The University of Maine men’s hockey team is in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Here are a couple of suggestions I might recommend for turning the team around:
1. Flip-flop Joey Diamond and Matt Mangene. Move Mangene up to play right wing on the high-scoring line with left wing Spencer Abbott and center Brian Flynn. Mangene isn’t the finisher that Diamond is but his speed and tenacity will put pressure on opposing defensemen, creating turnovers, and Abbott and Flynn can put the puck in the net. Meanwhile, Diamond is one of college hockey’s best corner men and he will win pucks for Kyle Beattie and Adam Shemansky, who have good hands and creativity but need a linemate like Diamond with muscle and a scoring touch.
2. Have the top two lines run an aggressive 1-2-2 forecheck (first forechecker chases the puck and the other two read and react to the situation) and have the third and fourth lines employ the neutral zone trap with a passive forecheck and look to counter off turnovers.
This could take the pressure off the goalies.
Maine currently uses a read-and-react 1-2-2 forecheck. If the first forechecker on each of the four lines has a legitimate shot to win the puck or tie up the defenseman with the puck, they will attack aggressively. If not, they will back off.
Do you agree or disagree?
If you could make a suggestion to head coach Tim Whitehead on how to get his Black Bears untracked, what would it be?