Men’s college hockey
MAINE vs. No. 11 UMASS
Time, site: Friday, Saturday, 7 p.m., Mullins Center, Amherst, Massachusetts
Records: UMaine 8-5-3 (4-4-2 Hockey East), UMass 9-4-1 (4-3-1)
Series, last meeting: UMaine leads 57-22-9, UMass 6-0 on 3/2/19
Key players, Maine: RW Mitch Fossier (3 goals, 16 assists), C Tim Doherty (7 & 10), LW Eduards Tralmaks (9 & 5), RW Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup (7 & 2), D J.D. Greenway (1 & 5), D Veli-Matti Tiuraniemi (0 & 6), G Jeremy Swayman (8-5-3, 2.11 goals-against average, .938 save percentage); UMass: RW Mitchell Chaffee (11 & 7), D Zac Jones (3 & 8), LW John Leonard (8 & 2), LW Oliver Chau (1 & 8), LW Cal Kiefiuk (6 & 2), G Filip Lindberg (4-3-1, 1.98, .916), G Matt Murray (5-1-0, 1.53, .922)
Game notes: The Minutemen lost their top two scorers off last year’s NCAA runner-up team, including Hobey Baker Award-winning defenseman and leading point-getter Cale Makar. But the next five scorers are back, including first team All-American Chaffee. Both goalies also have returned. UMass won two of three games from UMaine a year ago after the Black Bears had won the previous seven meetings. These are two of the country’s best defensive teams. UMass has allowed just 1.93 goals per game, which ties the Minutemen for seventh-best, while UMaine has allowed 2.31 (17th). UMass has been much more potent offensively, averaging 3.43 goals per game (tied for 9th) compared with UMaine’s 2.62 (34th). The Minutemen had a 15-game Mullins Center unbeaten streak (14-0-1) snapped by Quinnipiac last Saturday (2-1). The Mullins Center is 10 feet wider than UMaine’s Alfond Arena so the Black Bears are going to have to adapt to the bigger ice sheet. Chaffee is third in the country in goals per game (0.79) while UMaine’s Fossier is tied for fourth in assists per game (1.00). Murray and Lindberg are fifth and 14th in the nation in goals-against average, while UMaine’s Swayman is 10th in save percentage.