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Black Bears’ offense dominates as they cruise past the Crusaders in weekend series

On Veterans Day weekend the University of Maine Black Bears women’s ice hockey team faced off against the Holy Cross Crusaders. UMaine had very little difficulty scoring in either game as they dominated both offensively and defensively to win 4-0 on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday.

UMaine entered this series 7-7 and on a three-game losing streak after losing last weekend to their rivals, UVM, 6-1 and 7-2. Holy Cross entered at 2-9-1 entering on a five-game losing streak after not having won a game since Oct. 8 against UConn.

In the first game the Black Bears completely dominated offensively, keeping the puck on their side and giving up scarce shot attempts to the Crusaders for a 4-0 victory. Third-year forward Rahel Enzler scored the first goal and her first of the season when the Holy Cross defender gave her too much separation leading to an easy goal. She got assists from second-year defenseman Courtney Colarullo and first-year forward Lilli Welcke.

The Black Bears didn’t score for the rest of the first or second, but in the third their offense came alive. Second-year forward Mira Seregély was able to turn the defender around and skate left for an easy goal with an assist from first-year Ava Stevenson. Exactly two minutes later, second-year forward Alyssa Wruble found the net off the power play thanks to assists from fifth-year defender Emma Lange and Seregély. For good measure, fifth-year forward Ally Johnson scored at the end of the game to officially end it with an assist from third-year forward Kennedy Little.

First-year goalie Brooklyn Oakes was terrific in the game, saving all 25 shots she saw. Fellow first-year Crusaders goalie Brooke Loranger played well but her offense left her out to dry as she saw 50 shots on goal but only was able to save 46 of them.

Neither team was on the powerplay often, as there were just five all game which only resulted in one goal for UMaine. The Black Bears completely owned the faceoffs as they won an impressive 37 out of 54 with Seregély leading the team going 14-21.

On Saturday the Crusaders started off much stronger than they had the previous day. They drew first blood just two minutes into the game when third-year forward Bryn Saarela found first-year forward Alexia Moreau who scored on the fast break on the power play. She was also assisted by fourth-year defenseman Kailey Langefels to give Holy Cross a 1-0. That lead didn’t last long as UMaine responded with a powerplay goal of their own when third-year defenseman Elise Morphy’s one-timer got past third-year goaltender Madison Beck to tie the game at one, thanks to assists from fourth-year forward Ida Kuoppala and fifth-year forward Grace Heiting.

In the second period the Black Bears scored once more off the powerplay when Wruble found a wide-open Seregély in front of the net for the easy score, with Welcke also picking up the assist. The score remained at 2-1 heading into the final period. In the third, Welcke scored twice to put the game out of reach, with the first one coming off the powerplay after Seregély’s shot missed. She was able to get the rebound and get the puck to Welcke, who wrapped around the net for the goal for the 3-1 lead. Welcke then put the dagger in when Morphy’s backhanded pass found the open Welcke for the goal officially ending the game.

Oakes started the game once more, only giving up one goal all weekend, and saving 21 of 22 shots on the day. At the end of the game the Black Bears subbed in third-year backup goaltender Anna LaRose to finish the game to save four shots herself. Holy Cross once again struggled defensively, giving up 37 shots on goal with Beck saving 33 of them.

The Black Bears owned the powerplay taking advantage of it for three of the four goals while only giving up one to the Crusaders. Faceoffs ended up being even at 30 wins for each team as Welcke led the team going 12-19.

UMaine will begin a stretch of 10 straight away games next Friday against Providence and will not return home again until Jan. 20 to face Boston University.

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