Men’s Hockey

MAINE vs. MERRIMACK

Time, site: Saturday, 4 p.m., Lawler Arena, No. Andover, Mass.

Records: Maine 9-5-4 (6-3-2 Hockey East); Merrimack 9-4-4 (5-4-3)

Series, last meeting: Maine leads 58-11-6, Maine 5-1 on 2/27/10

Key players: Maine — LW Spencer Abbott (11 goals, 11 assists), RW Gustav Nyquist (6 & 16), C Robby Dee (8 & 11), RW Joey Diamond (8 & 7), D Will O’Neill (1 & 7), G Dan Sullivan (5-4-1, 2.59 GAA, .891 save pct.), G Martin Ouellette (2-1-1, 2.17, .909); Merrimack — C Stephane Da Costa (8 & 12), D Karl Stollery (4 & 10), C Joe Cucci (3 & 11), LW Chris Barton (6 & 7), RW Jesse Todd (7 & 5), D Brendan Ellis (0 & 5), G Joe Cannata (9-4-4, 2.06, .924)

Outlook: The Black Bears will be bolstered by the return of senior defenseman and assistant captain Jeff Dimmen, who has been sidelined since Nov. 20 due to an ankle injury. The surprising Warriors are  4-1-1 at Lawler Arena and have won three of the last five meetings with the Bears at Lawler. Merrimack is off to its best start since moving up to Division I 22 years ago. Da Costa is a game-changer, so the Bears will have to keep an eye on the French Olympian and limit his time and space with the puck. Da Costa has a seven-game points streak (5 & 7). Nyquist has a five-game points streak (2 & 5), and Dee has registered at least a point in four games (3 & 2). Merrimack is the nation’s fifth-stingiest team, allowing just 2.12 goals per game. Cannata is one of the nation’s best goaltenders. The Warriors have the nation’s third-best penalty-killing percentage (88.4 percent efficiency). Maine’s slowly resurgent power play has scored at least one goal its last three games. 

Men’s Basketball

MAINE vs. MARYLAND BALTIMORE COUNTY

Time, site: Saturday, 2 p.m., The Retriever Activities Center Arena, Baltimore

Records: Maine 7-7 (1-1 America East), UMBC 1-13 (0-1)

Series, last meeting: tied 8-8, Maine 84-63 on 2/8/10

Key players: Maine — 6-7 F Troy Barnies (12.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.1 spg, .512 FG pct.), 6-3 G Terrance Mitchell (11.1 ppg, .500 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-3 G Gerald McLemore (10.6 ppg), 6-7 F Murphy Burnatowski (9.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg), 6-7 F Alasdair Fraser (6.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, .578 FG pct.), 5-9 G Andrew Rogers (3.2 ppg, 2.8 apg); UMBC — 5-10 G Chris De La Rosa (15.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 6.4 apg), 6-2 G Travis King (11.7 ppg, 1.4 spg, .484 3-pt. FG pct.), 6-10 F Justin Fry (7.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg), 6-9 F/C Laurence Jolicoeur (6.4 ppg), 6-6 F Chase Plummer (6.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg)

Outlook: Coach Ted Woodward’s Black Bears should be motivated to get back on track after Wednesday night’s disappointing 61-59 home loss to Hartford. UMaine continues to play solid defense, allowing 59.7 ppg in its last seven games, but surrendered nine 3-pointers to the Hawks. The Bears look to show off their offensive balance and .459 FG shooting percentage against a UMBC squad that has given up 80.6 ppg. Opponents are shooting almost 49 percent from the floor against the Retrievers, who have three fifth-year players. De La Rosa ranks seventh in AE in scoring and first in assists. UMBC, coming off a 64-56 loss to Stony Brook last Sunday, is ranked No. 336 among 345 Division I men’s teams in the unofficial Rating Percentage Index.

Women’s Basketball

MAINE vs. MARYLAND BALTIMORE COUNTY

Time, site: Sunday, noon, Alfond Arena, Orono

Records: Maine 2-12 (0-2 America East), UMBC 7-7 (1-0)

Series, last meeting: Maine leads 8-6, UMBC 57-45 on 2/7/10

Key players: Maine — 5-11 G Amber Smith (11.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.4 spg, .791 FT pct.), 5-9 G Ashleigh Roberts (9.9 ppg, 1.9 apg), 5-9 G Katelyn Vanderhoff (81. ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.1 spg, .395 3-pt. FG pct.), 5-11 F Tanna Ross (7.0 ppg), 6-2 F Corinne Wellington (6.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg); UMBC — 5-9 G Michelle Kurowski (14.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.9 spg, .862 FT pct.), 5-10 G/F Erin Brown (13.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, .800 FT pct.), 6-3 C Tope Obajolu (10.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.1 spg, 1.8 bpg), 5-7 G Kristin Coles (5.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.7 spg), 6-0 F/G Meghan Colabella (5.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.5 apg)

Outlook: Coach Cindy Blodgett’s Bears need a victory to establish some confidence for the America East season. UMaine has dropped two in a row, including Wednesday’s 73-43 loss at Boston University during which the Bears were outscored 48-24 in the second half. UMaine continues to struggle with turnovers (22.2 per game). UMBC has won three straight, including Monday’s 65-52 verdict at Stony Brook. The stingy Retrievers have given up only 59 ppg on 37 percent shooting. They also lead AE, shooting 39 percent from the floor and 72 percent from the foul line. Samantha Wheeler will miss her 10th straight game with postconcussion symptoms for UMaine, which ranks 321st out of 343 Division I women’s programs in the Rating Percentage Index.

Women’s Hockey

MAINE vs. No. 6 BOSTON COLLEGE

Time, site: Saturday, 7 p.m., Alfond Arena, Orono

Records: Maine 9-8-4 (3-4-2 Hockey East); BC 12-3-4 (6-1-2 HE)

Series, last meeting: BC leads 19-13-5, BC 4-1 on 2/13/10

Key players: Maine — C Brittany Dougherty (11 goals, 12 assists), LW Jennie Gallo (11 & 7), RW Myriam Croussette (8 & 10), RW Danielle Ward (7 & 9), D Ashley Norum (1 & 9), D Chloe Tinkler (2 & 5), G Brittany Ott (7-7-3, 2.27 GAA, .930 save pct.); BC — C Kelli Stack (21 & 13), C Mary Restuccia (6 & 14), LW Taylor Wasylk (10 & 7), RW Melissa Bizzari (6 & 7), D Blake Bolden (4 & 6), D Meagan Mangene (1 & 5), G Molly Schaus (12-1-2, 1.35, .940)

Outlook: Stack and Schaus were U.S. Olympians last winter and won silver medals. Stack leads the nation in goals per game (1.17) and is eighth in points per game (1.89). The All-American and two-time Hockey East Player of the Year has 83 goals and 183 career points in just 112 games. Maine will have to try to neutralize Stack and linemates Wasylk and Bizzari. BC has won four of its last five. Mangene is the sister of Maine men’s hockey team center-defenseman Matt Mangene. Maine is 5-2-4 in its last 11. Stack, Schaus, Bolden, Mangene and Wasylk attended a U.S. National Team camp late last month. BC is 4-0-1 in the last five meetings with Maine. Maine has surrendered more than two goals in a game just once over the last 11 games.