MAINE vs. CLARKSON
Time, site: 7 p.m. Saturday, Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland
Records: Maine 3-6-2, Clarkson 7-4-3
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 8-5-1, Maine 5-3 on 12/28/07
Key players: Maine — C Brian Flynn (5 goals, 10 assists), LW Spencer Abbott (5 & 8), RW Joey Diamond (6 & 5), D Will O’Neill (1 & 6), D-RW Matt Mangene (1 & 5), D Ryan Hegarty (1 & 3), G Dan Sullivan (2-3-2, 3.02 GAA, .890 save pct.); Clarkson — C Louke Oakley (6 & 8), RW Nick Tremblay (7 & 5), LW Allan McPherson (5 & 5), D Sam Labrecque (2 & 7), C Corey Tamblyn (4 & 3), D Kevin Tansey (1 & 3), G Paul Karpowich (7-4-3, 1.76, .943)
Outlook: The Black Bears will be looking for their first win since a 3-1 triumph over Providence on Oct. 29. Maine is 0-4-1 in its last five games but got a taste of victory in a 6-4 exhibition win over the U.S. Under-18 team on Wednesday. Maine has a 13-game unbeaten streak at the Cumberland County Civic Center (10-0-3) and is 18-6-3 overall there. The Black Bears are going to have to solve Karpowich, who has the nation’s fifth-best goals-against average, third-best save percentage and three shutouts. He will be making his 38th consecutive start for the ECAC Hockey League’s Golden Knights. The Knights’ record is misleading because they are 5-0-1 against three Atlantic Hockey teams that are a combined 8-26-4. However, Clarkson is coming off an impressive 4-0 win over Dartmouth. Mangene is questionable with a lower body injury. Maine will have to establish a net-front presence to screen Karpowich and generate second- and third-shot opportunities. Both teams have their top three scorers on the same line.