The University of Maine men’s hockey team (3-5; 2-2 AE) traveled five hours for their first road trip of Hockey East play to battle the University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks (3-5; 1-5 AE) in a two-game series. The Black Bears fell to the River Hawks 3-2 in a close battle. The last time these two teams played one another was last season on Nov. 11 and 13 where Maine split the series at home. The overall series with the River Hawks is 79-40-4 in favor of the Black Bears.
Starting between the pipes for the Black Bears was third-year Rob McGovern. McGovern played in 29 games last year, starting in 28 of them and had .912 save percentage. He also earned the first shutout of his college career against the University of Connecticut. The net minder recently attended the 2017 Boston Bruins NHL Development Camp.
Starting in net for the River Hawks was third-year Christoffer Hernberg, from Espoo, Finland. Last season, Hernberg started two of the four games he appeared in, earning a 4.35 GAA and a .875 save percentage.
Early in the first period, the River Hawks went on the power play early after a Maine tripping call; however, they couldn’t convert on the two-minute advantage. Shortly after, the Black Bears headed to the power play with 3:13 minutes into the period. However, the Black Bears couldn’t capitalize.
The Riverhawks then went back to the power play for their second of the period, but the game remained scoreless. After 20 minutes, there was no score. Maine led the Riverhawks in shots on goal, 12-5.
In the second period, the River Hawks returned to the power play after a Maine cross-checking call. McGovern stood his ground and kept the game scoreless. With 14:43 remaining in the period, UMass Lowell went back to the power play but they could not capitalize on their chances.
It was a penalty-filled game when it was Maine’s turn to go on the power play after a Riverhawks interference call, but they too could not capitalize on the man advantage.
The Black Bears went on the board first when first-year forward Emil Westerlund scored his first goal in a Maine jersey with 9:59 remaining in the period.
The River Hawks tied it up when second-year Colin O’Neil scored a shorthanded goal with the assist from third-year Nick Master. It was O’Neil’s first goal of the season.
Maine then retook the lead with 4:43 remaining in the period when Westerlund got his second goal of the night tipping a shot from third-year defenseman Rob Michel.
The scoring continued when UMass Lowell’s second-year Ryan Lohin tied it up with 1:36 left in the period. After 40 minutes of play, Maine continued to lead in shots on goal, 23-18.
In the third period, fourth-year Chris Forney capitalized on the power play with 8:44 remaining in the game to make the score 3-2.
Unfortunately, Maine could not find an equalizer; therefore they fell to the River Hawks in game one.
Maine offense comes alive in win
The University of Maine men’s hockey team continued their series against the University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks on Saturday, Oct. 4. The Black Bears defeated the River Hawks 6-2. On Friday, Oct. 3, the Black Bears lost a close one, 3-2. Maine led the Riverhawks in shots, 29-27 and in penalty minutes, 12-8.
Starting in goal for game two for the Black Bears was first-year Jeremy Swayman. Swayman attended the Boston Bruins Development Camp last summer with McGovern. Swayman was also drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins.
Between the pipes for the River Hawks was second-year Tyler Wall. Last season, Wall earned a 2.06 GAA and a .918 save percentage with two shutouts in 34 starts in his first year as a Riverhawk.
In the first period, Maine struck first when first-year Eduards Tralmaks scored his fourth goal of the season 5:36 into the period off of a pass from second-year Chase Pearson. The Black Bears made it 2-0 when third-year Daniel Perez stole the puck from below the goal line and beat Wall five-hole for his first goal of the season.
In the second period, the Black Bears struck early again when first-year Brady Keeper netted home his second goal of the season with an assist by Perez, and the lead was extended to three.
Tralmaks then scored his second goal of the game when he fired a shot over Wall’s shoulder to make it 4-0. Then, fourth-year Nolan Vesey made it 5-0 when he poked home a loose puck for his second goal of the season. The goal was assisted by second-years Tim Doherty and Patrick Shea. After 40 minutes of play, UMass Lowell continued to lead in shots on goal, 20-3.
In the third period, Maine went on the power play after a River Hawks hooking penalty, but Maine could not convert on the man advantage. With 13:07 remaining in the period, second-year Mitchell Fossier capitalized on a River Hawks’ penalty and increased the score to 6-0.
However, with 2:24 remaining in the game, third-year Ryan Dmowski converted off of a deflection on the power play to make it 6-1. Then, with less than two minutes remaining, the River Hawks convert again when fourth-year John Edwardh made it 6-2, but it wouldn’t be enough as Maine went on to win it.
The Black Bears return to the ice Friday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Nov. 18 when they host Boston University for a two-game series. Friday’s game will be played at the Alfond and puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday’s game will be played in Portland, Maine at the Cross Insurance Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. The River Hawks return to the ice when they travel to play the University of New Hampshire on Friday, Nov. 10. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.