In the second game of a weekend series, the University of Maine men’s hockey team looked to break even with St. Lawrence University after being defeated 5-0 the night before in a penalty riddled game.
UMaine was able to increase shot count and play with better effort, but their execution was not there, and St. Lawrence left Orono with a sweep, winning this second game 5-1.
“I saw a better effort, but I saw the same result,” said UMaine head coach Tim Whitehead. “Everybody works hard on every team, but that’s not enough, you need to execute as a team, and that’s where St. Lawrence had the advantage. They capitalize on their opportunities.”
“It’s tough, not a lot of good things to take from it, you lost 10-1 on the weekend and I thought we would play a little bit better tonight,” said UMaine senior defender Mike Cornell. “At the end of the day we have to find ways to compete because it’s not going to get any easier.”
UMaine and St. Lawrence shot often, with eight on goal for St. Lawrence in the first period and six on goal for UMaine. But for the second night in a row, St. Lawrence was able to get the shots to go into the net first.
With 7:20 played in the first, Saints forward Greg Carey scored unassisted to give St. Laurence a 1-0 lead
St. Lawrence was able get another one of their 20 total shots attempted past UMaine junior goaltender Dan Sullivan 14:15 into the first period when Saints forward Kyle Flanagan sniped one in after being assisted by defenseman Riley Austin and forward Greg Carey.
The second period brought back reminders of the previous night’s game, as St. Lawrence was able to tack on another goal. UMaine goaltender Matt Morris replaced Sullivan at the start of the second period. Whitehead said Sullivan was not playing up to his capabilities.
“Danny wasn’t sharp this weekend, last night or tonight. That hasn’t happened in a long time, I know he will bounce back, but it just didn’t appear like he was able to recapture it,” Whitehead said.
“As a goalie it’s pretty tough coming off the bench cold but you just want to give your team a chance,” Morris said. “You can’t blame [Sullivan] for either goal [that he gave up], I just want the team to win.”
Carey scored his second goal of the night past the midway point of the second period, assisted by forward Gunnar Hughes, putting the Saints up 3-0.
UMaine’s greatest chance to score came at the end of the second period during a power play after defenseman Jordan Dewey went to the box for interference late in the second period. Saints goaltender Matt Weninger posted another excellent game, and shined brightest at the end of the second period, making three unbelievable saves as the time expired.
“It was pretty much that way until we got the three nothing lead, and then we had to hold on at the end of the second there, I had to make a few saves. We had a few quality chances on the power play, and five-on-five we kept it on,” Weninger said.
Weninger saved 37 shots on the night, allowing only one goal.
The third period held some hope for the Black Bears, as they were finally able to break the shutout. Almost 5 minutes into the period, defenseman Mark Nemec blasted one into the net with the assists coming from Shore and forward Joey Diamond.
St. Lawrence took advantage of a Conor Riley penalty, and Flanagan scored his second goal of the game midway into the third period, with the assist coming from Carey and forward Justin Baker, making the score 4-1.
Kyle Essery finished off the scoring with less than 4 minutes remaining in the third being assisted by the Hughes brothers, and the St. Lawrence left Orono with a sweep, with a final score of 5-1. The Saints outscored the Black Bears 10-1, and UMaine went 0-14 on the power play all weekend.
“We’re not really getting set up in zone, we’re not getting as many shots on the net,” Cornell said. “If you give up a bunch of power play goals and you go oh-for, it’s going to be tough to beat anybody.”
UMaine falls to 1-4 on the year and will head to Providence College next weekend to open conference play. St. Lawrence improves to 3-1 and will take on the University of Alabama-Huntsville in a home series next weekend.