Coach Whitehead: Maine needs to win special teams battle vs. NU, Merrimack

Posted Jan. 10, 2013, at 6:17 p.m.

Men’s College Hockey

MAINE vs. NORTHEASTERN, MERRIMACK

Time, site: Friday, 7 p.m., Matthews Arena, Boston; Saturday, 7 p.m., Lawler Arena, North Andover, Mass.

Records: Maine 5-12-2 (1-7-2 Hockey East), Northeastern 6-10-1 (3-8-1 HE), Merrimack 7-8-4 (5-4-1 HE)

Series, last meeting: Maine leads NU 52-41-16, UM 7-1 on Feb. 25, 2012; Maine leads Merrimack 62-17-7, Maine 2-1 on March 11, 2012

Key players: Maine — RW Connor Leen (5 goals, 5 assists), LW Devin Shore (2 & 7), RW Joey Diamond (4 & 3), C Kyle Beattie (2 & 5), D Mike Cornell (2 & 5), D Ben Hutton (2 & 5), G Martin Ouellette (3-5-2, 2.15 goals-against average, .920 save percentage); Northeastern— LW Kevin Roy (8 & 11), RW Cody Ferriero (7 & 5), RW Vinny Saponari (3 & 9), C Braden Pimm (2 & 7), D Colton Saucerman (1 & 4), D Drew Ellement (0 & 1), G Chris Rawlings (6-6, 2.47, .921); Merrimack — LW Mike Collins (9 & 12), D Jordan Heywood (4 & 6), RW Connor Toomey (3 & 7), RW Josh Myers (4 & 5), C Rhett Bly (4 & 5), G Sam Marotta ( 4-4-2, 2.36, .916), G Rasmus Tirronen (3-4-2, 2.4.2, .912)

Coach Tim Whitehead’s keys to the game: “We’ve got to improve at both net-fronts. We have to get contributions from everybody and we’ve got to win the special teams battle.”

Game notes: Maine is 2-2-1 in its last five games at Matthews Arena but just 1-4 in its last five at Lawler Arena. Maine will be without defenseman Nick Pryor, left wing Conor Riley and center Klas Leidermark due to concussions. NU will be minus fifth-leading scorer Ludwig Karlsson (upper body injury). NU’s Roy is tied for second in the country among freshman scorers with his 19 points. NU has two high-powered lines but five of its six defensemen are freshmen or sophomores. Merrimack’s Collins has 16 points (4 & 12) in 10 Hockey East games.

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