ORONO, Maine – Highlights of Maine's 2011-2012 men's ice hockey schedule, released on Thursday, June 16, 2011, include a home series with Boston College, a trip to North Dakota, a game with Clarkson in Portland and a return trip to the Florida College Classic.
"We are very excited about our 2011-12 hockey schedule," said head coach Tim Whitehead. "The renovation work in Alfond Arena is moving full speed ahead right now, and we will be good to go for our home opener against the defending Canadian national champions, the University of New Brunswick on Oct 2nd. We cant wait for the season to begin!"
The Black Bears return 19 letterwinners for the upcoming season, including two of their top three leading scorers from a year ago. Spencer Abbott (Hamilton, Ontario) had 17 goals and 23 assists for 40 points a year ago. Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) led the team in goals scored last season with 20 and also dished out 16 assists for 36 points. Also returning are goalies Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.) and Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec) who each now have a year of experience. Will O'Neill (Salem, Mass.) and Flynn will captain the Black Bears, while Abbott and Mike Cornell (Franklin, Mass.) will serve as assistant captains.
The Black Bears have four opponents and 11 games scheduled against teams that played in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. In addition, Maine travels to North Dakota for a two-games series with the Fighting Sioux, who appeared in the 2011 Frozen Four.
Maine hosts defending Canadian national champion New Brunswick in an exhibition game on Oct. 2. The Black Bears play their regular-season opener on Friday, Oct. 7 when they host Hockey East rival and 2010 Hockey East quarterfinal opponent Merrimack. The Black Bears then host Northeastern Sunday, Oct. 9 at 4 PM.
Maine then travels to Grand Forks, ND for a two-game series against the North Dakota Fighting Sioux Oct. 14 and 15. After a weekend off, Maine returns home to host Providence for a two-game set Oct. 28 and 29.
November starts off challenging as the Black Bears travel to Boston College on Nov. 4 and New Hampshire Nov. 5 for single Hockey East Conference games. Maine then hosts UMass Lowell for a series Nov. 11 and 12. The Black Bears travel to UMass Nov. 18. The Black Bears will host the US Under-18 Team in an exhibition on Nov. 23. Maine makes its annual trip to Portland on Nov. 26 when it hosts Clarkson at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
December begins with a trip to Vermont for a two-game series with the Catamounts. Maine then returns home to face Boston University on Dec. 10 in the final game of the first semester. Maine once again returns to the Florida College Classic. The Black Bears face Clarkson in the first round on Thursday, Dec. 29 and then will face either UMass or Cornell the following night.
The Black Bears host Vermont for a rare Wednesday night game on Jan. 4, before traveling Merrimack for a pair of games with the Warriors Jan. 13 and 14. Maine then returns home to host Boston College for a weekend series. The following weekend is a trip to Boston University for a series with the Terriers.
Maine plays its final non-conference games of the season on Feb. 3 and 4 when it hosts Alabama-Huntsville for a two-game set. Maine then travels to Providence on Feb. 10 and UMass Lowell on Feb. 11. The Black Bears return home to host UMass Feb. 17 and 18, before closing out the month with a trip to Northeastern Feb. 24 and 25.
Maine closes the 2011-2012 regular season ends with the Black Bears facing arch rival New Hampshire. The Black Bears will honor its seniors prior to the game on Saturday, March 3.
Maine's 2011–2012 schedule is subject to change.