The University of Maine women’s ice hockey team swept the University of New Hampshire Wildcats on the road with a pair of 2-1 victories this weekend.
On Friday afternoon, the Black Bears got the scoring going early. Third-year forward Liga Miljone scored the opening goal just over one minute into the first period. Miljone found the puck in the slot and roofed it past second-year UNH goalie Nikki Harnett after it was worked to the net front from the corner by second-year defenseman Amalie Andersen and third-year forward Ally Johnson. UNH responded not too long after when second-year forward Jada Christian tipped in a shot from the point by first-year defenseman Charli Kettyle, giving first-year forward Ciara Wall her secondary assist. UMaine would once again take the lead in the second period on the powerplay. Third-year defender Ida Press would rip a shot from the circle, a snipe that would put the Black Bears up 2-1. UMaine would hold onto this lead for the rest of the game to pick up the win. UMaine goalie Loryn Porter made 21 saves in a solid performance.
On Saturday afternoon, the Black Bears completed the sweep over their arch rivals UNH. This time, UNH picked up the first goal in the second period. Early in the second period, first-year forward Chavone Truter won a puck battle behind the boards and set up teammate and second-year defender Rae Breton for a shot from in close which beat goalie Porter glove side. UMaine would not get their first goal in this one until there was less than 10 minutes left in the game. The Black Bears took advantage of an odd man rush when trailing third-year forward Ali Beltz received the puck at the top of the zone and took a wrist shot through traffic that found the back of the net to make it 1-1 with around eight minutes left in the third period. UMaine would score the game winner with a minute and a half left in the game on a Ida Kuoppala, a second-year forward, goal. First-year forward Rahel Enzler took the puck around the back of the UNH net and fed Kuoppala who was sitting back post for a shot that UNH goalie Ava Boutilier had no chance on, leading to an impressive comeback by the women’s team. UMaine goalie Porter would turn in another good performance with 21 saves on 22 shots. She has been rock solid thus far this season.
The Black Bears improved their record to 3-1 on the season. Their next scheduled series will be next weekend on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 6 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. Both games are set to take place in Orono at the Alfond Arena.
The UMaine men’s ice hockey team split their opening series at UNH. The Black Bears won in the shootout on Friday. The Wildcats won 6-2 on Saturday.
On Friday night, in the Black Bears’ first game of the season, the Wildcats pelted them for the first two periods, as they were outshot 25-4. Despite the control of the game that UNH had, the game was scoreless through two periods. UNH would finally break through with less than eight minutes to go in the third when second-year defenseman Kalle Eriksson willed his way through the UMaine defense and beat UMaine goalie Matthew Thiessen, who had been flawless up until this point. UMaine responded with a goal of their own just 32 seconds after the UNH goal. The first line of the Black Bears took advantage of the odd man rush when first-year forward Lynden Breen scored his first collegiate goal. He finished the cross crease after both his linemates, third-year forward Adam Dawe and fourth-year forward Eduards Tralmaks worked it to him. The game went into overtime, neither team scoring. The game then went into a shootout to determine who got the extra point in the Hockey East standings. UMaine was victorious, with third-year defenseman Simon Butala getting the game winner beating UNH goalie Mike Robinson fivehole in the fifth round. Big props to Thiessen who stood on his head Friday night, stopping 37 shots in the game, as well as making some key saves in the shootout., wWithout his great performance, UMmaine would not have won.
On Saturday night, the Black Bears got lit up by the Wildcats 6-2. UMaine started the game off on the right foot when third-year forward Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup got his first goal of the season, and put the Black Bears up 1-0 just five minutes into the game. It all fell apart for UMaine midway in the first period when third-year forward Angus Crookshank of UNH scored on the powerplay to tie it. Then near the end of the first period, UNH scored two more goals within a minute of each other to put the Wildcats up 3-1. The Wildcats’ second goal was scored by fourth-year defenseman Benton Maass, and their third goal was scored by fourth-year forward Patrick Grasso. UMaine would get the lone goal of the second period, and fourth-year forward Emil Westerlund would get his first of the season on the power play around the halfway point of the period. Going into the third, the Wildcats had a 3-2 lead, and they took the game by the throat when Crookshank scored his second goal of the game. UNH would score two more goals in the last 10 minutes, coming from first-year forward Cam Gendron and second-year forward Joe Hankinson to give them the 6-2 victory over UMaine.
UMaine exits the weekend with a 0-1-1 record. Despite winning in the shootout, the game is counted as a tie, and they receive an extra point in the Hockey East standings for the shootout win. UMaine picked up two points this weekend in the Hockey East Standings. The team’s next game will be Saturday, Dec. 19 at UMass Lowell at 6 p.m.