Preview: Maine Black Bears Up Next For MSU

The Maine Black Bears, 6-1 victors over Harvard, will take on MSU in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday at 2 p.m. GSN takes a peak and previews that game.

OKEMOS,MI-The Maine Black Bears, who finished second in Hockey East, will be the next opponent for the Spartans fresh off their 6-1 victory over Harvard.

Michel Leveille had one goal and two assists to help the Maine effort against Harvard that saw six different players score for Maine. It was an offensive flurry that saw Maine throw 44 shots on goal and draw sixteen minutes of power play time from Harvard with the offensive pressure the Black Bears were providing.

That victory gives the Bears a 27-11-2 overall record and in the hunt for the Frozen Four.

Rick Comley might want to check the film of the season series between Maine and Boston University, who own a 3-0 record versus the Bears this season.

Maine is strong offensively, scoring 3.33 goals per game, 2nd in Hockey East, and they are also second in giving up goals, at just 2.18 per game.

Maine is second in the league in assists at 5.17 and they like to move the puck.

Maine does not allow a lot of shots on goal at just 22 per game. MSU would be wise to get that total up to the mid-30's to give themselves a chance.

The biggest worry for MSU is not taking penalties in this game, as Maine has the top power play in Hockey East with 53 regular season power play goals, or 1.36 per game.

When opponents are on the power play, Maine plays a little more defensive and don't register a lot of short-handed opportunities, in fact they have only three short-handed goals.

However, this close to the vest style has helped them register the top penalty killing percentage in Hockey East at .897.

Maine is led by Greg Moore, who is third in Hockey East with 42 points on 26 goals. Josh Soares has 37 points with 14 goals, Michel Leveille has 36 points with 14 goals, and Derek Damon has 33 points with 14 goals on a balanced team.

Bret Taylor leads the defensemen with 22 points. Mike Lundin also has 14 points playing as a blue liner.

Moore and Keith Johnson lead them with four game winning goals, followed by Leveille, Ron Bellamy, and Soares with three a piece.

Travis Wight has +17 in the plus/minus category, as positive things happen when he is on the ice for the Black Bears this year.

In goal for Maine, Ben Bishop has a 19-7-2 record with a 2.20 goals against average and a .907 save percentage. Matt Lundin also has three shutouts for Maine. Bishop stopped 25 of 26 shots against Harvard.

MSU has an all-time record of 8-3-1 against Maine.

GSN will have more exciting Spartan hockey coverage, so stay tuned.


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