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UMaine hockey team to take on Connecticut at Boston’s Fenway Park

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Hockey players from the University of Maine and Boston University take to the ice on Jan. 11, 2014, at Frozen Fenway in Boston.
By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

BOSTON — Hockey East announced the four pairings for the Frozen Fenway series at the home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox and the University of Maine Black Bears will take on the University of Connecticut Huskies on Saturday, Jan. 14.

It will be the first of two games that day with the second contest involving defending Hockey East tournament champion Northeastern and New Hampshire.

The first doubleheader will be played the previous Saturday, Jan. 7, with Boston University taking on the University of Massachusetts and Boston College facing off against Providence College.

Game times and ticket information will be released at a later date.

T he Black Bears are unbeaten at Fenway Park, besting Boston University 7-3 in 2014 after edging UNH 5-4 in overtime in 2012 but since UConn joined the league two years ago, the Black Bears haven’t beaten the Huskies, who are coached by former Bowdoin College football and hockey co-captain and Boston College assistant Mike Cavanaugh.

UConn posted a 1-0 win and a 1-1 tie in Orono this past season after the teams skated to a 2-2 tie in Storrs, Connecticut and UConn notched a 2-1 overtime victory in Orono the previous year.

Will Biberstein, the University of Maine’s associate athletic director for internal operations, said it will be considered UConn’s home game and the home teams for the Frozen Fenway games are reimbursed for the loss of home revenue by the league.

He said they base it on average home attendance over a span of a few years and other revenue like concessions.

Biberstein said it doesn’t impact Maine financially because it had already budgeted for a road game to Hartford, where the Storrs-based Huskies play their home games.

“This will be shaving two hours off our trip,” he noted since Hartford is 93 miles from Boston.

The Frozen Fenway series involves a partnership between Hockey East, the City of Boston and Fenway Sports Management.

Biberstein said there is a revenue-sharing formula and Hockey East disperses revenue to the respective schools.

All 12 current Hockey East schools will have played at least one Fenway game after this year’s games are over. Notre Dame will be leaving the league after this season to join the Big Ten.

Biberstein said they have had a “very good following” of Maine fans to the previous Fenway games and called it “a great event.

“It gives the student-athletes an opportunity to play outside at Fenway Park which is something everybody dreams about when they’re playing hockey out on the pond,” he said. “And it is a unique experience for the fans. They get to watch a great college hockey game outside at a historical baseball park.”

There will also be additional college and high school games and Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the City of Boston will host a free public skate for residents on Monday, Jan. 16.

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