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Men’s hockey sweeps Alaska, splits series with No. 8 Quinnipiac

The University of Maine Black Bears’ men’s hockey team ran over the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves on Friday, Oct. 11 to the tune of a 7-1 win at Alfond Arena. 

The home opener started out with third-year defenseman JD Greenway scoring just one minute into the first period and collecting his first career goal as a Black Bear. Just three minutes later, fourth-year forward Tim Doherty found the back of the net from the faceoff dot, which brought Maine to a 2-0 lead early in the first. The Seawolves cut the lead in half midway through the first when first-year forward Alex Frye’s shot ricocheted off a Maine defender, changing direction before sneaking past third-year goaltender Jeremy Swayman. 

Early in the second period, Maine regained their two-goal lead when third-year forward Eduards Tralmaks redirected a deflected shot from third-year defenseman Cameron Spicer, marking Tralmaks’ 20th tally in his college career. Halfway through the second period, second-year forward Ryan Smith took off down the ice with the puck for Maine in a three on two breakaway. With the defense committing to him, Smith spun the puck behind his back, for a beautiful no-look pass to second-year forward Simon Butala right in front of the goal. Butala buried the puck to extend Maine’s lead to 4-1. 

With under two minutes to play in the second period, the Black Bears won the draw in the Seawolves zone before fourth-year forward Mitchell Fossier snuck a shot from below the faceoff dot. Tralmaks, set up on the short side post, was able to tip the puck around the goaltender for Maine’s third goal of the period. Maine coasted through the third period, maintaining their lead and adding in a few garbage time goals. They picked up a pair of powerplay goals, with one from second-year forward Adam Dawe and one from fourth-year forward Tim Doherty. Maine outshot the Seawolves 38-21 in the game, with Swayman stopping an impressive 37 shots.

In game two of their weekend series on Saturday, Oct 12, Maine completed the sweep against the University of Alaska Anchorage in a significantly closer contest, with a final score of 2-1. Following a hot start on Friday night, Maine’s offense seemed oddly lost on the ice through the first period Saturday night, but their defense held tough and prevented the Seawolves from gaining an early advantage. Just over the halfway mark in the second period, Doherty corralled the puck and took off into the neutral zone. He then dished it off to fourth-year forward Samuel Rennaker, who dangled the puck through the defense and past the goaltender to make it 1-0 in favor of Maine. 

Not wanting to go into the intermission with a goose egg on the board, the Seawolves rallied on a powerplay. Using the man advantage and good spacing, the Seawolves worked the puck around the Black Bears’ defense before first-year forward Nick Wicks fired a slap shot past Swayman. With both teams back at full strength on the ice, neither could seem to rally past the other, with both squads playing impressive defense. 

Heading out of the locker room, both teams immediately regained their defensive footing from the first period, with neither allowing a goal through the final 20 minutes of regulation. 

Three minutes into the overtime period, Maine recovered the puck and began their charge on offense, led by Fossier. Fossier fired a pass down the rink, running on the glass, which bounced right into the stick of Tralmaks. The forward poked the puck past the Seawolves’ goaltender, giving Maine the 2-1 victory. 

Following their impressive series against Alaska, the men’s hockey team moved on to take on nationally-ranked Quinnipiac University in a weekend series from Oct. 18-19. In their first contest, Maine stunned the Bobcats in an upset victory, 4-2. 

Tralmaks and Fossier hit the ice seemingly determined to upset the Bobcats in their own barn, with the duo being involved in every score for Maine on the night. Tralmaks began Maine’s run, scoring halfway through the first, off an assist from Fossier. 

Opening up the second period, Greenway broke away from the Bobcats, taking the first shot that third-year goaltender Keith Petruzzelli saved. Tralmaks dove from behind the net to poke in the loose puck, extending his squad’s lead to 2-0 early in the second period. 

The Bobcats quickly responded to Maine, cutting the lead to 2-1 just over a minute later on a shot from third-year forward Joe O’Connor assisted by second-year forward Michael Lombardi. 

Second-year Bobcats’ forward Wyatt Bongiovanni, added his second of the season with a power-play tally as the Bobcats attempted a comeback. The Black Bears took advantage of a three-on-two break. After the goaltender saved Fossiers’ shot, Doherty corralled the loose puck and put it away for Maine, giving them a 3-2 lead in the third period. Dawe provided late insurance for Maine when he scored on a power play with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game. He corralled on the loose puck in front of the net and put the Black Bears up 4-2. Maine picked up their third straight win after dropping their first game to improve to 3-1-0 on the season. 

In their second game of the series, Maine fell to Quinnipiac 4-3 in a tight contest that came down to the wire. Black Bears’ second-year forward Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup tallied his first of two goals Saturday night early in the game for the Black Bears as Greenway dumped off a pass for Schmidt-Svejstrup in the neutral zone and he fired a shot from the left circle past Petruzzelli. The Bobcats’ Lombardi scored his first goal of the game under a minute later, leveling the score at one. 

Quinnipiac took the lead just two minutes later as first-year forward Ethan Leyn snuck one past Swayman. The Bobcats, intending to ice away the victory, continued their offensive push. Second-year forward Ethan de Jong tallied his first goal of the season following the ensuing faceoff, as third-year forward Odeen Tufto backhanded the puck to de Jong in the Black Bears’ zone, and de Jong buried the puck in Maine’s net, extending their lead to 3-1 in the first period. The Black Bears got a goal back as Schmidt-Svejstrup scored his second of the game with a one-timer from just above the left faceoff circle to cut the Bobcats’ lead to 3-2 halfway through the second period. Bongiovanni netted his third goal of the season with a one-timer off a faceoff win from Tufto to extend the Bobcat’s lead to 4-2. Maine struck back when Tralmaks pulled the Black Bears back within a goal as he redirected a centering feed from Doherty to beat Petruzzelli with just over eight minutes remaining in the period. Maine was unable to get the game-tying goal, falling 4-3 and moving to 3-2-0, 0-1-0 in the young season. 

The Black Bears will travel to take on Hockey East rival, the University of Vermont Catamounts, on Friday, Oct. 25. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:05 p.m.

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