The Maine Black Bears hockey team lost two games last week, falling to 0-2-3 on the season. Quinnipiac blanked Maine 4-0 on Tuesday before New Brunswick defeated the Black Bears in their home opener by a score of 5-1 in an exhibition matter on Friday.
Maine shut out 5-0 by Quinnipiac
Quinnipiac fourth-year goaltender Michael Garteig backstopped the Bobcats to a 4-0 victory over the Maine Black Bears at home on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Garteig made 20 saves in the contest, recording his second consecutive shutout and becoming the fifth goaltender in Quinnipiac school history to reach 50 career wins in net. The shutout was the 13th of Garteig’s career.
First-year forward Chase Priskie led the Bobcats offensively, tallying a goal and an assist in the contest.
The Black Bears, who have had recent luck against favored opponents, struggled offensively and failed to find the back of the net on six power play opportunities. Quinnipiac doubled Maine’s total in shots on goal with 40.
The Bobcats notched their first goal with an unassisted play by Priskie just 12 minutes into the first period.
After Black Bears’ second-year wing Nolan Vesey went to the box on a hooking call, third-year forward Sam Anas fired an errant shot that hit the boards and bounced back into the slot. A Maine defender tried to clear the puck, but Priskie knocked the puck down and sent a wrist shot to the opposite post that beat fourth-year goaltender Matt Morris for a 1-0 lead. This was Priskie’s first goal of the season.
Maine mishandled another clearing opportunity in the middle period that led to the Bobcats’ second score.
Fourth-year forward K.J. Tiefenwerth sent a pass off the skate of a Maine defender that deflected into the slot. A failed attempt to clear was recovered by third-year forward Tommy Schutt near the faceoff circle. Morris was screened by Tiefenwerth, who was cutting in front. Schutt sent a slap shot that met the far corner of the net, doubling the Quinnipiac lead.
After the first intermission, Quinnipiac connected again on the power play, to further extending their lead. Priskie recovered a cleared puck and held it behind the Bobcats’ goal before passing to third-year defender Devon Toews. Toews went coast-to-coast with the puck, deking a Black Bear defender and beating Morris to make the score 3-0.
Tiefenwerth rounded out Quinnipiac’s scoring late in the middle period when he received a pass from third-year defender Connor Clifton and buried his own rebound for a 4-0 Bobcats lead.
Neither team tallied a goal in the remaining period. Second-year netminder Sean Romeo made his first appearance of the season for the Black Bears when he replaced Morris in the third period. Romeo stopped all seven shots he faced in the period.
After the loss, Maine moves to 0-2-3 on the season, while Quinnipiac improves to 4-0. Maine will return to action on Friday, Oct. 23. when they face New Brunswick at home at the Alfond Arena. Maine opened at home with New Brunswick last season and won 8-3.
Black Bears blown out by New Brunswick in exhibition
Second-year goaltender Sean Romeo received his first start in net for the Maine Black Bears Friday night, and it’s probably a game he’d like to have back. Despite some spectacular saves, Romeo allowed five goals on 29 shots. New Brunswick capitalized on Romeo’s play, leaving the Alfond with a commanding 5-1 victory.
“He made a lot of big saves. He needs to make more, that’s the nature of it,” Maine Head Coach Red Gendron said. “The last two goals in the third period are pucks that need to be stopped.”
The Varsity Reds, who have won four Canadian national championships in nine years, dominated Maine throughout, particularly on the face-off. Maine lost 44 of 66 faceoffs, including three that immediately led to New Brunswick scores.
“We did a great job making plays and controlling the puck, advancing, breaking it out, hitting players underneath. And then when we got to the attacking blue line, we tried to be too fancy and we turned the puck over and they were right back in our face,” Gendron said.
New Brunswick third-year forward and leading scorer Philippe Maillet tallied two goals and an assist in the contest. Maillet contributed on the first three New Brunswick goals.
Maillet found third-year forward Philippe Halley at the goal line to take a 2-1 lead in the second period. Then Maillet recovered a loose puck on a broken play from the faceoff and skated uncontested at Romeo, burying the puck for a 3-1 Varsity Reds lead.
“I think it’s just a broken play, that their players are going forward because it looks like I win the draw and then it just comes back on my stick,” Maillet said. “I have a little breakaway on the net and I found a way to put it in. Fortunate, but we needed it.”
“You want to make sure you score on those chances. It was a broken play,” Maillet said.
The final two New Brunswick goals were scored off the faceoff as well. Second-year players Randy Gazzola and Francis Beauvillier each netted shots on faceoff plays in the third period to secure the 5-1 victory.
“Puck possession is a key part of the game. We try to do a lot of situations in practice to try and win the puck, but if we lose the draw, we want to get the puck back as quick as we can,” New Brunswick Head Coach Gardiner MacDougall said. “That was good execution and those were key goals for us, especially in the third period.”
First-year New Brunswick goaltender Alex Dubeau stopped 25 shots and thwarted all three of the Black Bears’ power play opportunities.
“I really felt good tonight. We’d been practicing all week so I was ready for tonight,” Dubeau said. “Every practice feels like a game, I always take it like a game. That’s how I keep my game shape.”
Maillet opened scoring in the first period with a goal on backhanded shot from six feet out that found its way through the legs of Romeo and into the back of the net for a 1-0 Varsity Reds advantage.
Maine responded when first-year forward Brendan Robbins knotted the score with 18 seconds remaining in the period. Fourth-year forward Will Merchant and first-year defender Rob Michel assisted on the play. Michel sent a pass from the right wing boards that deflected over Robbins in front of the net. Dubeau lost sight of the puck on the deflection and Robbins recovered, putting the puck into an empty net.
The Black Bears dressed 20 players for the exhibition, as well as two goaltenders. First-year goaltender Rob McGovern was not dressed for the contest.
“A lot of players who normally haven’t had the opportunity to play that much had a chance to put themselves in the lineup and show the coaching staff if they should get more ice time,” Gendron said. “Certain other guys needed to step up, some did, some didn’t. We learned more about our team tonight, and that’s a positive.”
New Brunswick outshot Maine 29-26 in the contest.
Maine will return to action on Oct. 30 when they face off against Massachusetts at a neutral site in Trenton, N.J. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.