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Black Bears’ fourth-year forwards Mitchell Fossier (right) and Ryan Smith (left) skating off the ice after Maine’s 3-2 loss to Northeastern University.

Black Bears hockey swept by Northeastern University

The University of Maine men’s ice hockey team fell to No. 14 Northeastern University 5-2 in the first game of their weekend series at Matthews Arena.

The Northeastern Huskies opened up the scoring just one minute into the game, as first-year forward Grant Jozefek left the puck for second-year forward Tyler Madden, who deked out Black Bears third-year goaltender Jeremy Swayman to take the 1-0 lead for the Huskies.

Doubling down, Madden and first-year forward Aidan McDonough found themselves in a 2-on-1 breakaway minutes after their first score. The teammates spread apart, forcing the defender to commit, and McDonough dished the puck to Madden, who scored his second of the evening extending their lead to 2-0.

Maine cut the lead to 2-1 shortly thereafter, as third-year forward Eduards Tralmaks collected the rebound and buried it past the goaltender. Fourth-year forward Mitchell Fossier had the first two initial shots against the Huskies’ fifth-year goaltender Craig Pantano and picked up an assist on the play.

With Black Bears first-year defenseman Adrien Bisson sitting in the sin bin for high sticking early in the second period, the Huskies went on the attack. Third-year forward Zach Solow found the crease in the Black Bears’ short-handed defense and buried a clapper behind Swayman.

Madden kept the momentum moving for the Huskies, knocking in his third of the night and recording his first career hat trick. Maine cut the lead to 4-2 when third-year forward Emil Westerlund sent a pass ahead to second-year forward Jacob Schmidt-Svekstrup, deked out his defender and dished the puck over to first-year forward Ben Poisson, who buried a wrist shot past Pantano.

Scoring his fourth power-play goal of the season, McDonough secured the victory for the Huskies just a minute into the final period, icing away the game and finishing with a score of 5-2. Maine went 0-5 on the power play, while the Huskies were able to capitalize on two of their five power plays. The Black Bears blocked 12 shots as a team. Swayman stopped 22 of the 27 shots on the night, while Pantano stopped 22 of 24 shots.

In their rematch contest the following night, the Black Bears came within reach of victory, but fell just short, losing 3-2.

Both Maine and Northeastern played lockdown defense from the start, with both teams gaining a power play within the first 10 minutes, but neither being able to score.

At the 13 minute mark, Huskies first-year forward Jayden Struble came out firing, knocking in his first collegiate goal off the look from McDonough and Madden to send the Huskies into the first break with the 1-0 lead.

With six minutes left in the second period, Fossier fired a clapper past Pantano, coming off the feed from Bisson. With their fourth power play just beginning, second-year forward Adam Dawe collected up a Fossier rebound and buried it behind a recovering Pantano, giving the Black Bears a 2-1 lead with two minutes left in the second. Dawe was left unmanned next to the Northeastern goal and did not waste his wide-open opportunity.

Northeastern swung the momentum back to themselves as they tied the game at two with just under 16 minutes left in the game. Pinging one off the pipe and just past the shoulder of Swayman, first-year forward Neil Shea registered his first goal as a Husky off the low-angle shot. Solow scored the deciding goal in the contest, tallying two game-winners in as many nights. 

Swayman ended the game collecting 38 saves against 41 shots, while Pantano stopped 26 of 28 for Northeastern. Maine will return to the ice next Friday, Nov. 29 at St. Lawrence. Puck drop for the non-conference game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The University of Maine women’s ice hockey team also took home a loss from Boston, falling to the fourth-ranked Northeastern Huskies, 2-1 Saturday afternoon at Matthews Arena. 

The first period got off to a fast start for the Huskies, who ended up outshooting the Black Bears 20-6 in the period. Third-year defenseman Skylar Fontaine put the Huskies ahead 1-0, 13 minutes into the first period, with a clapper from the faceoff dot. Second-year forward Alina Mueller and second-year forward Chloe Aurard were credited with the assists on the Huskies’ first goal of the game.

As the second period started, Maine as able to fight back and tie the contest at 1-1. First-year forward Ida Kuoppala got a takeaway in the defensive zone, which set up second-year forward Ali Beltz to give the easy feed for a wrist bounce by second-year forward Celine Tedenby, who scored her fourth goal of the season on the play.

Fourth-year goaltender Carly Jackson kept her strong season going, gathering 30 saves through the first two periods. With nine minutes left in the game, Northeastern’s first-year forward Katy Knoll gathered a big rebound for the Huskies and wired it past Jackson to make it 2-1 Northeastern.

The Huskies would end up holding on, winning their twelfth game of the season, moving to 9-1-0 in Hockey East divisional play. Maine, who dropped to 5-6-2 overall, 3-5-1 in Hockey East, had a great performance from Jackson, who ended with 37 saves in the game. Maine will move on to play Dartmouth College on Friday, Nov. 29 and Saturday, Nov. 30 in Hanover, New Hampshire.

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