MAINE vs. MARYLAND BALTIMORE COUNTY
Time, site: Saturday, noon, Retrievers Activity Center Arena, Baltimore
Records: Maine 3-19 (1-9 America East), UMBC 13-10 (7-3)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 8-7, Maine 60-57 on 1/9/11
Key players: Maine — 5-9 G Ashleigh Roberts (10.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg), 5-11 G Amber Smith (10.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, .810 FT pct.), 5-9 G Katelyn Vanderhoff (8.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.9 spg), 5-11 G Tanna Ross (7.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg), 6-4 C Ali Nalivaika (5.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.9 bpg), 5-7 G Brittany Williams (2.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg); UMBC — 5-9 G Michelle Kurowski (15.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.6 apg, .887 FT pct.), 5-10 G/F Erin Brown (12.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, .872 FT pct.), 6-3 C Tope Obajolu (10.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.8 bpg), 6-0 F/G Meghan Colabella (5.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg), 5-7 G Kristin Coles (5.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
Outlook: The Black Bears have not won since the last meeting with UMBC nearly a month ago. UMaine continues to struggle at the defensive end, which puts pressure on its already inconsistent offense. The Bears will have their hands full against a UMBC offense adept at creating good scoring chances. The Retrievers had won four in a row prior to Wednesday’s 47-40 loss at Binghamton. UMBC is 6-2 since the loss at Maine, which likely will have the hosts motivated to retaliate. The Bears will need to reduce their turnovers, limit offensive rebounds by the Retrievers and play tenacious defense for 40 minutes.
MAINE vs. MARYLAND BALTIMORE COUNTY
Time, site: Sunday, 2 p.m., Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 14-8 (8-2 America East), UMBC 4-19 (3-7)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 9-8, Maine 82-67 on 1/8/11
Key players: Maine — 6-7 F Troy Barnies (14.6 ppg, 7.7 rpg, .530 FG pct.), 6-3 G Gerald McLemore (12.9 ppg, .378 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-3 G Terrance Mitchell (9.7 ppg, .427 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-1 G Raheem Singleton (9.3 ppg, 4.0 apg, 1.0 spg), 6-7 F Murphy Burnatowski (7.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg), 6-7 F Alasdair Fraser (5.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, .522 FG pct.); UMBC — 5-10 G Chris De La Rosa (16.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 6.4 apg), 6-2 G Travis King (9.5 ppg, .481 FG pct.), 6-10 F Justin Fry (8.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg), 6-4 G Brian Neller (6.3 ppg), 6-9 F Laurence Jolicoeur (5.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg)
Outlook: The Black Bears look to kick off another winning streak after having their seven-game skein snapped Tuesday in a loss at Boston University. UMaine continues to battle for the top spot in America East and is a half-game behind first-place Vermont (9-2 AE). The Retrievers ended a three-game skid with Thursday’s 83-79 overtime win against Binghamton. UMBC and Binghamton are trying to escape the conference cellar. UMaine will try to refocus its perimeter defensive efforts after giving up 24 3-pointers on 47 percent shooting over the last two games. UMBC is led by the dynamic play of De La Rosa, who ranks 10th in the country in assists.
MAINE vs. VERMONT
Time, site: Saturday, 5 p.m., Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 10-14-4 (4-10-2 Hockey East); Vermont 5-14-9 (2-10-4)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 13-5-4, Vermont 4-3 (OT) on 12/4/10
Key players: Maine — LW Brittany Dougherty (12 goals, 12 assists), LW Danielle Ward (11 & 12), RW Jennie Gallo (12 & 10), RW Myriam Croussette (11 & 10), D Ashley Norum (1 & 11), D Kayla Kaluzny (3 & 7), G Brittany Ott (8-12-3, 2.57 GAA, .917 save pct.); Vermont — LW Celeste Doucet (4 & 9), C Emily Walsh (4 & 6), RW Erin Wente (7 & 2), RW Kailey Nash (2 & 7), D Peggy Wakeham (5 & 2), LW Chelsea Rapin (3 & 4), G Roxanne Douville (3-9-6, 1.94, .931)
Outlook: The Black Bears find themselves in a must-win situation if they’re going to make the Hockey East Tournament. Maine trails New Hampshire by two points in the battle for the sixth and final playoff spot. Even though the Bears would win a tie-breaker against UNH, the Bears finish with two at 16-5-4 Boston College and two at home with 21-3-3 Boston University while UNH has one with BU, two at Vermont and home-and-home with Boston College. Maine has lost six of seven, including a split with UNH last weekend. UVM snapped a seven-game winless streak (0-6-1) with a 1-0 win over Providence on Sunday. Vermont has scored only three goals in its last six games. Maine has also been in a goal-scoring drought, collecting only 11 goals in its last seven contests. So the game looms as a low-scoring affair which could be dictated by turnovers and special teams play.