The University of Maine men’s hockey team (14-9-4) hit the road for a two-game series against the Minutemen from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (11-14-1) Friday, Jan. 26 and Saturday, Jan. 27. The Black Bears took game one 3-2.
The Black Bears and Minutemen have played each other a total of 84 times prior to Friday’s game. Maine has the upper hand with a record of 54-21-9 in the series.
Starting between the pipes for the Black Bears was first-year Jeremy Swayman, who is currently tied for third among rookies with nine wins. His .926 save percentage is seventh in the nation, first in Hockey East and third nationally for all rookie goalies.
The starting goaltender for the Minutemen was first-year Matt Murray, who recorded his first career shutout with 24 saves in a 4-0 win over Merrimack College back in October.
Maine opened the scoring in the first period when first-year Eduards Tralmaks finished a play from second-year forwards Chase Pearson and Mitchell Fossier.
UMass answered when third-year Austin Levy netted his fourth goal of the season off of a power play.
The Minutemen struck again when second-year Griff Jeszka made it 2-1 for his second goal of the season with eight minutes to go in the period. After 20 minutes, UMass led in shots on goal, 12-6 and in face-offs won, 14-6.
In the second period, third-year defenseman Rob Michel scored his fourth goal of the season off of a rebound on a power play, assisted again by Pearson and Fossier, to make it 2-2 with 6:14 remaining in the period.
With 4:36 left in the period, UMass went on the power play after a cross-checking call but they could not capitalize on the man-advantage.
After 40 minutes of play, the Minutemen continued to lead in shots on goal, 17-16 and in face-offs won, 19-18.
In the third period, the Black Bears started off on the power play after an interference call. However, they could not execute, keeping the score tied.
With 5:03 to go in the game, the Black Bears scored a shorthanded goal when fourth-year forward Cedric Lacroix got his third goal of the season, assisted by Michel.
UMass took a timeout with 1:39 remaining in the game, which resulted in them pulling the goalie for an extra player, but it was no use.
Swayman led the charge, recording 28 saves to Murray’s 21 for the Minutemen.
Black Bears finish sweep of Minutemen
The University of Maine men’s hockey team played their second game of a two-game series on Saturday, Jan. 27 against the Minutemen. In the game on Friday, the Black Bears scored a late third period goal to beat the Minutemen 3-2.
Starting in net again for the Black Bears was Swayman, who made seven saves in the third period on Friday to close out the win. Staring in net for the Minutemen was fourth-year Ryan Wischow, who made a season-high 47 saves against Quinnipiac University on Nov. 25.
Just 18 seconds into the first period, Pearson scored his fifth goal of the season to make it 1-0. Shortly after, UMass went to the power play after a Maine tripping call, but Maine was able to kill the penalty to hold on to the lead
The Minutemen answered back when first-year Mitchell Chaffee scored his 10th goal of the season to tie up the game after a pass from first-year Oliver Chau.
After 20 minutes of play, the Minutemen led in shots on goal, 18-11 and face-offs won, 15-11.
In the second period, the Black Bears scored, but the goal was overturned so the score remained tied with 15:08 remaining in the period.
The Black Bears responded to the overturned goal when first-year Emil Westerlund scored his sixth goal of the season, off of an assist from first-year Brady Keeper.
Maine made the score 3-1 when Pearson scored his second goal of the game and his sixth goal of the season off of an assist from Fossier and first-year Eduards Tralmaks with 6:32 left in the second period.
After 40 minutes, the Minutemen continued to lead in shots, 18-14 and in face-off wins, 25-20.
With 6:01 to go in the period, UMass went on the power play after a holding call on Maine. After two minutes on the man advantage, the Minutemen could not capitalize.
The Minutemen cut the deficit to one when first-year John Leonard scored his seventh goal of the season off of an assist from Chaffee on the power play.
With one minute left, UMass pulled Wischow for the extra player but nothing came of it. The Black Bears hung on to win 3-2.
The Black Bears return to the ice Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 3 when they host Merrimack College. Puck drop for Friday is 7:30 p.m and puck drop for Saturday is scheduled for 7 p.m. UMass returns to the ice Friday, Feb. 2 when they host Boston University. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.