MAINE vs. No. 14 UMass Lowell
Time, site: Friday, 7:15 p.m., Saturday, 6:05, Tsongas Arena, Lowell, Massachusetts
Records: UMaine 5-2-1 (2-1-1 Hockey East), UMass Lowell 6-2-2 (3-0-1)
Series, last meeting: UMaine leads 81-42-4, UML 1-0 on 11/3/18
Key players, Maine: C Tim Doherty (5 goals, 6 assists), LW Eduards Tralmaks (6 & 3), RW Mitch Fossier (0 & 9), LW Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup (5 & 1), D J.D. Greenway (1 & 3), D Simon Butala (1 & 1), G Jeremy Swayman (5-2-1, 2.12 goals-against average, .942 save percentage); UML: LW Matt Brown (3 & 9), RW Kenny Hausinger (4 & 5), C Carl Berglund (4 & 5), D Chase Blackmun (2 & 4), RW Chris Schutz (3 & 2), D Seth Barton (1 & 3), G Tyler Wall (6-1-2, 1.63, .947)
Game notes: The teams have split their past six games. UMass Lowell is riding a three-game winning streak and five-game unbeaten skein (3-0-2). UMaine is 5-1-1 since a season-opening loss at Providence. The River Hawks have an outstanding freshman class with four of their top seven point-producers being first-year players including Brown, Berglund and Schutz. UMaine head coach Red Gendron said the teams are similar. “Both teams play fast, both teams are physical. Both are tough to play against. Every inch of ice will be contested.” UML lost its top two scorers off last year’s 19-13-5 team. The series will feature a battle of goaltenders who are ranked in the top five nationally in save percentage. Wall is second while Swayman is fifth. UMaine has killed 24 consecutive penalties. Norm Bazin’s River Hawks are very structured and do an excellent job limiting teams’ high-percentage scoring opportunities thanks to tenacity and net front protection. UMaine will try to exploit UML’s young defense and penetrate the net front. Six of their seven defensemen are either sophomores or freshmen.