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Photo by Sze Wing Wong

Maine drops weekend series to Boston College

The University of Maine Black Bears (3-5-2, 0-2-0 HEA) hockey team’s first bout in Hockey East conference play did not go as planned. While Maine came out aggressively against No. 5 Boston College (BC) (8-2-1, 4-0-1 HEA), taking an early 1-0 lead halfway through the opening period, Maine had no response for Eagles fourth-year forward Austin Cangelosi. Cangelosi took over the contest after Maine’s lone goal, notching a hat trick to lead the Eagles over Maine by a score of 6-1 at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Friday night.

Maine’s second-year forward Dane Gibson scored the game’s first goal, coming on a power play, before Cangelosi answered with three consecutive goals, giving BC a 3-1 lead heading into the final period. The Eagles would pile on three more goals in the third stanza, scoring six consecutive goals total en route to their third conference victory on the season.

Not only was Cangelosi’s individual performance impressive, his three goals came on three different types of scoring plays; the power play, shorthanded and even-strength.

Cangelosi’s first goal came on the power play after Maine’s second-year defender Sam Becker was penalized for holding at the 16:35 mark of the opening period. Second-year forward Christopher Brown sent a pass across the crease to Cangelosi, who cut into the slot, found the puck and fired a shot that beat Black Bears fourth-year netminder Matt Morris to knot the score at 1-1.

After an Eagles player was whistled for goaltender interference early in the second period, Cangelosi notched a shorthanded goal to give his team the lead. Second-year defender Michael Kim corralled a puck behind the Eagles’ net and sent a long breakout pass to Cangelosi, who had no Black Bears in front of him. Cangelosi skated at Morris on the breakaway and beat him with a backhand move to double the Eagles’ advantage 2-1.

Cangelosi completed the hat trick at even strength, scoring on a one-timer from the right faceoff circle. Cangelosi accepted a pass from first-year defender Connor Moore and one-timed a shot that beat Morris through traffic in front of the net, propelling BC to a 3-1 lead.

Fourth-year forwards Ryan Fitzgerald and Chris Calnan and first-year forward David Cotton all notched goals for the Eagles in the third period.

Gibson’s lone tally for the Black Bears came on the power play, cleaning up a rebound shot by first-year forward Patrick Shea. Shea took a shot from the left faceoff circle that Eagles first-year goaltender Joe Woll initially saved, however the rebound careened back out in front of the net. Gibson was in position down low and hammered the puck by Woll to give Maine an early 1-0 lead.

Maine converted on one of its eight chances with the man advantage in the contest. The Eagles notched two power play goals in the contest on seven opportunities. Woll earned the win for BC and moves to 5-2-1 between the pipes this season. Morris was replaced by first-year netminder Stephen Mundinger for the final 14:28 of the contest.

Maine falls in second game 3-2

Maine kept the score close in the second match of their BC series off a stellar performance from second-year goaltender Rob McGovern, but was unable to capitalize on chances late in third, ultimately dropping the competition 3-2.

At 9:01 in the third period, BC’s first-year forward tallied his second goal of the season. The goal increased BC’s lead to two goals and was the last goal BC needed to secure the win. The goal was assisted by first-year Zach Walker and second-year Casey Fitzgerald.

One minute later, Maine answered as Gibson found the back of the net against Woll. The score brought the game within one with 10 minutes left in the third period. The goal was Gibson’s second of the season.

Maine had many chances late in third but was unable to even the score. In the last 12 seconds, third-year Nolan Vesey found himself alone with Woll. His shot was blocked as Woll made one of his 28 saves of the night.

“I thought we came out in the first period really sharp,” Boston College Associate Head Coach Greg Brown said. “We carried that through half the game and all of sudden we started to get loose with our game. Maine started to build the momentum and from six minutes left in the second through the end of the game, they carried the play most of the time. They put us back on our heels but we were able to survive it and manage the third period well enough to get through it.”

The game was played in front of a sold-out Alfond Arena. It was BC’s senior class’s first win in Orono.

“Obviously this is a difficult place to play the fans are always in it,” BC’s fourth-year forward Scott Savage said. “I think we did a good job not letting them back in it.”

Savage scored half-way through the second period off a feed from fourth-year Austin Cangelosi and second-year forward Chris Brown. Chris Brown is BC’s leading point producer with three goals and eight assists. Savage’s goal brought BC’s lead to two, the first goal coming a period earlier by BC’s first-year forward Ron Greco. It was Greco’s second goal of the season.

It was not until the 18th minute of the second period that Maine got on the scoreboard. It was first-year forward Ryan Smith that found the back of the net against Woll. It was Smith’s second goal of the season. The goal came about two minutes after a play that was deemed a no-goal by the referees. Instead of losing control, fourth-year captain Cam Brown fired a shot off Woll, collected his own rebound and fed Smith in front of the net whose shot ricocheted off the crossbar before going in. The score would be 2-1 headed into the third.

After the game, Maine was disappointed with their slow first period.

“Not a great start, in the second two periods we were pretty good,” Maine’s Head Coach Red Gendron said.

Gibson echoed Gendron’s sentiments.

“I think overall the weekend we were just inconsistent, we had some mental lapses. We played better tonight but we just didn’t put together a full 60 minutes. It’s a tough league and if you don’t bring it you’re not going to leave with the two points,” Gibson said.

This Friday, Nov. 11, Maine hosts the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Opening faceoff is set for 7:00 p.m. Boston College will play against the University of New Hampshire on Tuesday, Nov. 8 in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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