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Men's Ice Hockey Travels to #6 UMass Lowell for Hockey East Quarterfinals
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The University of Maine men's ice hockey team travels to UMass Lowell this weekend for its best-of-three game Hockey East quarterfinal series. Maine clinched the eighth and final playoff spot last weekend after taking three of four points at New Hampshire. UMass Lowell won the 2013 regular season title with a 4-1 win at Providence on Saturday night.
MAINE AND THE HOCKEY EAST TOURNAMENT: Maine is making its 27th Hockey East Tournament appearance. The Black Bears have a record of 52-30 in the tournament. Maine has faced UMass Lowell in the tournament 15 times and holds a 14-1 lead in the meetings between the two teams. The teams have met in the Hockey East quarterfinals in 1990, 1991, 2005, 2006 and 2010. Maine defeated UMass Lowell in two games in both 2005 and 2006. The 2010 series went three games with the Black Bears winning the third and final game in overtime 3-2.
A LOOK BACK: Maine skated to a 4-4 tie with New Hampshire last Saturday afternoon in the final game of the regular season. UNH took a 2-0 lead on a goal by Maxim Gaudreault at 14:06 of the second period. Maine answered back when Joey Diamond (Long Beach, N.Y.) scored his first of the game just 1:22 later. UNH regained the two goal lead just 32 seconds later when Grayson Downing scored his 13th goal of the season. Maine countered just over two minutes later when Adam Shemansky (Robbinsville, N.J.) tipped a Klas Leidermark (Gavle, Sweden) shot past UNH goalie Casey DeSmith. The Wildcats took the 3-2 lead into the second intermission. Diamond scored his second of the afternoon at 5:58 of the third period as Maine tied the game. Will Merchant (Eagan, Minn.) then deflected a Brice O'Connor (Londonderry, N.H.) shot past DeSmith at 7:14 to give Maine a 4-3 lead. New Hampshire tied the game at 16:22 at 4-4. Neither team was able to score the remainder of regulation or during the five minute overtime period.
Maine outshot UNH 36-35 in the game. The Black Bears were scoreless in five power play chances, while UNH finished 1-for-4.
Maine's Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec) made 31 saves in goal and moves to 9-10-8. DeSmith stopped 32 shots and moves to 17-7-7.
SCOUTING THE BLACK BEARS: Maine is led by Joey Diamond who has 14 goals and 10 assists for 24 points. He has four power play goals and a pair of game-winning goals. Devin Shore (Ajax, Ontario) is adding four goals and 19 assists for 23 points. Ben Hutton (Prescott, Ontario) is chipping in with four goals and 11 assists for 15 points. Steven Swavely (Reading, Pa.) has 14 points via six goals and eight assists. Kyle Beattie (Avondale, Ariz.) and Ryan Lomberg (Richmond Hill, Ontario) each have seven goals and six assists for 13 points. Connor Leen (Chester, N.Y.) has seven goals and five assists for 12 points. Mike Cornell (Franklin, Mass.) has three goals and seven assists for 10 points. Jake Rutt (Scarborough, Maine) has nine points via three goals and six assists. Mark Anthoine (Lewiston, Maine), Will Merchant (Eagan, Minn.), Jon Swavely (Reading, Pa.) and Stu Higgins (Troy, Mich.) all have seven points. Anthoine has four goals and three assists, while Merchant has three goals and four assists. Swavely's seven points have come via two goals and five assists, while Higgins has a goal and six assists. Adam Shemansky has three goals and three assists for six points. Mark Nemec (Rouses Point, N.Y.) and Bill Norman (Stockholm, Sweden) each have two goals and two assists for four points. Brice O'Connor has four points via four assists. Klas Leidermark is adding a goal and two assists for three points. Martin Ouellette is adding three assists on the season Nick Pryor (St. Paul, Minn.) and Andrew Cerretani (Pelham, N.H.) have each dished out two assists. Kyle Williams (Bowdoinham, Maine) has a goal, while Conor Riley (Massena, N.Y.) is adding an assist.
Martin Ouellette is 9-10-8 on the season with a 2.38 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. He has a pair of shutouts. 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 .881 save percentage.
HUTTON ON A ROLL: Maine rookie defenseman Ben Hutton ranks third on the team in scoring with four goals and 11 assists for 15 points. He saw his five-game scoring streak snapped on March 8 at New Hampshire, but responded with a pair of assists the following night. Hutton is Maine's top scoring defenseman. The last time a rookie was Maine's top scoring defenseman was during the 2004-05 season when Bret Tyler finished with six goals and 14 assists for 20 points.
THE POWER OF THE POWER PLAY: Maine scored a season-high three power play goals on Feb. 15 in its 3-3 tie against Boston University. The Black Bears equaled that on Saturday, March 2 against Northeastern. The game against BU was the first time this season that Maine has tallied three power play goals in a game. Prior to that, the last time Maine scored three or more power play goals in a game was in a 5-3 win over Boston University in the 2012 Hockey East semifinals when it tallied four. Six times last season Maine score three or more power play goals in a game. The Black Bears have 12 power play goals in their last 11 games, going 12-for-52 during that time. Maine scored just one power play goal in its first nine games this season.
FIT TO BE TIED: Maine has skated to eight ties on the season, all coming in Hockey East play, which sets the school record for times in a season. The previous school record of seven was set in 2000-01 and tied in 2001-02, 2004-05 and 2010-11.
SINGING THE ANTHEM: Sue Swavely, mother of Maine's Jon and Steven Swavely,sang the national anthem prior to last Saturday night's game. She also sang the anthem once during the 2011-2012 season.
DIAMOND MAINE'S ALL-TIME PENALTY LEADER: Joey Diamond has 439 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 seven hours and 19 minutes in the penalty box.
GOING THE DISTANCE.... AND THEN SOME: Maine has gone to overtime in 10 of its last 25 games. Maine has played 10 overtime games on the season and is 1-1-8 in those 10 games. Six of Maine's last eight home games went to overtime.
FRESHMAN LEADING THE WAY FOR THE BLACK BEARS: Maine's freshman class is leading the way on offense. The rookies have scored 40.8 percent of Maine's total offense. The senior class is second with 32.5 percent of the total offense. The sophomores are adding in with 15.7 percent of the offense, while the juniors have scored 11 percent of the total points.
OUELLETTE AMONG GOALIE ASSIST LEADERS: Maine goalie Martin Ouellette picked up his third assist of the season last Saturday afternoon against New Hampshire. Garth Snow set the school record for assists in a season with four in 1990-91. He also had three assists in 1991-92 and 1992-93. Alfie Michaud also recorded three assists in 1997-98.
SCOUTING UMASS LOWELL: UMass Lowell won the Hockey East regular season title last weekend with a victory over Providence on Saturday night. The team finished 22-10-2 on the season and 16-9-2 in Hockey East play. The River Hawks are led by Joseph Pendenza who has 12 goals and 22 assists for 34 points. Scott Wilson is adding 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points. Derek Arnold is chipping in with 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points. Riley Wetmore has 24 points via 15 goals and nine assists. Josh Holmstrom has tallied 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points. Ryan McGrath has netted six goals and 13 assists for 19 points. Chad Ruhwedel and Christian Folin each have 18 points. Ruhwedel has seven goals and 11 assists from the blueline, while Folin has five goals and 13 assists. A.J. White is chipping in with a goal and nine assists for 10 points. Joe Houk and Zack Kamrass each also have 10 points via 10 assists. Stephen Buco and Michael Colantone each have five goals and two assists for seven points. Terrence Wallin has two goals and five assists for seven points as well.
Connor Hellebuyck has played in 17 games in goal. He is 14-2-0 with a 1.49 goals against average and a .945 save percentage. Doug Carr has seen action in 19 games. He is 8-8-1 with a 2.79 goals against average and a .897 save percentage. Brian Robbins has seen action in one game and is 0-0-1 with a 2.13 goals against average and a .933 save percentage.
Norm Bazin (UMass Lowell '94) is in his second season. He has a record of 46-23-3 at UMass Lowell and an overall record of 84-54-10 in his fifth season as a head coach. He is assisted by associate head coach Jason Lammers (SUNY Geneseo '98), and assistant coach Cam Ellsworth (Michigan Tech '05).
MAINE AND UMASS LOWELL ALL-TIME: Maine and UMass Lowell have met 111 times in history with the Black Bears leading the all-time series 77-32-2. The teams have met three times this season with Maine holding a 2-1 lead. The Black Bears fell to the River Hawks 2-1 on Nov. 9, before coming back to win 4-3 the following night. Maine then defeated UMass Lowell 4-3 in overtime on Feb. 3 at Alfond Arena with Joey Diamond netting the game-winning goal.
MAINE VS. UMASS LOWELL CONNECTIONS: Maine head coach Tim Whitehead served as the head coach at UMass Lowell from 1996-97 to 2000-01. UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin served as an assistant coach for Whitehead at UMass Lowell from 1996-2000. Bazin played for the River Hawks while Whitehead served as an assistant coach.
MAINE AS THE EIGHTH SEED: Maine has been the number eight seed in the Hockey East Tournament in both 2009 and 1994. In each year, the Black Bears played Boston University in the best-of-three series. Maine forced Boston University to a game three in 2009 before falling to the Terriers, who went on to win the Hockey East title and the national championship. Maine fell to Boston University in two games in 1994.
THE EIGHTH SEED: Three times in the last 15 years a number eight seed has beaten a number one seed in the Hockey East tournament. In 2010, # 8 Vermont beat #1 New Hampshire in their best-of-three series. In 2004, #8 Boston University defeated #1 Boston College in three games. In 1998, #8 Merrimack defeated #1 Boston University in three games. In 1991, #8 Northeastern defeated #1 Boston College in a single elimination game.
MAINE AND UMASS LOWELL IN THE HOCKEY EAST TOURNAMENT: Maine and UMass Lowell have met 15 times in the Hockey East Tournament with the Black Bears holding the all-time lead 14-1-0.