Preview: UMass men’s hockey at Maine

Posted Feb. 16, 2012, at 7:28 p.m.

NO. 11 MAINE vs. UMASS

Time, site: Friday, Saturday, 7 p.m., Alfond Arena, Orono

Records: Maine 17-9-3 (12-8-2), UMass 10-13-5, 6-11-4

Series, last meeting: Maine leads 42-16-7, Maine 5-2 on Dec. 30

Key players: Maine LW Spencer Abbott (16 goals, 33 assists), C Brian Flynn (14 & 26), RW Joey Diamond (18 & 13), RW Matt Mangene (13 & 13), D Will O’Neill (1 & 24), C Kyle Beattie (4 & 19), G Dan Sullivan (16-6-3, 2.70 goals-against average, .905 save percentage); UMass LW T.J. Syner (11 & 20), LW Michael Pereira (15 & 13), RW Conor Sheary (9 & 19), D Joel Hanley (4 & 16), RW Danny Hobbs (9 & 9), G Kevin Boyle (6-4-4, 3.23, .892), G Steve Mastalerz (3-4, 3.04, .903)

Outlook: The Minutemen have just one road win (1-9-2) but that game was last weekend at Boston University against a Terrier team that was ranked No. 1 in the country at the time. The Minutemen are a sophomore-laden team with plenty of speed and some top-notch forwards. They are young on defense and in goal which has led to inconsistency. They have allowed 3.32 goals per game which ranks them 51st among 58 teams. But they are 14th in offense (3.18). They have lost five of six but the last three were by one goal. Maine has to respect their speed and limit their time and space with the puck. Maine needs to get off to a good start, win loose pucks and attack the defense and the net to exploit their inexperience.

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