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Men’s hockey drops weekend series

Leading by a score of 2-0 entering the third period, the University of Maine hockey team (3-3-2, 0-0-0 Hockey East) relinquished its two-goal cushion in the final stanza, finishing in a 2-2 tie against Colgate University (1-3-3, 0-0-0 Eastern College Athletic Conference) on Friday night at the Class of 1965 Arena in Hamilton, N.Y.

Maine notched a power play goal and an even strength tally in the middle period, well-positioned to earn a victory on the frontend of the weekend series. However, Colgate was able to match Maine’s production, scoring on the power play just 41 seconds into the third period and finding the back of the net five minutes later to knot the score. While the Raiders outshot Maine 16-3 in the period, neither team was able to tally a goal in the remainder of regulation or the five-minute overtime session.

Despite their woes in the third period, Maine’s second-year netminder Rob McGovern had a strong outing, finishing with 39 saves on 41 shots. McGovern’s counterpart, Colgate’s fourth-year goaltender Charlie Finn, was just as stellar, backstopping the Raiders with 29 saves on 31 Black Bears shots.

Colgate’s first tally in the contest came on a power play goal by first-year forward Tyler Penner, the first of his collegiate career. Three Black Bears skaters and two Raiders received penalties for roughing after a scrum at the conclusion of the middle period, giving Colgate the man advantage entering the third. First-year forward Bobby McMann flung a wrist shot wide of the net that careened off the boards and back out into the slot, where Penner recovered and jammed the puck between McGovern’s left skate and the post to cut Maine’s advantage to one goal.

McMann would find the back of the net with 13:55 left in regulation, marking the first two-point game of his career. Denying a Black Bears clearing attempt at their own end of the ice, first-year forward John Snodgrass corralled the puck just before the blue line and fired an odd-angled shot at the goalmouth. McCann tracked down the puck and quickly fired a shot that beat McGovern on his blocker side, knotting the score at 2-2.

Maine ended the game’s scoring drought when first-year forward Chase Pearson scored his third goal of the season at the 10:04 mark of the middle period coming on the power play. Fourth-year forward Blaine Byron sent a point-to-point pass to fourth-year defender Eric Schurhamer, who fired a shot on net. Finn made the initial save but the puck bounced back out into the crease, where Pearson found the rebound and returned a shot that beat Finn for a 1-0 Maine lead.

The Black Bears doubled their advantage later in the period when third-year forward Nolan Vesey scored on a tip-in goal initially shot by second-year defender Rob Michel. Third-year defender Mark Hamilton found Michel at the point and Michel deked around a Colgate defender before firing a shot on net. Vesey was posted up at the goalmouth, using the heel of his stick to deflect the shot out of midair and into the back of the net.

Maine finished 1-of-4 on the power play while Colgate netted a goal on one of its five chances with the man advantage.

Maine falls in second game against Colgate

After tying Colgate in the frontend of the weekend series, the Maine Black Bears fell in game two on Saturday by a score of 5-3, giving up a power play goal to second-year defender Willie Brooks with 3:54 remaining in regulation to seal the victory for the Raiders.

Maine trailed 3-1 entering the final period, but goals by Byron and Pearson got Maine back into the contest. On the power play, Brooks tallied the game winner when he received a pass at the point from first-year defender Jacob Panetta and ripped a slap shot on net that found its way through traffic and past Maine’s fourth-year netminder Matt Morris for his first goal of the season.

Fourth-year defender Jake Kulevich left no doubt by sinking a no-look, empty-net goal from 200-feet out, shot initially from behind his own net to make the score 5-3 with just 29 seconds remaining.

Colgate opened the scoring just 2:19 into the opening period when second-year forward Hunter Racine found the back of the net on an unassisted goal. Racine took an initial shot that rebounded off Morris and back out into the crease, where Racine found it and circled around the net, punching the puck home on a backhanded shot for a 1-0 Raiders lead.

Second-year forward Adam Dauda would double the Raiders advantage four minutes later in the period on a power play goal assisted by Snodgrass. Dauda received a weak side pass from Snodgrass and buried the puck on Morris for the 2-1 lead.

Maine had an answer five minutes later when first-year forward Ryan Smith tallied an unassisted shorthanded goal of his own to cut Colgate’s lead in half. The tight contest wouldn’t last long, however, with Colgate notching a third goal before the opening period would come to a close, tallied by fourth-year forward Andrew Black. Black converted a rebound opportunity on Morris’ glove side, initially shot on net by Racine.

Byron brought the Black Bears closer at the beginning of the third period, stealing a puck on the forecheck and beating Raiders netminder Finn to make the score 3-2.

Pearson knotted the score at 3-3 on a one-timer from the left faceoff circle. Smith stole the puck behind the Raiders net and sent a backhanded pass to the left dot, where Pearson connected with a one-timer slap shot that beat Finn over the shoulder.

Finn made 20 saves on 23 shots in the contest for Colgate while Morris finished with 37 saves on 41 shots. Colgate notched two power play goals in the game on seven chances, while Maine went 0-for-4 on the man advantage.

Maine returns to action on Friday, Nov. 4 when they face off against their first Hockey East opponent of the year in Boston College. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Colgate will also go on to play a conference matchup against Harvard on Friday, Nov. 4 in Cambridge, Mass. with a puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.

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