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Crucial weekend for University of Maine hockey

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This weekend for the University of Maine hockey team is so important that coach Red Gendron sent a letter to the fans to explain the importance.

The Black Bears will host Providence for games on Friday and Saturday.

The regular season will be over after the game on Saturday evening.

Maine can finish anywhere from second to seventh in the hockey east standings.

The top five teams in the standings will receive a bye in the first round of the conference tournament.

If the Black Bears finish 6th or 7th, they would host a first round game.

It is great to play at home, but playing in that elimination game would be the worst case scenario for the Black Bears.

If the Black Bears get two points this weekend they would clinch at the very least the 5th spot in the conference standings.

If they finish fifth, they will play on the road in a quarterfinal best of three series. Not the best case, but better than playing in the first round.

The best case scenario for the Black Bears would be finishing in the top four and hosting a quarterfinal series.

The Black Bears control their own destiny.

They get four points this weekend, they would at least finish in the top four, maybe in the top three, and a slim chance they could even end up in second.

If they get at least three points, they would avoid the first round. They would still need some help from others to get in the top four as UNH and Northeastern play the bottom two teams in the league.

Playing home games is always important, it may even be more important for the 2013/2014 Black Bears.

Maine is 12-1 at Alfond Arena, 2-0-1 at neutral sites, and 1-10-3 on the road.

Click here for the full conference tournament schedule.

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