On Friday, Oct. 25, the University of Maine women’s ice hockey team shutout long-time rival University of New Hampshire 3-0. The Black Bears, sitting at 2-3 entering the contest, needed the early victory in the season against the Wildcats to help secure tiebreakers for playoff implications.
The Black Bears defense played with ferocity through the first period, while the offense outshot New Hampshire 12-3. However, the game remained scoreless. Wildcats’ second-year goaltender Ava Boutillier and their defensive rotation kept Maine from scoring in the first, but the barrage of shots eventually slipped one past her. Black Bears’ fourth-year center Tereza Vanisova cranked a slap shot from the faceoff circle, and thanks to some help from the top-right crossbar, the puck bounced right past Boutillier to give Maine the advantage.
Halfway through the third period, the Black Bears extended their lead to 2-0 as fourth-year forward Vendula Pribylova lifted a shot from just outside the crease to Boutillier’s upper stick side corner. In a last-ditch effort to score against a well guarded Black Bears’ goal, the Wildcats pulled Boutillier with under three minutes to play and sent six attackers at Maine’s blue line.
The Black Bears weren’t overwhelmed by the additional player by any means. After stealing the puck, third-year defender Taylor Leech cranked a wrist shot from her own defensive zone that sailed perfectly into the unguarded New Hampshire net. The third and final goal for the Black Bears iced away the victory after Maine outshot New Hampshire 31-19. Black Bears’ third-year goaltender Loryn Porter made 19 saves and collected her third shutout of the season.
Maine carried their momentum from the previous night on the road into their following contest on Saturday as they took on the No. 6 Boston College Eagles. With eight minutes left in the first period, first-year forward Ida Kuoppala put Maine up 1-0 when she fired a wrist shot from the left dot beating the goaltender to the near post. Second-year forward Megan Beres responded less than a minute later for Boston, picking up the puck low and reaching around the net to stuff it inside the right post.
Heading into the second, the Eagles rang the buzzer once more, as first-year forward Hannah Bilka found the net just 30 seconds in. Neither team managed to score for the remainder of the second, though they combined to fire another 18 shots on net, seven from Maine and 11 from Boston.
Maine tied the game back up in the third period, as second-year forward Celine Tedenby slipped a puck back to first-year forward Ida Kuoppala at the top of the left circle, who fired a wrist shot that found the net through a well-placed goaltender screen.
Maine, riding the momentum change, took the lead when second-year forward Ali Beltz sent a puck to the front of the net that deflected off an Eagles’ skate and inside to the far right post. Working a 5-on-3 power play later in the third, Eagles’ first-year defender Cayla Barnes’ shot bounced back out to her in the slot, and the defender passed to first-year forward Hannah Bilka camped out off of the right post. With Maine’s third-year goaltender Carly Jackson still at the left post, Bilka was able to put it home into the empty net for her second of the night. Maine’s record improves to 3-3-2 on the season as they travel to take on Merrimack College on Friday, Nov. 8.
Men’s Hockey 2-1 Win Over Vermont
The University of Maine men’s ice hockey team beat Hockey East rival the Vermont Catamounts 2-1.
Second-year forward Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup opened the scoring up for Maine five minutes into the first period. The Black Bears won an offensive zone faceoff to the Catamounts’ right of fourth-year goaltender Stefanos Lekkas and fourth-year forward Tim Doherty found Schmidt-Svejstrup open in the slot, where he fired the easy wrist shot past the sliding Lekkas, tallying Schmidt’-Svejstrup’s third goal of the season.
Second-year forward Joey Cipollone tied the game at 1-1 with 14 minutes to play in the third period. He batted a rebound from first-year defenseman Andrew Lucas past Maine’s third-year goaltender Jeremy Swayman from the right hash mark. First-year forward William Lemay assisted on the goal with Lucas.
Schmidt-Svejstrup scored his second goal of the game on a power play with six minutes left to play in the third period. First-year defenseman Levi Kleiboer and third-year forward Emil Westerlund assisted on the eventual game-winning goal. The Catamounts pulled their goalie with less than two minutes to play but could not tie the game.
Maine moves to 4-2-0 in the season and 1-1-0 in Hockey East play. The Black Bears return to Alfond Arena on Nov. 1-2 to host Boston University. Puck drop is at 7:30 pm on Friday night and Saturday night.