May 27, 2018
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Black Bears looking to upset seventh-ranked BU hockey team Saturday night

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

ORONO, Maine — Boston University’s seventh-ranked Terriers have played three games against the nation’s top-ranked teams over the last seven days, splitting with Boston College last weekend and then beating New Hampshire 3-2 in Durham, N.H., Thursday night.

Now the Terriers (9-5 overall, 7-4 in Hockey East) will welcome cellar-dweller Maine (2-10-2, 1-6-2) at 8 p.m. Saturday and the Black Bears are hoping the Terriers will be overconfident.

“It’s tough. I’ve been on the other end where we were the high-end team and we’ve had a 10th-place team coming to our rink. It’s kind of an afterthought,” said Maine senior defenseman and tri-captain Mike Cornell.

“They had to focus on New Hampshire all week. It could definitely be an advantage for us,” sophomore center Stu Higgins added.

Boston University coach Jack Parker doesn’t anticipate his team taking the Black Bears for granted “because we have such a great rivalry with them. They did us in last year. They beat us three straight times.”

“They’ve lost a lot up front but I’ve seen them play on film two or three times and, for the life of me, they look like [every other Maine team] except on the scoreboard. They can skate. They get after you pretty good,” added Parker.

“We do have a rivalry with BU although the way things have gone this year, it’s not the same matchup it has been in year’s past,” admitted Cornell. “Maybe that will alter their mindset a little bit. But they’re a pretty high-end team and I expect them to be ready to play.”

Maine beat BU 4-2 and 3-1 at Agganis Arena on Jan. 27-28 and then ousted the Terriers in the Hockey East semifinals 5-3 on March 16 at the TD Garden in Boston.

Both teams went on to the NCAA Tournament but both lost in the first round.

Maine has gone 2-0-1 in its last three visits to Agganis Arena.

“I don’t know what it is. We always give them a bit of a hard time,” said Cornell. “One of the good things is it’s only one game. It would be tough to go down there and win two with the way they’re playing and the way we’re playing. But for one game we can go down there and leave it all on the line.”

Maine is 0-6-2 at home; 1-3 on the road and 1-1 at a neutral site.

“We’re excited to go on the road,” said senior defenseman Nick Pryor. “We won our last road game (4-3 at UMass Lowell on Nov. 10). That gave us some confidence. We won’t feel as much pressure. We can just go out and play.”

Maine will be without senior left wing Adam Shemansky, who will be sidelined four to six weeks with mononucleosis according to Maine coach Tim Whitehead. Freshman right wing Ryan Lomberg will serve the final game of his three-game suspension for violating team rules but sophomore left wing Connor Leen (ankle) could be back after missing one game.

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