UMaine hockey, basketball teams back in action

Ryan Lomberg of the University of Maine (second left), shown after scoring in a Jan. 4 game against Mercyhurst, hopes to light the lamp for the Black Bears during the Florida College Classic this weekend in Estero, Fla.
BDN File Photo by Robert F. Bukaty
Ryan Lomberg of the University of Maine (second left), shown after scoring in a Jan. 4 game against Mercyhurst, hopes to light the lamp for the Black Bears during the Florida College Classic this weekend in Estero, Fla.
Posted Dec. 27, 2013, at 4:55 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 27, 2013, at 5:16 p.m.

Men’s Hockey

Florida College Classic

MAINE vs. PRINCETON

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

Records: Maine 9-6-1, Princeton 3-12-0

Series, last meeting: Maine leads 5-4-1, tied 6-6 on 12/29/09 (Maine won shootout)

Key players: Maine — C Devin Shore (7 goals, 12 assists), D Ben Hutton (7 & 7), LW Connor Leen (3 & 11), LW Mark Anthoine (6 & 7), C Cam Brown (2 & 9), RW Blaine Byron (6 & 5), G Martin Ouellette (8-6-1, 2.06 goals-against average, .929 save percentage); Princeton — LW Tucker Brockett (2 & 9), LW Andrew Ammon (6 & 2), C Jonathan Liau (1 & 7), RW Jack Berger (4 & 3), D Aaron Ave (3 & 3), G Sean Bonar (2-6, 3.89, .877), G Colton Phinney (1-6, 4.03, .876)

Outlook: The Black Bears are on a season-high, three-game win streak while the Tigers have lost four straight and have been outscored over that span 20-5. Princeton beat No. 8 Quinnipiac 4-3 on the road. Maine is 13th in the country in goals per game (3.44) and 10th in goals against (2.19) while Princeton is 54th in both (2.07 gpg, 4.00 GAA). Maine seeks its third straight FCC title and seventh in 14 trips. Shore has a seven-game points streak (6 & 8). Hutton is tied for the national lead in goals by a defenseman (7). The Black Bears want to play an up-tempo game and limit Princeton’s time and space with the puck. Maine is tied for second in the country with six shorthanded goals. Princeton has scored two goals or less 10 times. In Saturday’s 7:35 p.m. game, No. 15 Cornell (7-4-2) plays New Hampshire (9-9-1).

Women’s Basketball

MAINE vs. SACRED HEART

Time, site: Sunday, 2 p.m., Hartford, Conn.

Records: Maine 6-5, Sacred Heart 2-8

Series, last meeting: 1st meeting

Key players: Maine — 5-9 G Ashleigh Roberts (13.9 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game), 5-10 F Liz Wood (12.0 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.8 assists per game), 5-8 G Sophie Weckstrom (6.3 ppg, 2.0 apg), 5-9 G Sigi Koizar (5.3 ppg, 2.4 apg), 6-2 F Mikaela Gustafsson (4.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg), 5-10 G/F Chantel Charles (5.0 ppg); Sacred Heart — 5-9 G Gabrielle Washington (14.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 spg), 5-7 G Ericka Norman (11.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.3 spg), 5-8 G Adaysha Williams (7.1 ppg, 2.0 apg), 6-1 F Caitlyn Abela (6.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg), 5-6 G .Katie Shepard (6.8 ppg, 2.1 apg)

Game notes: The Black Bears hope to pick up where they left off, a 72-58 victory over Towson on Dec. 21. The Pioneers of the Northeast Conference have lost six in a row, the most recent a 70-64 setback to Hartford on Dec. 21. Hartford beat UMaine 66-56 in OT on Dec. 11. Both teams are guard-oriented, so transition defense will be a key. The Bears will look to continue polishing its post game behind Wood and Gustafsson. UMaine also must not allow too many open looks against an SHU ballclub that also likes to take 3-pointers.

Men’s Basketball

Dr. Pepper Classic

MAINE vs. MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE

Time, site: Sunday, 4:30 p.m., McKenzie Arena, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Records: Maine 1-9, MTSU 8-4

Series, last meeting: 1st meeting

Key players: Maine — 6-3 G Xavier Pollard (16.7 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game 3.4 assists per game, 2.1 steals per game), 6-4 G Dimitry Akanda-Coronel (13.7 ppg), 6-4 G Zarko Valjarevic (13.4 ppg, .448 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-5 G Shaun Lawton (10.0 ppg, 4.7 apg, 2.3 spg), 6-6 G Garet Beal (7.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.9 apg), 6-1 G Troy Reid-Knight (5.4 ppg); MTSU — 6-8 F Shawn Jones (13.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.2 blocks per game), 6-7 F Neiko Hunter (12.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg), 6-5 G/F Kerry Hammonds (11.9 ppg, 2.6 apg), 6-1 G Tweety Knight (8.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.8 apg, 2.0 spg), 6-7 F Reggie Upshaw (6.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg).

Game notes: The Black Bears hope to close out 2013 on a better note in the Tenn.-Chattanooga tourney. UMaine has suffered eight consecutive losses, including a 94-70 thumping Dec. 21 at Providence. The Blue Raiders have dropped two of three, including a 69-48 loss to Cincinnati, also on Dec. 21. MTSU is the defending Sun Belt Conference champ. A win places the Bears in Monday’s 7 p.m. title game, while the consolation game is set for 4:30 p.m. Host UTC faces Grand Canyon in Sunday’s first-round contest.

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