MAINE vs. No. 11 BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Time, site: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 6-6-2 (5-5-1 Hockey East); BU 9-5-1 (7-4-1)
Series, last meeting: BU leads 55-45-12, 1-1 tie on 1/29/11
Key players: Maine — LW Spencer Abbott (10 goals, 13 assists), C Brian Flynn (6 & 15), RW Joey Diamond (9 & 7), D Will O’Neill (1 & 11), C Kyle Beattie (2 & 9), D-RW Matt Mangene (3 & 7), G Dan Sullivan (5-3-2, 3.01 goals-against average, .896 save percentage); BU — LW Matt Nieto (8 & 8), C Corey Trivino (11 & 4), RW Alex Chiasson (5 & 8), C Charlie Coyle (3 & 10), D Adam Clendening (1 & 8), D Garrett Noonan (5 & 1), G Kieran Millan (7-5-1, 2.81, .913)
Outlook: These are two of the hottest teams in the country. BU has won six of its last seven and Maine is 3-0-1 in its last four. BU has limited opponents to one goal or less in four of those six wins. Nieto, Trivino and Chiasson are second-round draft picks and Coyle is a first-rounder. Nieto is questionable because of a shoulder ailment. Millan has 3,029 career saves and is 27 shy of breaking Sean Fields’ career record at BU. The Abbott-Flynn-Diamond line has 16 goals and 21 assists in its last seven games and Abbott is coming off a nine-point weekend (5 & 4) in a sweep at Vermont. Maine is rested while BU notched a 2-1 win at New Hampshire on Thursday night. Maine’s power play has converted 11 of its last 22 chances and BU is the nation’s third-most penalized team (20.4 minutes per game). If the Bears move their feet and get to the net, they should be able to draw penalties. Maine must limit BU’s time and space with the puck. The Terriers have exceptional talent and are 6-1-2 in their last nine games at Alfond Arena.
MAINE vs. SAN DIEGO
Time, site: 9 p.m. Saturday, Craig Pavilion, San Diego
Records: Maine 3-3, San Diego 4-4
Series, last meeting: 1st meeting
Key players: Maine — 6-3 G Gerald McLemore (21.8 ppg, .525 FG pct. .421 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-3 G Justin Edwards (20.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.0 apg, 3.2 spg, .565 FG pct., .864 FT pct.), 6-7 C Alasdair Fraser (13.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.3 bpg, .581 FG pct.), 6-0 G Raheem Singleton (7.0 ppg, 4.0 apg, 1.0 spg), 5-9 G Andrew Rogers (6.7 ppg, 6.0 apg, 1.7 spg); San Diego — 6-0 G Johnny Dee (13.5 ppg, .850 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-9 F Chris Manresa (11.9 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg, .500 FG pct.), 6-0 G Darian Norris (9.5 ppg, 2.9 apg, 1.2 spg), 6-5 Ken Rancifer (6.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg), 5-7 G Christopher Anderson (6.4 ppg, 3.1 apg, 1.1 spg)
Outlook: The Black Bears hope to bounce back physically and take some momentum from Thursday’s 87-78 loss at Notre Dame into this one. UMaine, playing its fourth straight road contest, has lost two of its last three games. The Toreros are amidst a three-game losing streak that included Wednesday’s 74-62 setback against San Diego State. UMaine appears to match up well at the guard spots, but San Diego appears to be taller and deeper in the frontcourt. The Bears must play hard and intelligently on defense to avoid the kind of foul trouble that plagued Fraser and Cato against Notre Dame. The game marks a homecoming for UMaine’s McLemore, who played at Scripps Ranch High School.
MAINE vs. MASSACHUSETTS
Time, site: 1 p.m. Sunday, Mullins Center, Amherst, Mass.
Records (through Thursday): Maine 3-6, Massachusetts 1-7
Series, last meeting: UMaine leads 13-6, UMaine 66-62 on 12/29/10
Key players: Maine — 5-9 G Ashleigh Roberts (8.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.0 spg), 5-7 G Brittany Williams (8.1 ppg, 2.1 apg, 1.0 spg), 6-1 G/F Samantha Wheeler (7.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.2 spg), 5-6 G Courtney Anderson (6.4 ppg, 2.6 apg, .500 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-3 F Samantha Baranowski (6.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, .510 FG pct.), 6-2 F Corinne Wellington (5.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, .500 FG pct.); UMass — 6-1 F Shakia Robinson (12.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg), 6-3 C Jasmine Watson (12.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg), 5-8 G Megan Zullo (9.0 ppg, 3.5 apg, .462 3-pt. FG pct.), 5-8 G Emilie Teuscher (7.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.1 apg), 5-9 G Carolann Cloutier (6.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.5 apg)
Outlook: The Black Bears face a New England rival with a nonleague game against the Minutewomen. UMaine continues to search for chemistry and consistency coming off Thursday’s 64-47 home loss to James Madison. Wheeler and Baranowski have provided a lift with their recent play. UMass was scheduled to host Providence on Friday night. The Bears may be able to exploit their size and experience up front, but not if the guards do not handle the ball well against pressure and run the offensive effectively. The Minutemen are directed by former Vermont coach Sharon Dawley.