America East Semifinals
UMAINE vs. UALBANY
Time, site: 1 p.m. Sunday, Memorial Gym, Orono
Records: UMaine 23-7 (15-1 AE regular season), Albany 13-17 (9-7)
Series, last meeting: UMaine leads 22-19, UMaine 67-61 on 2/16/19
Key players: Maine — 6-1 G Blanca Millan (17.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 2.1 assists, 1.5 blocked shots per game), 5-10 F Tanesha Sutton (14.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.7 spg), 5-8 G Parise Rossignol (11.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.4 apg), 5-6 G Dor Saar (8.9 ppg, 5 apg), 6-2 F Fanny Wadling (6.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg); Albany — 5-2 G Kyara Frames (12.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.1 apg), 6-2 F Heather Forster (9.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg), 6-3 C Alexi Schecter (8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.5 bpg), 6-2 F Chyanna Canada (7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.4 apg), 6-2 F Amanda Kantzy (6.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.5 apg)
Game notes: The Black Bears have won 12 in a row while UAlbany lost three of its last four regular-season games to beat Binghamton 61-56 in Wednesday’s quarterfinal. UMaine beat UNH 69-36. Millan averaged 29 ppg in UMaine’s regular-season victories over the Great Danes, who shot 47 percent from the 3-point arc. The game is in Orono due to a scheduling conflict at the Cross Insurance Center with the Professional Bull Riders tour. UMaine hasn’t played at The Pit this season but it is their practice court. UMaine missed 13 layups in its quarterfinal win over UNH and can’t afford to miss that many against a quality opponent like UAlbany.
MAINE vs. BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Time, site: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: UMaine 14-15-4 (10-9-4 Hockey East), BU 14-15-4 (12-8-3)
Series, last meeting: BU leads 65-52-13, UMaine 3-1 on 12/17/18
Key players: Maine — LW Mitch Fossier (7 goals, 27 assists), C Chase Pearson (15 & 12), D Brady Keeper (5 & 13), RW Eduards Tralmaks (8 & 9), C Tim Doherty (8 & 8), D Rob Michel (3 & 6), G Jeremy Swayman (14-15-4, 2.82 goals-against average, .919 save percentage); BU — RW Joel Farabee (13 & 18), D Dante Fabbro (7 & 23), LW Patrick Curry (11 & 10), C Shane Bowers (11 & 9), C Bobo Carpenter (10 & 9), D David Farrance (4 & 13), G Jake Oettinger (14-13-4, 2.39, .930)
Game notes: These teams have played well of late and would like to pick up a win on UMaine’s Seniors Night to build momentum for the playoffs. BU is 4-0-1 in its last five games and UMaine is 4-1-1 in its last six after losing to regular-season champ Massachusetts 6-0 last Saturday night, snapping its five-game unbeaten streak. BU had lost six straight before its five-game unbeaten skein. Oettinger has been sensational of late, posting an 0.58 GAA and a .981 save percentage in his last five starts. BU has 12 NHL draft picks. BU does have a slight edge in special teams with a 17.6 percent power play and 85.4 percent penalty-kill while UMaine is at 15.3 and 84.0 percent. Oettinger’s .930 save percentage is fifth best in the country and Farabee is third among the nation’s freshmen in points per game (0.94).
No. 8 MAINE vs. No. 1 VERMONT
Time, site: 7 p.m. Saturday, Patrick Gymnasium, Vermont
Records: UMaine 5-26 (3-13 America East), Vermont 24-6 (14-2)
Series, last meeting: Vermont leads 72-70, UVM 86-63 on 2/6/2019
Key players, UMaine: 6-5 G Isaiah White (13.3 points per game), 6-4 G Sergio El Darwich (10.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.1 assists), 6-8 F Vilgot Larsson (6.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg), 6-8 C Vincent Eze (6.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg); Vermont: 6-6 F Anthony Lamb (20.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg), 6-3 G Ernie Duncan (14.3 ppg, 2.0 apg, .426 3-pt. percentage), 6-1 G Stef Smith (11.8 ppg, 3.9 apg)
Game notes: UMaine and Vermont meet in the quarterfinals for the fourth straight year, the last three with Vermont the No. 1 team and UMaine the eighth seed. Vermont has won the last three postseason meetings by an average of 25.7 points, a number somewhat skewed by an 86-41 victory in 2017. Vermont handled UMaine easily in their two regular-season meetings this winter. Vermont has won its last three games while UMaine enters this contest on an eight-game losing streak. UMaine has lost its last 13 opening-round playoff games and 14 conference tournament games overall since a quarterfinal victory over Boston University on March 5, 2005. UMaine finished with the same league record this year as it did a year ago, and its overall record is nearly identical as last season’s 6-26 finish after its 75-60 quarterfinal loss at Vermont in 2018. The Catamounts’ Lamb was named AE Player of the Year. He led the conference in scoring and rebounding. The AE semifinals are scheduled for March 12 and the championship game will be played at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 16. All AE tourney games are played on the home courts of the highest remaining seeds.