June 20, 2018
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Preview: Maine men’s hockey at Merrimack

Time, site: 7 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday, Lawler Arena, No. Andover, Mass.

Records: Maine 10-7-2 (7-6-1 Hockey East), Merrimack 11-4-4 (7-3-2 HE)

Series, last meeting: Maine leads 60-15-6, Merrimack 2-1 on Oct. 7, 2011

Key players: Maine — LW Spencer Abbott (11 goals, 22 assists), C Brian Flynn (11 & 18), RW Joey Diamond (14 & 10), D Will O’Neill (1 & 17), C Kyle Beattie (2 & 14), RW Matt Mangene (4 & 9), G Dan Sullivan (9-4-2, 2.80 goals-against average, .897 save percentage); Merrimack — LW Ryan Flanigan (6 & 9), D Brendan Ellis (2 & 13), RW Jesse Todd (6 & 8), LW Mike Collins (6 & 8), C Shawn Bates (4 & 9), D Karl Stollery (4 & 8), G Joe Cannata (10-4-4, 2.03, .926)

Outlook: Maine is 7-1-1 in its last nine and has won four straight while Merrimack is 1-2-3 in its last six and scored late goals to earn two of those three ties after pulling the goalie in favor of an extra attacker. This series features the nation’s eighth highest scoring team (Maine, 3.42 goals per game) against the second stingiest team (Merrimack, 2.00 GAA). Merrimack has scored two goals or less in six of its last nine games. The teams have split their last 10 meetings but Merrimack has won four of the last five at Lawler Arena. The Warriors are very efficient on the defensive side of the puck. They block a lot of shots and clear the net front effectively in front of standout senior goalie Cannata. The Black Bears will have to keep their feet moving and find a way to get to the Warrior net.

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