Preview: UMaine men’s hockey vs. Clarkson

Posted Dec. 28, 2011, at 9:43 p.m.

Florida College Classic

MAINE vs. CLARKSON

Time, site: 4:05 p.m. Thursday, Germain Arena, Estero, Fla.

Records: Maine 6-7-2, Clarkson 9-7-4

Series, last meeting: Maine leads 9-5-1, Maine 4-3 on 11/26/11

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), RW-D Matt Mangene (3 & 7), D Ryan Hegarty (1 & 3), G Dan Sullivan (5-4-2, 3.11 GAA, .894 save pct.); Clarkson — C Louke Oakley (7 & 10), RW Nick Tremblay (9 & 6), C Corey Tamblyn (7 & 5), D Sam Labrecque (2 & 10), LW Allan McPherson (6 & 5), D Kevin Tansey (1 & 5), G Paul Karpowich (9-7-4, 1.93, .938)

Outlook: In November the two teams combined for 70 shots on goal. The Knights are expected to regain the services of injury-plagued sophomore center Ben Sexton. He is a Boston Bruins draft pick who has played in just 20 games in his first two seasons but has eight goals and nine assists. Seven of his nine points this season have come on the power play, and Clarkson’s power play has operated at 27 percent with him in the lineup and 8 percent without him. Maine was able to put four pucks past Karpowich in Portland and will have to duplicate that effort by creating traffic in front of him and making things uncomfortable. He has the nation’s second-best save percentage, and he is tied for second in shutouts with five. He is tied with Cornell’s Andy Iles, who will face UMass in the second game at the Florida College Classic. The Black Bears went 2-for-7 with the man advantage against Clarkson in Portland.

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