MAINE vs. VERMONT
Time, site: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 8-7-2 (5-6-1 Hockey East), Vermont 4-13-1 (1-9-1 HE)
Series, last meeting: Maine leads 19-14-3, Maine 5-2 on Dec. 3
Key players: Maine — LW Spencer Abbott (11 goals, 18 assists), C Brian Flynn (9 & 17), RW Joey Diamond (11 & 8), D Will O’Neill (1 & 14), C Kyle Beattie (2 & 12), RW Matt Mangene (4 & 9), G Dan Sullivan (7-4-2, 2.85 goals-against average, .897 save percentage);Vermont — C Sebastian Stalberg (7 & 12), LW Kyle Reynolds (6 & 5), D Drew MacKenzie (5 & 5), D Nick Bruneteau (1 & 9), C Brett Bruneteau (1 & 9), D Anders Franzon (0 & 8), G Rob Madore (3-10-1, 3.96, .865)
Outlook: The Catamounts snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over nationally ranked Ferris State in the consolation game at their Catamount Cup Tournament on Friday night. They are without leading goal-scorer Connor Brickley (8 and 2), who is playing in the World Junior Championships. Senior Madore has struggled but he is second in all-time career saves (2,983) behind current Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (3,950) and is capable of stealing a win. Maine has the nation’s fourth-best power play (26.2 percent) while Vermont is last (58th) in penalty killing (69.1 percent). But Vermont is only assessed an average of 11.4 penalty minutes per game (48th) compared to Maine’s 20.9 (2nd). Maine has won five of six and is anxious to continue its climb up the Hockey East standings. The Bears swept Vermont in Burlington last month (6-4, 5-2) but Vermont stunned the Black Bears in Orono 7-2 last season.