The University of Maine men’s hockey team played Friday, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 17 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Black Bears faced off against Boston University Terriers (2-4-1). Maine split the important American Hockey East series with the Terriers coming out with a 1-1 series record, losing 3-2 in the first game and winning the second contest 3-1.
On Friday night, both teams came out strong. With five minutes left in the first period, Maine second-year forward Eduards Tralmaks gathered the puck in front of the Terriers’ net, made a move to clear space, and fired the puck top shelf above the goaltender’s stick. The goal was Tralmaks first of the 2018-19 season and gave the Black Bears the lead going into the first intermission.
In the second period both goaltenders played strong, stopping all shots until third-year forward Bobo Carpenter scored a powerplay goal from the left circle with 3 minutes left in the period to tie the game 1-1. Second-year defender Dante Fabbro and second-year defender Chad Krys set up the key play for the Terriers, each picking up an assist. The Black Bears were called for a penalty with under two minutes to go in the second period, leading to another power play goal scored by the Terriers. First-year forward Joel Farabee found the back of the net from the foot of the right circle giving the Terriers a 2-1 lead going into the second intermission.
The Terriers had all the momentum and the home crowd to back up their lead, but the Black Bears continued to fight. With six minutes left in regulation, cruising down the ice on a power play, third-year forward Tim Doherty collected a pass from third-year forward Chase Pearson in the slot and fired it home to tally his fifth goal of the season and tie the game 2-2. Pearson and second-year defenseman Brady Keeper collected the assist on Doherty’s power play goal.
With two minutes left in regulation the Black Bears found themselves on the penalty kill again, and the Terriers’ strong power play prevailed them as they scored. Boston’s first-year defender David Farrance fired a shot from the high slot that found its way through traffic and into the back of the Maine net. Third-year forward Patrick Harper and first-year forward Jake Wise were both credited with the assist on BU’s third goal. Maine was unable to answer the late Terriers’ goal, dropping game one of the series 3-2.
On Saturday night, the Black Bears looked to break the Terriers three-game winning streak and to avenge the late goal loss from the night before. In the first period both teams started the game out fast, but unable to muster any goals. With nine minutes left in the first period, Black Bears captain, fourth-year defenseman Rob Michel, geared up for a shot from the blue line, but instead fired a hard pass to Pearson who redirected the puck off the goaltender’s pads. Third-year forward and assistant captain Mitch Fossier swung around from behind the net to clean up the rebound and fired the puck behind the goaltender to pick up his first goal of the season. In the next nine minutes both teams exchanged shots with no luck. Second-year goalie Jeremy Swayman saved multiple shots during this time to preserve the 1-0 lead going into the first intermission.
In the second period the Black Bears came out strong, and three minutes into the period Fossier was unmarked and streaking through the neutral zone with Pearson streaking down the ice alongside him. Fossier created time and space before launching a cross-crease pass to Pearson, which Pearson buried the puck for his seventh goal of the 2018-19 season.
Boston’s only goal of the game followed a face off in Maine’s zone, which was won by Carpenter, who fired a shot that went wide. The Black Bears were unable to corral the rebound, and Terriers second-year forward Logan Cockerill snagged the puck, passing it back to Carpenter. Carpenter took advantage and scored with 10 minutes to go in the second period making the score 2-1. The two teams wrapped up the remainder of the period by exchanging shots on goal, but neither side was able to find the back of the net.
The third period was filled with shots from the Terriers, attempting to get out of their deficit. Swayman stood on his head while Maine’s defense was strong trying to preserve the 2-1 lead. BU pulled third-year goaltender Jake Oettinger in favor of an extra attacker with one minute to play but Pearson pounced on a loose puck and scored on the empty net from Maine’s zone to seal the victory for the Black Bears. Swayman saved 40 of 41 shots, ending their two game losing streak.
Following their split series against Boston University, the Black Bears hosted the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24, losing both contests by final scores of 7-2 and 2-0, respectively.
On Friday night the Bobcats came out firing. Just 30 seconds into the game, Bobcats fourth-year defenseman Chase Priskie created a Black Bear turnover along the blue line and made a pass to second-year forward Odeen Tufto. Tufto skated in close to the net, shot the puck, then collected his rebound and raised the puck over second-year goalie Jeremy Swayman’s pad. With 12 minutes left in the period Tufto flipped in his second goal of the night, handling the initial shot that rolled through and flipped up on his cage, stuffing in the puck as it fell in the paint to give Quinnipiac a 2-0 lead.
Three minutes into the second period, third-year forward Alex Whelan made it 3-0 for the Bobcats. With traffic in front, Whelan pulled away in the slot and finished with a quick wrist shot for his fifth goal of the year.
Maine got its first goal of the night, on a quick break give-and-go between Pearson and third-year forward Mitch Fossier which put the Black Bears on the board with 13 minutes left in the second period. On the power play, Tufto scored his third of the night in the dying seconds of the period, handling a pass from behind the net to finish it in the slot.
Quinnipiac extended their lead with 10 minutes to go in the third period, as first-year forward Ethan de Jong fired in the puck on a pass along the goal line, stuffing it in to give the Bobcats a 5-1 lead. Tufto walked in along the far face-off circle with first-year forward Wyatt Bongiovanni deflecting his shot in the slot as he was taken down by the defense, running up the score as the Bobcats were now up 6-1. Maine’s second goal of the night was a deflection in front by third-year forward Ryan Smith, putting in second-year defender Cameron Spicer’s blue line shot to make it 6-2. The final goal of the night was from second-year defenseman Joe O’Connor with under 30 seconds left in the game. First-year defenseman Zach Mesta won the faceoff and passed it back to O’Connor, who was sitting at the top of the faceoff circle and fired in through traffic to make it 7-2 Bobcats.
On Saturday, Nov. 24 the Black Bears were looking to avenge their 7-2 loss to the Bobcats. The first period was back and forth down the ice, with Swayman and Bobcats’ second-year goaltender Keith Petruzzelli deflecting every shot sent their way. Maine attempted more shots on goal than the Bobcats, eight attempts to seven, in the first period. Maine was on the power play two times but could not capitalize, while their penalty kill went 3-3, not allowing a goal to Quinnipiac’s top-ranked power play. After one period the score remained at 0-0.
The beginning of the second period started off slow with very little scoring chances for either team. With 10 minutes left in the second period fourth-year forward Scott Davidson took off down the ice for the Bobcats, sneaking past Maine’s defensemen and firing an open shot on the Black Bears’ goal. Swayman was prepared and blocked the shot. Bobcats’ first-year forward Michael Lombardi collected the rebound and passed it to Metsa who buried the puck in the back of Maine’s net collecting the first goal of the game.
The Black Bears started to pick up the pressure, hitting the post 30 seconds after the Bobcats goal, but rebounded wide and were unable to continue the offensive push. Maine hit their rhythm late in the second period, and fired more shots on Quinnipiac’s goal but couldn’t get past Petruzzelli. Heading into the intermission, Maine found themselves down 1-0.
The Black Bears came out hard in the first minute of the third period, hitting the post once and having multiple shots on goal. The Bobcats then shifted the momentum by scoring their second goal of the night making it 2-0. De Jong scored a rebound goal, shot by Tufto who was credited with the assist. The Black Bears inability to get the puck past Petruzzelli continued, hindering Maine’s offense. With five minutes left in the game the Black Bears went on the power play, but could not capitalize against an aggressive Bobcats’ penalty kill. With a minute to go in the period Maine pulled Swayman, sending six attackers out to go after Quinnipiac’s goal. The Bobcats’ defense remained stalwart, holding off the Maine offensive.
The Black Bears out shot the Bobcats 23-19 but could not get a puck past Petruzzelli. The Black Bears record now falls to (4-7-1) on the 2018-2019 season.
The University of Maine Men’s Hockey Team (4-7-1) will face off against Hockey East foe the University of Vermont Catamounts (3-6-0). The series will be played in Burlington, Vermont on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1.