The University of Maine men's ice hockey team returns to action when it travels to the Florida College Classic for the 13th straight season. Maine opens the tournament on Friday, Dec. 28 against Minnesota Duluth following a 19-day break. The Black Bears will either play Cornell or Ferris State the following day.
FLORIDA COLLEGE CLASSIC: Maine heads to Florida to participate in the Florida College Classic for the 13th straight season. Maine won the tournament for the fifth time in school history last season, defeating UMass 5-2 in the title game. Maine has an overall record of 13-8-3 in the tournament. This year's opener against Minnesota Duluth will be a rematch of Maine's NCAA regional game a year ago.
A LOOK BACK: Maine fell to Boston University 1-0 in its last game out on Dec. 8. The Terriers got the lone goal of the game on the power play at 7:13 of the first period when Garrett Noonan beat Maine goalie Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec). Danny O'Regan and Alexx Privitera both assisted on the goal. Late in the second period, Ouellette stopped BU leading scorer Cason Hohmann when he was awarded a penalty shot. Maine had a great chance late as the Terriers were whistled for a five-minute major, but was unable to tie the game.
aine outshot Boston University 28-21 in the game. Maine finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while BU was 1-for-5.
Ouellette stopped 20 shots in goal and falls to 1-5-2 on the season. BU goalie Sean Maguire made 28 saves to record the shutout. He improves to 3-2-0.
SCOUTING THE BLACK BEARS: Maine is led by Devin Shore (Ajax, Ontario) who has a goal and six assists for seven points. Joey Diamond (Long Beach, N.Y.) is chipping in with three goals and three assists for six points. Ben Hutton (Prescott, Ontario) also has six points on two goals and four assists. Connor Leen (Chester, N.Y.) has three goals to go along with two assists for five points. Mike Cornell (Franklin, Mass.), Adam Shemansky (Robbinsville, N.J.), Mark Anthoine (Lewiston, Maine), Stu Higgins (Troy, Mich.) and Steven Swavely (Reading, Pa.) each have a goal and two assists for three points on the season. Mark Nemec (Rouses Point, N.Y.) is adding a pair of goals. Will Merchant (Eagan, Minn.) has a goal and an assist for two points. Kyle Beattie (Avondale, Ariz.), Nick Pryor (St. Paul, Mich.) and Ryan Lomberg (Richmond Hill, Ontario) each have a pair of assists. Kyle Williams (Bowdoinham, Maine), Klas Leidermark (Gavle, Sweden) and Jake Rutt (Scarborough, Maine) all have a goal on the season, while Jon Swavely (Reading, Pa.) and Brice O'Connor (Londonderry, N.H.) have each dished out an assist.
artin Ouellette has seen action in eight games in goal. He is 1-5-2 with a 2.23 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. Dan Sullivan is 0-6-0 with a 3.34 goals against average and a .898 save percentage. Matt Morris has seen action in three games this season. He is 1-0-0 with a 3.20 goals against average and a .842 save percentage.
FIRST CAREER GOAL: Five different Black Bears have tallied their first career goal this season:
Steven Swavely Oct. 6 vs. Quinnipiac
Will Merchant Nov. 2 vs. Boston College
Ben Hutton Nov. 9 at UMass Lowell
Devin Shore Nov. 10 at UMass Lowell
Kyle Williams Nov. 10 at UMass Lowell
Jake Rutt Nov. 16 vs. Massachusetts
SIX STRAIGHT GAMES FOR DIAMOND: Senior Joey Diamond has tallied a goal in six straight games against Vermont. He had a goal against the Catamounts in the final game between the two teams during the 2010-2011 season. He scored a goal in each of the three games last season and notched a goal in each game against Vermont the weekend of Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
MARK NEMEC NAMED SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE: Mark Nemec has been named one of 20 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. From these 20 candidates, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the 2012-2013 Senior CLASS Award in February. Those 10 finalists will be placed on an official ballot for a national vote. The award honors seniors who are committed to staying in school and portraying the values of community, classroom, character and competition.
DIAMOND MAINE'S ALL-TIME PENALTY LEADER: Joey Diamond has 365 career penalty minutes, the most in Maine history. He surpassed Prestin Ryan (2001-04) with six penalty minutes in the game against Massachusetts on Nov. 16. In other words, Diamond has spent six hours and five minutes in the penalty box.
CLOSE GAMES OF LATE FOR THE BLACK BEARS: Maine's last six games have all been decided by one goal or less. Maine is 1-3-2 in those six games.
GAA DROPPING FOR MAINE: In Maine's last six games, the Black Bears have give up an average of 2.00 goals per game. Only one in that span did the Black Bears give up more than two goals. Maine defeated UMass 4-3 on Nov. 10.
ROOKIES PLAYING KEY ROLE: Maine's rookie class is accounting for 38.9 percent of the team's total offense. In fact, two of Maine's top three scorers are freshmen. The freshmen have chipped in with 21 points in the first 15 games. Devin Shore leads the way with seven points, while Ben Hutton is chipping in with six. Steven Swavely has three, while Will Merchant and Ryan Lomberg each have two points. Kyle Williams is chipping in with a point, but it was the game-winning goal on Nov. 10 against UMass Lowell. In that game, the Black Bears had two lines composed of all freshmen.
OUELLETTE A REGULAR AMONG THE THREE STARS AS OF LATE: Martin Ouellette has been named one of the game's three stars in five of the last six games for the Black Bears. He was the top star in Maine's win over UMass Lowell. He finished as the game's second star in the 2-2 draw with UMass. Ouellette has been named the game's third star on three other occasions.
50 POINTS: Senior Adam Shemansky tallied his 50th career point on Saturday, Dec. 1 against Vermont. He became the second Black Bear to reach the plateau, joining Joey Diamond. Diamond has currently scored 86 points in his University of Maine career.
MAINE'S DEFENSE CHIPPING IN ON OFFENSE: In Maine's 4-3 win over UMass Lowell on Nov. 10, five of the six assists in the game were tallied by defensemen. Mike Cornell dished out a pair of assists, while Nick Pryor, Brice O'Connor and Ben Hutton each had one.
LEEN MEAN SCORING MACHINE: After scoring just a single goal in his rookie season, sophomore Connor Leen is tied for the team lead in goals this season with three. Senior Joey Diamond also has three goals.
STARTING SIX STRAIGHT: Junior netminder Martin Ouellette has started the past six games for the Black Bears. It is the first time in his career that he has got the start in six straight. He once started three straight games as a freshman.
100 GAMES PLATEAU: Maine has four different players who have seen action in 100 or more career games. Joey Diamond leads the way with 116 games played, while Mark Nemec has played in 114 games. Adam Shemansky has played in 111 games, while Mike Cornell has skated in 105. Kyle Beattie is approaching the plateau as he has played in 98 career games.
CAREER-HIGH 41 SAVES: Maine goalie Dan Sullivan stopped a career high 41 shots on Sunday, Nov. 4 in Maine's 4-0 loss to New Hampshire. His previous career-high of 39 saves was set in the 2012 Hockey East title game and tied on Oct. 27 at Providence.
THE FLORIDA COLLEGE CLASSIC: This will mark the 13th-straight season the Black Bears will play in Florida over the semester break. The Tournament is hosted by the Florida Everblades, a member of the ECHL and played at Germain Arena. Maine has won the tournament four times, in 2000, 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2011. The Black Bears have played in the championship game seven years. Overall Maine has a 13-8-3 record in the Tournament.