seconds of varsity experience. Maine has scored just 16 goals in the last 13 meetings with Providence. Maine will have to attack the net and test the inexperienced goaltenders. The Friars and Black Bears each have two good scoring lines. Maine will have to continue playing thorough team defense. The Bears have allowed more than three goals in a game just once over their last 14 games. Providence has allowed only six first-period goals.