The University of Maine will open its 2021 fall football season at home on Sept. 4 against Colonial Athletic Association opponent Delaware, and end the season on the road at rival New Hampshire on Nov. 20, the school announced Wednesday.

The Black Bears will have five home games among the 11 games they will play in the fall. Maine is playing a six-game CAA spring schedule beginning March 6, opening at Delaware. The 2020 CAA fall season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The schedule includes two games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams: Sept. 25 at Northern Illinois and Nov. 13 at the University of Massachusetts. In addition to the season opener, Maine has home games against Merrimack (Sept. 18), Elon (Oct. 9), William & Mary (Oct. 16) and Stony Brook (Nov. 6).

Maine’s other road games include James Madison (Sept. 11), Albany (Oct. 23), Rhode Island ()ct. 30).

The Black Bears, who finished 6-6 in 2019, have a bye on Oct. 2.

HOCKEY EAST TOURNAMENT CHANGES FORMAT

Hockey East will hold single-elimination tournaments for men’s and women’s hockey in March, with all teams qualifying, higher seeds hosting games and seedings based on a mathematical formula, the league announced on Wednesday.

A newly developed formula, the Hockey East Power Index, will seed the teams, because not all teams will be able to play full schedule. The winner of each tournament will receive Hockey East’s automatic bid into the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments.

The 11-team men’s tournament with three opening-round games (No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 and No. 7, No. 9 at No. 8) with the top five teams receiving a bye. After a reseeding, quarterfinals are March 14, semifinals are March 17 and the championship game on March 20. The latest possible date to play a regular-season game is March 7.

The women’s regular season ends on Feb. 21, and the 10-team women’s tournament has a similar format with two opening-round games on Feb. 24 and the top six seeds getting a bye into the quarterfinals. Teams will be reseeded before the quarterfinals on Feb. 28, with semifinals on March 3 and the championship game on March 6.

In addition to the single-elimination format and schedule, strict health and safety protocols have been approved to ensure the safest possible tournament, including mandatory league-wide testing days throughout the duration of the postseason.

BLANCA MILLAN A SEMIFINALIST FOR HAMMON AWARD

University of Maine fifth-year senior Blanca Millan has been named a semifinalist for the 2021 Becky Hammon Mid-Major player of the year award.

Millan, from Santiago de Compostela, Spain, is leading America East in eight statistical categories, including scoring (22.7 points per game, 13th in the nation) and steals (2.87). She has earned America East Player of the Week honors six times this season.

Maine is 14-1 on the season.

To be eligible for the award, a player has to be on a team in one of the 26 conferences considered “mid-majors.” Five finalists will be announced in early March.


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