After a shortened season filled with postponed games, the University of Maine men’s hockey team is returning to normal. The anticipation of having a normal schedule and a packed Alfond Arena filled with students and Black Bear fans is making for an exciting 2021-2022 season.
Jack Quinlivan, a fifth-year forward and the captain of the team, returns alongside fellow forwards Emil Westerlund and Keenan Suthers, all are using their fifth-year of eligibility. Cameron Spicer is the only defenseman who is returning from last year as a fifth-year.
Two transfer students will join the team for the upcoming season: Defenseman Dominic Dockery, a fifth-year transfer student from Merrimack College and Matthew Fawcett, a third-year forward from Quinnipiac University. Dockery played 108 games and tallied 19 points for Merrimack, while Fawcett scored nine points for Quinnipiac over 34 games.
Three first-years dawn the blue and white for the Black Bears this season as well. Defenseman Tim Gould is from Moncton, New Brunswick and his previous team was the Amherst Ramblers of the MJAHL. Forward Nolan Renwick comes from Mileston, Saskatchewan and played in the USHL, competing with the Omaha Lancers. Defenseman David Breazeale, a Jenison, Michigan native, previously played for the Shreveport Mudbugs in the NAHL.
The Black Bears’ preseason exhibition home game against the University of Prince Edward Island that was scheduled for Oct. 2 has been cancelled; the team now is traveling to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire to take on Quinnipiac University in a closed exhibition game. The first two games of the season will be away at the University of Nebraska at Omaha on Oct. 7 and 8. The team returns to the Alfond for the first two home games of the season against Sacred Heart University on Oct. 22 and 23rd.
Other non-conference games include contests against Union College on Dec. 10 and 11, Penn State on New Years Eve and New Years Day and the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Jan. 7 and 8. The team travels to UMass Amherst to play the defending national champions for two games on Feb. 11 and 12. The Alfond will host the border battle between UMaine and UNH on Feb. 18 and 19.
The Black Bears will face Boston University for the last two home games of the season on March 4 and 5, before a quick turnaround for the opening round of the Hockey East Tournament. The first round of the tournament will take place on March 12, followed by a six and seven day break between the semi-final and championship games to round out the tournament.
As for the NCAA Frozen Four, the regional sites are scattered between New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Massachusetts. Boston is the designated location for the Frozen Four and the dates for those games are April 7 and 9.