ORONO – Every coach will tell you that preseason polls don’t mean anything.
The same applies to Maine men’s hockey. The Black Bears were picked to finish at the bottom of Hockey East this season. Now the Black Bears are fighting for a chance to go to the TD Garden and the Hockey East Semifinals.
Maine dominated the University of New Hampshire in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs last weekend, but the Black Bears will need to take their game to the next level if they want to get by Providence in the quarters.
The Friars have gotten the best of the Black Bears twice this season and are the favorites going in. Just like it has been all year, Maine enters the series as the underdog on paper. As it did with the poll, it has ignored the preconceived expectations and believes it has what it takes to upset the Friars.
“We’re confident with what we have in the room. We have so many players, so much talent. I think we’ve started to put it together towards as the season has progressed. So I think we’re in a good spot, I think we have all the pieces we need. You know it’s not like we’re searching for something we don’t have so I think it’s a matter of showing up,” forward Mitch Fossier said.