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Men's Ice Hockey Returns Home to Host Providence and UMass Lowell
The University of Maine men's ice hockey team is coming off its best performance of the season after sweeping then third-ranked Boston College at Conte Forum last weekend. Maine defeated the Eagles 4-1 on Friday night and completed the weekend sweep with a 3-1 victory on Saturday. Providence enters play this weekend with a mark of 10-10-4 overall and 8-6-3 in Hockey East play. UMass Lowell, who plays at Merrimack on Friday night, is 14-7-2, 8-6-2 in conference play.
A LOOK BACK: Maine defeated Boston College 3-1 last Saturday night to complete the weekend sweep. Maine struck first at 18:43 of the first period when Jon Swavely (Reading, Pa.) got a pass from Will Merchant (Eagan, Minn.) and beat Boston College goalie Brian Billett from the right faceoff circle. The Black Bears held the 1-0 lead until early in the third period. Just 2:48 into the third period, Connor Leen (Chester, N.Y.) followed up a Devin Shore (Ajax, Ontario) shot for his team-leading seventh goal of the season. Ryan Lomberg (Richmond Hill, Ontario) also assisted on the goal. Merchant and Swavely teamed up once again at 13:44 as Swavely netted his second goal of the game, a big insurance tally for the Black Bears. Mark Nemec (Rouses Point, N.Y.) also assisted on the goal. Boston College broke up the shutout with a goal by Patrick Brown at 19:51 of the third period.
Maine outshot Boston College 29-25 in the game. The Black Bears were 0-for-6 on the power play, while the Eagles were scoreless in three chances.
Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec) was outstanding for the Black Bears, making 24 saves. He improves to 5-7-4 on the season. Brian Billett made 26 and falls to 0-1-0.
SCOUTING THE BLACK BEARS: Maine is led by Leen who has seven goals and five assists for 12 points. Shore is adding two goals and a team-best nine assists for 11 points. Joey Diamond (Long Beach, N.Y.) has 10 points via six goals and four assists. Kyle Beattie (Avondale, Ariz.) is chipping in with four goals and five assists for nine points. Mike Cornell (Franklin, Mass.) is adding eight points on two goals and six assists. Lomberg has tallied four goals and dished out three assists for seven points, while Ben Hutton (Prescott, Ontario) has seven points as well on two goals and five assists. Steven Swavely (Reading, Pa.) has a goal and five assists for six points. Jon Swavely, Will Merchant and Mark Anthoine (Lewiston, Maine) each have two goals and three assists for five points. Adam Shemansky (Robbinsville, N.J.) and Stu Higgins (Troy, Mich.) are each chipping in with a goal and three assists for four points. Nemec has two goals and one assist for three points. Bill Norman (Stockholm, Sweden) has a goal and two assists for three points as well. Jake Rutt (Scarborough, Maine) is adding a goal and an assist for two points. Nick Pryor (St. Paul, Minn.), Brice O'Connor (Londonderry, N.H.) and Ouellette each have a pair of assists. Klas Leidermark (Gavle, Sweden) and Kyle Williams (Bowdoinham, Maine) have each chipped in with a goal.
Martin Ouellette has played in 17 games in goal. He is 5-7-4 with a 2.08 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. Matt Morris (Ridgewood, N.J.) is 2-1-0 with a 2.83 goals against average and a .881 save percentage. Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.) is 0-6-0 with a 3.34 goals against average and a .898 save percentage.
HOCKEY EAST HONORS: Maine was named the Hockey East Team of the Week last Monday after sweeping the weekend series at Boston College. Jon Swavely was named the Hockey East Co-Player of the Week as he had two goals and an assist in the weekend series. Martin Ouellette was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for his performance. He finished 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals against average and a .967 percentage. Ouellette recorded a career-high 34 saves in the victory on Friday night over the Eagles. He was nine seconds shy of recording a shutout on Saturday.
WINNING AT BOSTON COLLEGE: Maine's wins at Boston College over the weekend were noteworthy for several reasons. It was the first time that Maine has won at Conte Forum since Oct. 28, 2005. It was the first time that Maine has swept a series at Boston College since Jan. 1993. Maine's sweep of the Eagles in 1993 was the last time that Boston College has been swept at home in a weekend series prior to this past weekend.
DIAMOND NETS 50TH CAREER GOAL: Senior Joey Diamond scored his 50th career goal in Maine's game against Merrimack on Jan. 19. Diamond has 51 goals and 39 assists for 90 career points.
OUELLETTE STEALS THE SHOW: Martin Ouellette stole the show last weekend at Boston College. He made a career-high 34 saves, including several in spectacular fashion on Friday night. His previous career-high was 32 saves that he recorded in a shutout of Providence his freshman season. On Saturday, he finished nine seconds shy of recording his third career shutout.
MERCHANT LIKES PLAYING BOSTON COLLEGE: Will Merchant has two career goals and both have come against Boston College. He scored his first collegiate goal on Nov. 2 against the then top-ranked Eagles. In addition, four of his five career points have come against the Eagles.
GETTING THE GAME-WINNER: Ryan Lomberg has four career goals and three of them have been game-winners. He has scored three of Maine's seven game-winning goals on the season.
FILLING IN ON D: What makes Maine's wins over Boston College even more remarkable is that three of its regular defensemen were sidelined with injuries and did not play in the series. Nick Pryor, Brice O'Connor and Ben Hutton were all sidelined during the series.
FLORIDA COLLEGE CLASSIC CHAMPIONS: Maine won its second straight Florida College Classic on Dec. 28 and 29. The Black Bears became the first team in the 13 year history of the tournament to win back-to-back titles. Kyle Beattie was named the Shawn Walsh Most Valuable Player, while Devin Shore and Matt Morris were each named to the All-Tournament team.
FIRST CAREER GOAL: Eight 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
Ryan Lomberg Dec. 28 vs. Minnesota Duluth
Bill Norman Jan. 11 at Northeastern
DIAMOND MAINE'S ALL-TIME PENALTY LEADER: Joey Diamond has 401 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 41 minutes in the penalty box.
MORRIS NAMED HOCKEY EAST PRO AMBITIONS CO-ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Matt Morris was named the Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Morris stopped 22 of 23 shots that he faced against #11 Cornell in the 2012 Florida College Classic Championship game.
OUELLETTE SETS A CAREER-HIGH WITH 34 SAVES: Martin Ouellette had a career-high 34 saves in Maine's 4-1 win over Boston College. His previous career mark was 32 set as a freshman in a shutout of Providence.
LEEN MEAN SCORING MACHINE: After scoring just a single goal in his rookie season, sophomore Connor Leen is leading the team in goals scored with seven and in points with 12.
A COMEBACK AGAINST CORNELL: Maine trailed Cornell 3-0 on Dec. 29 in the title game of the 2012 Florida College Classic before scoring five straight goals to take a 5-3 lead. The Black Bears finished the game with a season high six goals.
AS OF LATE: In Maine's last 16 games, the team has posted a mark of 6-6-4. Four of Maine's six losses have come by just one goal. In Maine's last six games, the Black Bears have allowed just one goal in four of those games. If you look further back, in Maine's last 11 games the team has allowed one goal or less in seven of those contests.
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.
GAA DROPPING FOR MAINE: In Maine's last 16 games, the Black Bears have given up an average of 2.19 goals per game. Only three times in that span did the Black Bears give up more than three goals. Maine defeated Cornell 6-4, but fell to Mercyhurst 5-2 and Merrimack 6-0. Mercyhurst scored a pair of empty net goals in its 5-2 win.
OUELLETTE AMONG HOCKEY EAST LEADERS: Martin Ouellette leads Hockey East with a 2.08 goals against average. He ranks 19th in the nation in GAA. In addition, he is third in the conference in save percentage at .924.
50 POINTS: Senior Kyle Beattie tallied his 50th career point on Saturday, Dec. 29 in the 2012 Florida College Classic. He becomes the third Black Bear to reach the milestone. He currently has 54 career points. Senior Adam Shemansky tallied his 50th career point on Saturday, Dec. 1 against Vermont. He currently has 51 career points. Joey Diamond has currently scored 90 points in his University of Maine career.
FRESHMAN LEADING THE WAY FOR THE BLACK BEARS: Maine's freshman class is leading the way on offense. The rookie have scored 36.7 percent of Maine's total offense. The senior class is second with 34 percent of the total offense. The sophomore are adding in with 16.5 percent of the offense, while the junior have scored 12.8 percent of the total points.