March 22, 2018
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Bears display scoring touch in scrimmage


ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine men’s hockey team had a spirited Blue-White scrimmage but the Black Bears may not have gotten as good a workout as the Naked Five, the shirtless students with a painted letter (M, A, I, N or E) who run a lap inside Alfond Arena whenever the Bears score.

They ran 15 laps on Sunday afternoon as the White team beat the Blues 11-4 in front of approximately 1200 fans.

A pair of checking-line seniors who have combined for two goals in 105 career games, defenseman-turned-center Brett Carriere and right wing David deKastrozza, scored two goals apiece for the winners as did freshman winger Joey Diamond and sophomore defenseman Ryan Hegarty.

Juniors Robby Dee and Mike Banwell and freshman Kyle Beattie had the other goals.

Junior assistant captain Jeff Dimmen, sophomore linemates Gustav Nyquist and Brian Flynn and freshman speedster Matt Mangene scored for the Blue team.

Carriere and deKastrozza are linemates as they were for the Hockey East quarterfinal series against Boston University at the end of last season. Kevin Swallow, another senior, has been the left wing on their line but suffered a minor shoulder injury Saturday and didn’t play in the Blue-Wbite scrimmage.

So they had a variety of different left wingers.

“I told Carriere in the locker room that I’ll probably retire right now on a high note,” quipped deKastrozza, who has five assists in 49 games. “Hopefully, I’ll bring this into the Union series next weekend. We all work together well, we have a good chemistry. It’s definitely nice playing on a line with Brett and Kevin.”

“Whenever I can put the puck in the net, I’ll take it,” said Carriere, who has two goals and an assist in 56 games. “Coach [Tim Whitehead] wants us to put as many pucks on net as possible.”

Maine junior center and captain Tanner House said it was nice to see deKastrozza and Carriere get on the scoresheet.

“This is huge, confidence-wise, for them,” said Maine junior center and captain Tanner House. “Going into their last seasons, I know they want to be a big part of the team and contribute. This is good for them and good to see.”

House also said they know their roles “and they aren’t going to sacrifice defense for offense. We can always rely on them defensively but any time they can chip in offensively will be huge for us this year.”

“They looked a lot better offensively than they have in past years,” said senior goalie Dave Wilson. “They looked really skilled out there so hopefully our checking line can become more than just a checking line.”

Maine struggled to score goals last season, averaging just 2.2 goals per game and scoring two goals or less 25 times in 39 games.

But freshman forwards Diamond, Mangene and Beattie along with Adam Shemansky and Klas Leidermark all exhibited impressive offensive skills.

“All of the freshmen are very, very gifted individually. Seeing some of the chemistry out there in kids like Diamond and Shemansky was really inspirational,” said Carriere. “And the work ethic of the freshmen is undeniable. They all go 100 percent whether it’s practice or a game.”

Diamond said he was looking forward to the game since August and said his two-goal outing was a “nice start.”

He added that it was a “great atmosphere.”

Whitehead said it was “nice to see the puck going in the net” but noted there is plenty of work to do before this weekend’s series at Union College.

However, he was pleased overall.

“We showed a lot of offensive skill. There were a lot of positives. But it was a real good upbeat Blue-White game,” he said.

Protecting the net front will be one major point of emphasis, he said.

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