Preview: University of Maine men’s hockey vs. U.S. Under-18 team

Posted Nov. 22, 2011, at 7:17 p.m.

Men’s Hockey

MAINE vs. U.S. UNDER-18 TEAM

Time, site: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Alfond Arena, Orono

Records: Maine 3-6-2, Under-18s 9-10-1

Series, last meeting: Maine leads 7-0, Maine 5-1 on 1/2/11

Key players: Maine — C Brian Flynn (5 goals, 10 assists), LW Spencer Abbott (5 & 8), RW Joey Diamond (6 & 5), C Kyle Beattie (2 & 7), D Will O’Neill (1 & 6), D-RW Matt Mangene (2 & 3), G Martin Ouellette (1-3, 3.31 GAA, .873 save pct.); Under-18s — LW Stefan Matteau (5 & 8), C Nicolas Kerdiles (9 & 3), RW Riley Barber (7 & 5), LW Frankie Vatrano (4 & 6), D Seth Jones (1 & 9), G Collin Olson (4-4-0, 2.46, .900), G Jared Rutledge (5-4-1, 2.96, .895)

Outlook: The National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team has 18 players who have verbally committed to attend Division I schools next season, including four going to Hockey East schools: Cameron Darcy (Northeastern), Matt Grzelcyk (Boston University) and Boston College-bound Brendan Silk and Vatrano. Michigan and Miami of Ohio each will get three players from the team to lead the list. The Under-18s are coming off 4-2 and 4-1 losses to United States Hockey League clubs Green Bay and Tri City last weekend. They have gone 2-5 against college teams, including a 2-1 win over Vermont. They won the Four-Nations Cup in Switzerland, beating Sweden (3-2), Finland (3-1) and Switzerland (6-2). Maine will have to handle the speed and skill of the Under-18 forwards and the size of their defense corps, which has four players who stand at least 6-foot-2. Ouellette, who made 22 saves in last year’s 5-1 victory over the Under-18s in Portland, will get the start.

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