For the first time in his career, junior Dave Wilson made back-to-back starts this past weekend without the benefit of an injury to the starting goalie.
And Wilson produced two quality performances.
On Friday night, he single-handedly kept his team in the game against UMass Lowell, making 35 saves including 21 Grade-A (high-percentage) stops in the 3-2 loss. Maine was outshot 38-16.
On Sunday, he made 21 stops, including seven Grade-A’s, as the Black Bears beat Massachusetts 2-1 to snap a nine-game winless streak (0-7-2) dating back to Dec. 13.
In his last seven appearances, Wilson has a 2.18 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage.
“It’s definitely nice for me [to be playing],” said Wilson. “I love to play. I love to be in the net. I’m really enjoying things right now.”
Wilson has started the last three games in place of struggling freshman Scott Darling.
“It’s nice that he’s getting his chance now,” said UMass sophomore goalie Paul Dainton. “He made some huge saves throughout the game to keep his team in it.”
Maine senior center Chris Hahn said he was pretty impressed.
“I knew he was capable of playing this well. I know he’s a great goalie,” Hahn said. “I’m definitely surprised. Scott got more time and [Wilson] was out [of the picture] a bit. But he just stayed positive and worked hard and he was the backbone of our team this weekend.”
Wilson said he has worked on his “rebound control and picking the puck up in traffic. What a lot of teams are doing now is getting players to the net [to screen the goalie and look for tips and rebounds] and trying to get shots through.”
He added that he was very happy with his performance over the weekend.
Maine visits New Hampshire for games in Durham and Manchester, respectively, on Friday and Saturday nights.
O’Neill experiment successful
Maine coach Tim Whitehead moved freshman defenseman Will O’Neill up to center for Sunday’s 2-1 win over UMass and he was pleased with the results.
“I thought he played very well. He’s a heart-and-soul type of player. He’s good defensively and he’s good on faceoffs,” Whitehead said. “We had practiced him at center all week in hopes of giving him the opportunity and he earned it,” said Whitehead.
O’Neill centered a line between redshirt freshman Nick Payson and true freshman Kyle Solomon. They didn’t score but they didn’t allow a goal, either.
O’Neill, who plays the point on the power play, had an assist on Matt Duffy’s first-period goal with a nice point-to-point pass and he finished the game with three shots on goal.
That tied him for second with three other teammates behind Brian Flynn’s four shots.
Whitehead said O’Neill will be back in the lineup Friday night but wasn’t sure whether it would be at center or on defense.
O’Neill has two goals and eight assists in 22 games.
QB Wasilewski chooses UMaine
The NewsItem.com reports that Marcus Wasilewski of Mount Carmel, Pa., has verbally committed to play football at UMaine beginning next fall.
The 6-2, 205-pound quarterback passed for a school-record 2,175 yards and 28 touchdowns last fall for the 13-1 Tornadoes. Wasilewski, a second-team Class AA all-state pick, chose UMaine over Holy Cross.
He finished his career by throwing for more than 6,000 yards with 65 touchdowns.
Wednesday opens the National Letter of Intent early signing period for football.