UConn Hockey 2014 Preview: Huskies vs the Maine Black Bears
The Huskies are ready as the UConn men's hockey program gears up for their debut in Hockey East this fall as we take a look at the 11 other programs that make up the historic conference. Thanks to the folks over at the University of Connecticut, we're previewing the University of Maine Black Bears. The Huskies and Black Bears have met three times with Maine holding a 2-0-1 edge in the all-time series.
The first-ever meeting took place during the 1977-78 season, a 10-2 Maine win on their home ice. They met again in Orono the following season with the Black Bears posting a 10-4 victory. The last time the two schools took the same ice was on October 9, 2010 at Alfond Arena on the Maine campus. It was the 2010-11 season opener for the Huskies as they headed north to face the Black Bears who opened the season ranked #7 in the nation. Sean Ambrosie, who holds the UConn Division I record for career assists with 71, netted the game-tying goal midway through the third period and goaltender Garrett Bartus stopped 40 shots to secure the 3-3 result. Maine came away with a pair of short-handed goals but UConn's penalty kill kept the Black Bears off the scoreboard on eight power play chances on the night.
University of Maine Notes:
- The University of Maine is one of the founding members of Hockey East and have won three regular season championships over the league’s 30 seasons, fourth most behind Boston College and Boston University and the University of New Hampshire.
- Head Coach Dennis “Red” Gendron will begin his second season at the helm of the Maine program in 2014-15. Gendron guided the Black Bears to a 16-15-4 record in his first season on the bench. He served as an assistant at Maine for three seasons starting in 1990 and earned his master’s degree from the institution. He helped lead the 1993 squad to the National Championship and was also on the coaching staff at Yale University when the Bulldogs won the 2013 title. He was also a member of the coaching staff for the 1995 Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils.
- Maine has appeared in 18 NCAA Tournaments over the past 25 years and have made 11 appearances in the Frozen Four. The Black Bears have captured two National Championships, taking home the title in 1993 and 1999.
- The Black Bears had back-to-back Hobey Baker Award winners – Scott Pellerin in 1992 and Paul Kariya in 1993.
- Maine finished 16-15-4 overall in 2013-14 and posted a 9-8-3 Hockey East mark, finishing sixth in the final standings. The Black Bears beat Merrimack, 2-0, in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs before falling to Providence in two-games in the quarterfinal best-of-three round.
- Junior forward Devin Shore will captain the Black Bears in 2014-15 with senior forward Stu Higgins and senior defenseman Jake Rutt chosen to serve as alternate captains this season.
- Junior defenseman Ben Hutton and Shore were both named to the 2014 Hockey East First Team. Hutton set a Maine record for defensemen with 15 goals last season to go along with 14 assists for 29 points from the blue line. His 15 goals led the nation in goals scored by a defenseman. Shore scored 14 goals and passed out 29 assists for 43 points.
- Hutton was honored with the Bob Monahan Award presented annually to the Best Defensemen in New England.
- Senior captain Bryce O’Connor was named the 2014 recipient of the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award. The award was established by the Hockey Commissioner’s Association (HCA) in honor of former Army player Derek Hines, who was a “consummate team player and team builder.” Hines played at Army from 1999-2003 and was a four-year letterwinner as well as a co-captain his senior season. He was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 1, 2005 in Afghanistan.
- Maine incoming freshman forward Nolan Vesey was taken in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, going in the sixth round and 158th overall to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
University of Maine
Jan. 3th – at Maine – Alfond Arena
Feb. 1st – vs. Maine – XL Center
All-Time Series – Maine leads, 2-0-1
First Meeting – Dec. 9, 1977, at Maine, Maine 10 – UConn 2
Last Meeting – Oct. 9, 2010 at Maine (Alfond Arena), Maine 3 – UConn 3 (ot)
Joined Hockey East – 1984-85 (30 seasons)
Hockey East Titles – 3
2013-14 Record/Finish – 9-8-3 / 6th place
Portions of this article may contain materials or information provided courtesy of the UConn Huskies athletic department.