Each of the last two weekend series, University of Maine men’s hockey coach Ben Barr has used a goaltending tandem.

Freshman Albin Boija got the start in the Jan. 5 game against Colgate, and senior Victor Ostman started the next night against the Raiders, although Boija entered the game midway through the first period.

Last weekend at UConn, Ostman started Friday, a 5-3 come-from-behind win. Boija started Saturday’s 2-0 loss, a game that snapped Maine’s nine-game unbeaten streak.

On Tuesday afternoon, Barr was noncommittal when asked if the goaltending tandem would continue this weekend when Maine (14-4-2) hosts UMass-Lowell on Friday and Saturday for a pair of Hockey East games. While the River Hawks are 7-12-2, seven of those losses were by a goal.

“One day at a time. Whoever plays Friday, if they play well, they might go back in (Saturday),” Barr said.

On the season, Ostman has a .900 save percentage and 2.48 goals-against average in 17 games, all starts. Boija has a .939 save percentage and 1.50 goals-against average in five games, with three starts.


This week, the Black Bears got a boost on defense with the addition of Jack Dalton, who joined the team after spending the start of the season with the New Mexico Ice Wolves, a junior team in the North American Hockey League. Dalton joins fellow former New Mexico players Brandon Holt, a defenseman, and forwards Cole Hanson and Sully Scholle on Maine’s roster.

Dalton provides defensive depth for Maine. Sophomore defenseman Grayson Arnott has been out injured since a Dec. 3 win over UConn. Barr said Dalton’s return is up in the air; Arnott could return soon.

“(Arnott’s) out there practicing. I think he’s close. We’ll have to see how he feels, whether he’s confident enough to go this weekend,” Barr said.

Maine is ranked eighth nationally in this week’s USCHO coaches’ poll with one first-place vote.

CONFERENCE PLAY in the America East women’s basketball season has barely begun, but it’s not too early to consider the race for the league’s Player of the Year a two-player contest between Maine teammates Anne Simon and Adrianna Smith. The conference has awarded 10 players of the week this season. Five times the honor went to Simon and twice to Smith.

Smith, a junior forward, won the honor last season, and Simon, a senior guard, was America East Player of the Year in 2022. On Monday, Smith was named America East Player of the Week for her 28-point, 15-rebound, four-assist effort in the Black Bears’ 78-52 win over the University of New Hampshire last Thursday. It was Smith’s second Player of the Week honor of the season. Smith leads the conference in rebounding with 10.9 per game. Smith is sixth in the league in scoring (15.4 ppg), second in free-throw percentage (.776), third in assists (4.5 apg), and first in assist to turnover ratio (1.5).


Simon, who played in just 14 of Maine’s 30 games last season due to ankle injuries, leads America East in scoring at 18.8 points per game. Simon is third in rebounds (7.3 rpg), fourth in 3-point percentage (.347) and second in steals (2.6 spg).

The duo’s importance to the Black Bears (10-7, 3-0 America East) can be seen in their time on the court. Simon leads America East in minutes, playing just over 35 per game, and Smith is third at 33.5 per game.

THE MEN’S BASKETBALL team completed nonconference play with an 8-7 record, but back-to-back America East losses to Vermont and New Hampshire show that despite improving, the Black Bears still have a climb to reach the top half of the conference standings.

Specifically, the Black Bears need to do a better job closing out games. Maine held a seven-point lead early in the second half at defending conference champion Vermont on Jan. 28, before losing 65-58. Against the Wildcats on Jan. 11, the Black Bears held an 11-point lead with six minutes left in the game before falling, 79-74.

Jaden Clayton’s 3-pointer with 6:19 left gave Maine a 65-53 lead over UNH. From there, Maine gave up too many open shots, allowing the Wildcats to go 7 for 9 from the field, and gave UNH extra possessions with three turnovers after having just seven turnovers over the game’s first 34 minutes. Maine also shot 3 for 8 from the field over the same stretch.

Turnovers also hurt Maine in the loss at Vermont. Three turnovers over a three-minute run in the second half helped the Catamounts rally from seven points down to take the lead over the Black Bears.


Maine (8-9) will try to pick up its first America East win of the season with a pair of road games this week, at Maryland-Baltimore County Thursday and the New Jersey Institute of Technology Saturday.

THE MAINE FOOTBALL team has been active in the transfer portal this offseason. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Black Bears have lost six players through the portal, with one more still deciding on a new school, while adding three players.

The biggest transfer addition is quarterback Carter Peevy, who comes to Orono from Mercer. A two-way threat, Peevy completed 66.5% of his passes last season, for 2,284 yards and 11 touchdowns with five interceptions. Peevy also ran for 324 yards and a team-high 12 touchdowns, leading Mercer to a 9-4 record and the second round of the FCS playoffs, where it fell to eventual national champion South Dakota State. A native of Lawrenceville, Georgia, Peevy will be a redshirt junior with Maine.

Joining Peevy in Maine are two offensive linemen, Andrew Kocan, who comes from Virginia Military Institute, and John Olmstead, who played last season at Lafayette.

Peevy should have a chance to start immediately as one of the players leaving Maine is quarterback Derek Robertson, who is transferring to Colonial Athletic Association rival Monmouth.

Robertson overcame a slow start last fall to throw for 2,933 yards and 25 touchdowns with 13 interceptions.

Also leaving Maine are tight end Rohan Jones (Montana State), cornerback Kahzir “Buggs” Brown (Florida Atlantic), offensive lineman Darius Bell (East Carolina), offensive lineman Sean Pozniak (Tennessee Tech, where his coach will be Maine alum and former Black Bears offensive coordinator Bobby Wilder) and quarterback Ayden Pereira (Merrimack). Linebacker Vince Thomas is in the transfer portal but has yet to make a decision.

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