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Weeks 11 & 12 NCAA Update: Keep Calm and Shore On?

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Devin Shore continues his great play.

Devin Shore Carries the puck
Devin Shore Carries the puck
Maine Hockey

As I resume coverage of the two Dallas Stars prospects in the NCAA after a short vacation in Morocco, I'll start the new year off with a rather short update.

The NCAA schedule always gets a little wacky at this time of year because of the different academic schedules of all of the schools involved as well as a number of strangely named tournaments involving sometimes random teams. As a result, some NCAA squads play what seems to be an overloaded schedule while others play close to no games for the few weeks of holiday breaks.

This was the case with both the Michigan Wolverines and the Maine Black Bears. While Alex Guptill's Wolverines only played two games of the Great Lakes Invitational against Michigan State, Shore's Black Bears played three totally different games, against Princeton, Cornell, and Quinnipiac.

I'm going to skip Alex Guptill in this week's update because he hasn't really done anything in the last two games. All you need to know about him is that he mustered seven total shots on net and two penalty minutes in two gamesbut was otherwise was a non-factor for Michigan.

So, let's turn to Devin Shore, who is a completely different story.

Maine came out of Christmas matched up against the lowly 3-13 Princeton University Tigers, who they beat 4-0. As much as it pains me to see my hometown team get walloped, it's good to see that Maine once again benefited from Shore's contributions. He assisted on both of Maine's first two goals, ensuring that the team would play from ahead for the majority of the game. On top of that, Shore put five shots on net, won 13 out of 19 faceoffs, and finished the game with a plus-2 rating.

The next night, Shore scored the opening goal of the game against Cornell University, a lead which Maine held until five and a half minutes into the third period, then squandered. The game eventually went to a shootout, where Shore once again came up big for the Black Bears, scoring on the first attempt of the skills competition. Unfortunately, Maine's next eight (eight!) shooters came up empty, and the Black Bears lost. Shore put another five shots on net during the game but had a rare mediocre game on the faceoff dot, winning only 9 of 17 draws he took.

In the Black Bears' first game of the new year, a January 3 tilt against Quinnipiac, Devin Shore continued his team-carrying ways, scoring Maine's only goal, shorthanded no less, at the 9:55 point of the second period, tying the game. Maine lost again, and even though Shore continued his strong play with another six shots on net, he had another lackluster night on the dots, going 7 for 18.

To top off a great month, Devin Shore was named Hockey East Warrior Player of the Month. Here's the release from the Black Bears' official website:

WAKEFIELD, Mass. -- University of Maine sophomore forward Devin Shore (Ajax, Ontario) was named the Warrior Hockey Player of the Month today, announced by Hockey East. Shore scored two goals and added eightassists for 10 points in five games in December, where the Black Bears posted a mark of 4-0-1.

Shore picked up an assist to open December against UMass Lowell. He then tallied a career-high five points via a goal and four assists in Maine's 7-1 victory over AIC. He recorded an assist the following night as Maine swept the Yellow Jackets.

He dished out two assists in Maine's 4-0 win over Princeton in the first game of the 2013 Florida College Classic. He scored the lone goal in a 1-1 draw against Cornell in the 2013 Florida College Classic Title game to earn a spot on the Florida College Classic All-Tournament Team. It is the second year in a row that Shore was selected to the All-Tournament Team.

Shore leads Maine in scoring with eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points. He is in the midst of a career-high nine game scoring streak. Shore and the Black Bears return to action on Friday, Dec. 3 when they travel to Quinnipiac for a game against the Bobcats. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM and the game can be seen live on NESN.