Maine Hockey Journal

Maine travels to Boston for Hockey East showdown against the Terriers

The No. 7 ranked University of Maine men’s ice hockey team will travel to meet the No. 3 Boston University at Agganis Arena in Boston, Mass. on Saturday night. It will be the first of three meeting between Maine and Hockey East leading Boston Univ.

Maine contributes having such a good start to the season with a record of 4-1-2 (2-0-0 in Hockey East) and being nationally ranked to the fact that they’re more experienced this year.

“I think a lot of it is the experience, especially down the stretch last year it was a big learning curve for all of use,” remarked senior defenseman Mike Banwell.

“Each year you get bigger and stronger so I think it’s the experience on the ice that has been what has helped us so far,” Robby Dee added.

The Black Bears and the Terriers of have a rich history of Hockey East battles.

Currently, the Terriers lead the series 54-45-10, but you don’t have to look far back to find a huge win for Maine. During the 2009-‘10 season for Boston University, they met the Black Bears in the semifinals of the Hockey East Tournament in which Maine came out triumphant with a final score of 5-2.

Maine ended the Terrier’s chances to get back to the NCAA Tournament after being the 2009 National Champions. Maine will have an equally big hurdle to get over with such a strong and vengeful BU team waiting for them.

The odds are not in Maine’s favor this weekend with the challenge of facing an undefeated BU team in their own house, the Agganis Arena, where BU leads against the Black Bears 9-1-1 throughout the short history of the arena.

“BU has a solid program and I love playing them there.” Banwell said. They have good coaching, they do their systems well, and they’re just a tough to team to face down there.”

Maine will look to their scoring leader Spencer Abbott to help put the Terriers down. Abbott has two game-winning goals against the Terriers in his career and one of which is the only win the Black Bears have in Boston’s new arena.

The goaltending situation for Maine is a tricky one, but it’s a situation some may say is a blessing since each goalie is above average.

“Our goalies have been playing tremendously,” said forward Gustav Nyquist. “I think it’s good to have the three goalies, it only makes them better and we feel good with any one of them playing.”

The Terriers are led in scoring by junior defensemen David Warsofsky who has two goals, seven assists for nine points on the season, which ranks fourth in the Hockey East points behind Abbott’s 13 points and Nyquist with 12 points, and Robby Dee with 11 points, all of which play for the Black Bears.
Warsofsky was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. This past June, the Boston Bruins traded for the draft rights of the Marshfield, Massachusetts native in exchange for Vladimir Sobotka.

Playing in 134 games for the Bruins, Sobotka earned 22 points and was thought to be a solid young prospect for the club. As such, the Bruins will be expecting good things out of their new home town prospect.

The Terriers will be looking for goaltender Kieran Millan to have a big game against the Black Bears.

Millan has played in five games this season and has a 4-0-1 record. Millan will also try and improve on his 1.97 GAA and his .934 save percentage as he plays against five of the top 10 scorers in the Hockey East.

As two of the top teams in the nation collide in what will most likely be a hard fought showdown between the two Hockey East rivals. Maine and BU will have their work cut out for them this Saturday.

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