The University of Maine men’s hockey team is looking for its third straight championship in the Florida College Classic, which will be played Saturday and Sunday at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla.
Those team members who will leave from Bangor International Airport will do so early Thursday morning while the others will find their way to Florida from airports near their homes.
Maine, 9-6-1, will play 3-12 Princeton at 4:05 p.m. Saturday before 9-9-1 New Hampshire and No. 15 Cornell (7-4-2) square off in the 7:35 game.
Sunday’s games will also be at 4:05 (consolation) and 7:35 (championship game).
Maine has won the tournament six times in 13 years: 2000, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2012.
The Black Bears haven’t played since Dec. 14, but none of the other teams have played since Dec. 7.
Maine head coach Red Gendron said he won’t alter his practice routine.
“Everybody else is in the same boat,” said Gendron. “We’re going to practice like we always do. We aren’t going to change anything. There’s no point trying to confuse our players.”
The players were responsible for working out on their own over the Christmas break.
“They know what they have to do to succeed,” said Gendron. “At the same time, it’s Christmas and the No. 1 thing is to spend some time with their families.”
He said the tournament will be challenging.
“It’s a very good field,” he said. “There’s a lot of parity in college hockey.”