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Men's Ice Hockey Travels to #2 Boston University for Weekend Showdown
It will be a battle of two of the hottest teams in the nation when the University of Maine men's ice hockey team travels to Boston University for a Hockey East weekend series. Maine is 12-8-3 on the season and 9-7-2 in Hockey East play. The Black Bears, ranked 20th in the nation, have won nine of their last 12 games. Boston University, who is currently ranked second in the nation, is 15-6-1, 12-4-1 in conference play. The Terriers have won 12 of their last 15 games.
2012 SUN LIFE FROZEN FENWAY: Maine played in front of a school-record 38,456 fans at the 2012 Sun Life Frozen Fenway on Saturday, Jan. 7 at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) won this historic game 1:29 into overtime for the Black Bears.
A LOOK BACK: Maine defeated #3 Boston College 7-4 on Saturday night to complete the weekend sweep of the Eagles. Boston College jumped out to an early 2-0 lead behind goals from Barry Almeida and Johnny Gaudreau less than five minutes into the game. The Black Bears tied the game with a pair of power play goals just over two and a half minutes apart in late in the period. Joey Diamond (Long Beach, N.Y.) tipped a Will O'Neill (Salem, Mass.) shot past BC goalie Brian Billett at 13:14. Spencer Abbott (Hamilton, Ontario) also assisted on the goal. Abbott then set up Brian Flynn at 15:45 and he scored his 13th goal of the season to tie the score at 2-2. Abbott then fed a pass into the crease where Matt Mangene (Miller Place, N.Y.) was stationed midway through the second on the power play. Mangene redirected the puck past Billett go give Maine a 3-2 lead. Mangene then added a short-handed goal later in the period as Maine extended its lead to 4-2. Almeida scored his second of the game on the power play at 14:01 of the second to pull the Eagles to within one goal. Almeida tied the game at 4-4 with a short-handed goal at 8:36 of the third period. The game remained tied at 4-4 until Maine rookie Connor Leen (Chester, N.Y.) tallied his first collegiate goal when he knocked the rebound of his initial shot into the back of the goal at 17:01 of the third. Diamond and Mangene each added empty net goals in the final minutes as the Black Bears skated to the 7-4 win.
The two teams finished with 35 shots apiece. Maine was 3-for-5 on the power play, while Boston College finished the game 1-for-3.
Maine goalie Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.) made 31 saves in goal. He improves to 11-5-3 on the season. Billett made 28 saves for the Eagles. He falls to 3-4-1.
MANGENE NAMED ATHLETIC REPUBLIC HOCKEY EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior Matt Mangene was named the Athletic Republic Hockey East Player of the Week on Monday, Jan. 24. Mangene had four goals in Maine's weekend sweep of #3 Boston College. He tallied the game-winning goal in overtime on Friday night. He followed that up with his first collegiate hat trick in Maine's 7-4 win on Saturday. It is the second time this season that Mangene has been named Hockey East Player of the Week, as he also received the honor on Oct. 31, 2011.
SCOUTING THE BLACK BEARS: Maine is led by Spencer Abbott who has 12 goals and 26 assists for 38 points. He has two power play goals and a pair of game-winners. Brian Flynn is adding 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points. He has six power play goals and three game-winners. Joey Diamond (Long Beach, N.Y.) has a team-high 17 goals and 12 assists for 29 points. He leads the team in power play goals with eight. Will O'Neill is adding a goal and 19 assists for 20 points. Matt Mangene has tallied eight goals and dished out 10 assists for 18 points. He has four power play goals and three game-winners. Kyle Beattie (Avondale, Ariz.) has three goals and 15 assists for 18 points as well. Adam Shemansky (Robbinsville, N.J.) has 13 points on eight goals and five assists. Mark Anthoine (Lewiston, Maine) has eight goals and four assists for 12 points. He ranks second on the team with seven power play goals. Ryan Hegarty (Arlington, Mass.) has nine points on two goals and seven assists. Mike Cornell (Franklin, Mass.) has seven points on a goal and six assists, while Nick Pryor (Woodbury, Minn.) is adding seven assists for seven points as well. Jon Swavely (Reading, Pa.) has a goal and four assists for five points, while Brice O'Connor (Londonderry, N.H.) has four assists for four points. Stu Higgins (Troy, Mich.) and Klas Leidermark (Gavle, Sweden) each have two goals and an assist for three points. John Parker (Green Brook, N.J.) has one goal and an assist for two points. Mark Nemec (Rouses Point, N.Y.) has a pair of assists. Connor Leen has tallied one goal, while Dan Sullivan and Jake Rutt (Scarborough, Maine) each have one assist.
an Sullivan has seen action in 19 games in goal. He is 11-5-3 with a 2.98 goals against average and a .896 save percentage. Martin Ouellette has played in eight games. He is 1-3-0 with a 3.29 goals against average and a .875 save percentage.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE GREAT OF LATE: Maine has played weekend series with Merrimack and Boston College each of the last two weekend. Merrimack was ranked seventh in the nation at the time of the games, while Boston College was ranked third. Maine series with Boston University, who is ranked second in the nation this weekend, will be Maine's fifth and sixth straight games with an opponent ranked in the nation's top-10.
IMPRESSIVE FIRST SEMESTER IN THE CLASSROOM: 23 of Maine's 26 men's ice hockey student-athletes posted a 3.0 GPA or higher during the 2011 fall semester. The team finished with a 3.31 team grade point average, the highest in team history. It is the ninth consecutive semester that the Black Bears have posted a 3.0 team GPA or higher.
ABBOTT , FLYNN AND DIAMOND AMONG NATIONAL SCORING LEADERS: Spencer Abbott, Brian Flynn and Joey Diamond are among the national scoring leaders. Abbott is second in the nation in points per game (1.65), second in assists per game (1.13) and second in assists (26). He is tied for second in the nation in points with 38. Joey Diamond fourth in goals per game (0.77) and tied for fourth in power play goals (8). He ranks tied for fifth in goals (17), 10th in points per game (1.32) and tied for 14th in total points with 29. Brian Flynn is tied for sixth in both points per game (1.52) and total points (35). He is 19th in goals per game. Will O'Neill is 11th in the nation in points per game by a defenseman (0.87), while Mark Anthoine is tied for 11th in power play goals (7).
SPENCER ABBOTT AND BRIAN FLYNN ARE HOBEY BAKER CANDIDATES: Senior standouts Spencer Abbott and Brian Flynn are both listed as initial candidates for the 2012 Hobey Baker Award, given to the nation's top player. Fans are encouraged to go online at www.hobeybakeraward.com and vote for Abbott and Flynn. You are allowed to vote once per day.
ABBOTT NAMED ATHLETIC REPUBLIC HOCKEY EAST PLAYER OF THE MONTH AND HOCKEY COMMISSIONERS' DIVISION I NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Spencer Abbott was named the Athletic Republic Hockey East Player of the Month for December. Abbott scored six goals and dished out nine assists for 15 points in five games. He was named Athletic Republic Hockey East Player of the Week twice during the month. He earned the Shawn Walsh Most Valuable Player Award after leading Maine to the 2011 Florida College Classic title. In addition, he was named the Hockey Commissioners' Division I National Player of the Month for December. His 15 points led the nation in December
FLORIDA COLLEGE CLASSIC CHAMPIONS: Maine won the 2011 Florida College Classic with a 5-2 victory over UMass on Dec. 30 in the title game. It is the fifth time that Maine has won the championship in the 12-year history of the tournament. The Black Bears also won the title in 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2009.
COACH WHITEHEAD EARNS 300TH CAREER WIN: Maine head coach Tim Whitehead won his 300th career game Friday, Dec. 30 in the championship game of the 2011 Florida College Classic. Whitehead has a record of 304-241-57 as a head coach.
POWERFUL POWER PLAY: Maine ranks second in the nation, scoring at a 29.7 percent clip on the power play. The Black Bears have scored at least one power play goal in 15 straight games.
TEN-FOUR: Maine is a perfect 10-0-0 on the season when scoring four or more goals in a game.
FLORIDA COLLEGE CLASSIC HONORS: Maine's Spencer Abbott earned the Shawn Walsh Memorial Most Valuable Player Award after leading Maine to the championship. Abbott had a goal and five assists for six points in the tournament. Brian Flynn, Will O'Neill and Dan Sullivan were named to the All-Tournament Team. Flynn had three goals and two assists for five points, while O'Neill dished out three assists from the blueline. Sullivan finished the tournament with a 2-0-0 record with a 1.51 goals against average.
ABBOTT REACHES 100-POINT PLATEAU: Spencer Abbott tallied his 100th career point on Friday, Dec. 2 at Vermont. Abbott has 45 goals and 77 assists for 122 career points. He became the 51st player in Maine history to eclipse the milestone. Classmate Brian Flynn has 64 goals and 79 assists for 143 career points.
STREAKING BLACK BEARS: Maine forwards Joey Diamond and Brian Flynn each have tallied a point in eight straight games. They began the streak with points against Clarkson in the 2011 Florida College Classic.
JANUARY WINS: Maine has four wins thus far in January. It is the most wins in January since Maine recorded four wins in the month during the 2006-07 season.
PUTTING IN EXTRA TIME: Maine has been putting in extra time of late. Three of Maine's last five games have gone to overtime. The Black Bears are 2-0-1 in those three games. Maine was close to winning the tie at Merrimack, but it was ruled that the puck crossed the goal line just after the whistle had blown.
A DIAMOND IS BETTER OUT OF THE BOX: Joey Diamond, known for taking penalties, has not been whistled for a penalty in seven of Maine's last 11 games. Maine is 7-2-0 on the season when Diamond is not whistled for a penalty. When Diamond takes a penalty on the season, Maine is 5-6-2.
HAT TRICK: Spencer Abbott recorded his first career hat trick on Friday, Dec. 2 at Vermont. He became the first Black Bear to record a hat trick since Gustav Nyquist accomplished the feat at New Hampshire on Feb. 4, 2011. The five points were also a career high for Abbott. Matt Mangene recorded his first collegiate hat trick on Sat., Jan. 21 against Boston College.