ORONO, Maine —- In its last game on Nov. 4, the University of Maine men’s hockey team snapped a 23-game winless streak on the road (0-19-4) with a 6-2 victory at Tsongas Arena against the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Now the Black Bears will try to snap a six-game losing streak at the hands of Boston University when the two teams square off at Alfond Arena in Orono at 7:30 p.m. Friday and at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland at 7 p.m. Saturday.
UMaine is 3-5 overall, 2-2 in Hockey East, while 18th-ranked BU is 5-6-1 and 3-3-1, respectively.
The Black Bears haven’t beaten Boston University since they triumphed 7-3 at Fenway Park in Boston on Jan. 11, 2014.
UMaine has been outscored by the Terriers 24-8 in those six losses.
Beating the Terriers has become a priority, especially for the seven Black Bears from Massachusetts.
“We haven’t beaten them in my four years and that’s one of the things we’ve touched upon,” said UMaine senior left wing Nolan Vesey from North Reading, Mass. “We really want to beat these guys. Me and the other Massachusetts guys can’t stand BU.
“This will be a good benchmark for us to see where we’re at,” added Vesey.
‘We’ve had a few good games with them, especially last year,” said UMaine junior goalie Rob McGovern, who is from Weymouth, Mass. “We’ve got to find a way to get a win.”
BU swept UMaine 4-1 and 3-1 last season.
Vesey and McGovern said their struggles against BU won’t be part of their mindsets when they take the ice against the NHL draft pick-laden Terriers.
“It has been stressed that this is a new season and everything that happened in the past is behind us,” said McGovern. “It doesn’t matter who is on their roster, it’s just a matter of what we do.”
“At the end of the day, what’s in the past is in the past and none of that matters now,” said fifth-year head coach Red Gendron. “Talking about the past makes a good starting point for a conversation but it’s all about what we do now.”
“There’s a big four points at stake this weekend and it would be special for the seniors and the (Massachusetts) guys (if we could sweep),” said senior defenseman and co-captain Mark Hamilton from Winthrop, Mass.
Hamilton said ending the road winless streak gave them some confidence and having last weekend off won’t impact the momentum they gained from that win.
“We had a great week of practice last week and we had two tough practices last weekend that were game-like,” said Hamilton. “BU always has skill and they’re always fast. We have to play our game. We have to play fast and physical.”
Vesey said BU has had the edge in talent the past three seasons “but I feel we have just as many good players as they do this year” and he and his mates are confident they have the ability to end the losing skid against BU.
The Terriers have 13 NHL draft picks and 10 of them have been selected in the third round or higher including first rounders Jake Oettinger (Dallas), a goalie; defenseman Dante Fabbro (Nashville) and center Shane Bowers (Colorado).
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