Saturday, November 23, 2013

Previewing the University of Maine Black Bears

Tonight, the Eagles will travel four and a half hours to Orono for their only trip of the season to Alfond Arena where they will face the red hot Maine Black Bears. Under first year head coach Red Gendron, the Black Bears are 5-4-1 but are coming off a beautiful 7-0 drubbing of Boston University last Friday night @ the Alfond. Much like the weekend in Minnesota a month ago, tonight is all about revenge for the Eagles as they were embarrassed at home last January to what was a last place Maine team on not one, but two straight nights. The Eagles are 1-3-1 in their last five to Orono, the lone win came last November when they escaped with a 3-2 victory. Maine is 5-1 @ home this season. 

Up front, the Black Bears are led by Devin Shore, perhaps one of the most underrated forwards in all of college hockey. I would say he is certainly top three or four forwards in Hockey East, without a doubt. However, Shore is not their leading points scorer. That honor belongs to freshman Cam Brown who has recorded nine points thus far this season. On the blue line, Maine is led by sophomore Ben Hutton who is actually tied for the team lead with four goals on the year. He is 8th in Hockey East in terms of defensemen scoring. Unlike last season, it appears that the Black Bears have a pretty deep lineup both up front and on the blue line but I would expect them to match the line of Shore, Connor Leen, and Steven Swavely against BC's big first line.

Keys for BC- 

1. Get off to a solid start. Over the last three weeks, BC has been playing better hockey in the first period. Alfond is a real tough crowd so hopefully can silence it early on.

2. Keep Shore at bay. If BC can keep him off the scoring page, I think they have a great chance of winning. Look for Matheson and McCoshen to get a lot of playing time vs him.


1. Expect Billett to be back in net. Demko is not ready.

I'm off to Maine. Go Eagles !

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