After a tie (2-2) last week between the University of Maine and the University of Connecticut, the UMaine Black Bears defeated the University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks (4-3) on Nov. 2. But the River Hawks bit back with a 1-0 victory in the finale match the following night.
The River Hawks scored four minutes into the Friday match when a shot by Lowell first-year defensemen Chase Blackmun flew into UMaine’s net. The shot was assisted by first-year forward Sam Knoblauch. This was followed by aggressive attempts by UMaine to chase down the puck as it dashed between Lowell players. The River Hawks showed early on signs that they were superior in speed and agility. This set the stage for a contest of Lowell’s cunning over UMaine’s brute force.
Kicking off the second period in quick fashion, Knoblauch found the back of the Black Bears’ net just 30 seconds in. Now down 2-0, the Black Bears rallied, with third-year forward Chase Pearson leading the way, the Black Bears’ offense launched a vicious attack against the River Hawks. Once the puck found its mark, the Black Bears went on a scoring spree, resulting in three goals within the span of five minutes. Pearson, one of the top scorers for the last game against the University of Connecticut, followed up his strong performance by scoring two of the three goals.
The third goal of the five-minute frenzy was scored by third-year UMaine forward Patrick Shea. The shot was made during a power play, following a face-off between UMaine third-year forward Tim Doherty and UMass second-year forward Charlie Levesque. Afterward, the Black Bears scored once more with roughly fifteen minutes left in the second the period. Doherty scored a fourth goal bringing the score to 4-2 for UMaine.
UMaine managed to avoid penalties until the third period where they started off by receiving two minutes for hooking. The Black Bears and River Hawks remained locked at 4-2 with UMaine missing five shots in the early part of the period and successful blocks by UMass players Charlie Levesque and Croix Evingson. After a missed shot by UMaine third-year Ryan Smith and a face-off, UMass Lowell scored the final goal for the game. It was scored within the last seventeen minutes by UMass freshman Lucas Condotta with assistance by Chris Schutz, bringing the score to 4-3.
In an effort to increase the offensive, the UMass goal stood empty for the final three minutes. It was a golden opportunity that the Black Bears put all their energy into exploiting. With several shots and aggressive face-offs, UMaine hammered at the Lowell side of the ice. Once again their speed and agility proved effective. Despite impressive defense by UMass Lowell, it kept them far too busy to score the final point that would’ve made it a tie game.
The following Saturday at the Alfond, the River Hawks were out for revenge, but the Black Bears didn’t make it easy.
The first period began with an energetic series of alternating shots and face-offs, along with an early penalty against UMaine for hooking. Despite vigorous efforts from both teams and shot after shot being rocketed at the nets, neither team appeared on the scoreboard for both the first and second period. Some shots went wide, others were saved and some glanced off the goalie cage. It was a tight deadlock between two very stubborn teams.
The first and only goal of the game was scored by River Hawk second-year forward Connor Sodergren with assists by Levesque, leading to their win over UMaine with a score of 1-0.
UMaine’s Men’s ice hockey team will be hitting the road for matches against Boston University before hosting Quinnipiac University on Nov. 23 and Nov. 24.