This weekend's series against Massachusetts at Alfond Arena is an important two games with four points on the line for the University of Maine hockey team. Friday and Saturday are the end of a six-game home stand before two road contests with Vermont and then three straight against Boston University and Boston College.
Anything short of four points this weekend would be disastrous for a Black Bear squad looking to regain confidence and pick up some ground in the standings before a brutal stretch.
The Maine goaltending situation has been up-and-down with good performances mixed around some soft goals and lack of support from the defensive corps. Redshirt sophomore Matt Morris started in goal both games last weekend after splitting the first two with freshman Sean Romeo.
One good sign for the Black Bears is UMass' goaltending has been equally as shaky, but it appears to be improving with freshman Henry Dill taking over the reigns. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Steve Mastalerz get back in the rotation this weekend as at times he has proved to be a very capable goaltender.
Maine's returning All-Americans Devin Shore and Ben Hutton have three points combined so this weekend is a good opportunity for the duo to get back on track. The pair are too skilled to not pick up the offensive production very soon.
Both games are slated for a 7 p.m. puck drop.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.