ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine strung together one of its most impressive performances of the season Friday night.
Brian Flynn scored a pair of goals and Joey Diamond, Matt Mangene, Kyle Beattie and Nick Pryor also found the back of the net in the first two periods as 11th-ranked Maine built a 6-0 lead and went on to post a 7-3 men’s hockey victory over the University of Massachusetts.
Maine won its sixth straight game at Alfond Arena and improved to 18-9-3 overall, 13-8-2 in Hockey East.
Patrick Kiley, Kevin Czepiel and Michael Pereira scored third-period goals for UMass (10-14-5, 6-12-4) before Theo Andersson capped the scoring for the Black Bears with 1:03 left.
The teams will meet again Saturday at 7 p.m.
Beattie, Pryor and Flynn scored first-period goals before Flynn, Mangene and Diamond expanded the lead in the second period.
Senior center Flynn’s two goals were his 12th and 13th of his career in 12 games against UMass.
“We played with a lot of energy in the first two periods,” said Flynn.
“We played very well (in the first two periods),” agreed Diamond.
Holding a 5-0 lead late in the second period, UMass had a chance to climb back into the game with a five-on-three that spanned 1:23 but Mangene and defensemen Ryan Hegarty and Mark Nemec did an exceptional job and Dan Sullivan came up with a couple of good saves.
“We were totally outclassed from start to finish,” said UMass coach Don ‘Toot’ Cahoon. “They’re a team with a big belief in themselves and we’re a team questioning ourselves,” said Cahoon. “They had poise with the puck and had time with it. They also found some lanes to our net.”
Beattie opened the scoring by pouncing on a loose puck at center ice, skating down the right wing unmolested and wristing the puck through the legs of Steve Mastalerz.
Pryor made it 2-0 on the power play as he took a pass from the side of the net from Adam Shemansky and wristed the puck from the midpoint that deflected in off a UMass stick.
Maine had a goal disallowed when it was ruled that Maine’s Spencer Abbott had his skate in the crease but Abbott and linemates Flynn and Diamond teamed up with 21 seconds left in the period to make it 3-0.
Abbott dumped the puck behind the net to Diamond, who used his strength and ice balance to spin off a check before feeding the puck to Flynn for a one-timer from the low slot past a helpless Mastalerz.
“Scoring at the end of the period gave us momentum and that may have crushed their spirit a little,” said Flynn
UMass came out playing the body and went toe-to-toe with Maine in the early going, but the Bears began taking control of the game and transformed that momentum and Flynn’s late goal into a dominant second-period performance.
“We came out way too slow and you can’t fall behind like that to a team like Maine,” said UMass co-captain and left wing T.J. Syner. “They beat us to loose pucks and generated a lot of shots.”
Diamond and Flynn teamed up again at the 11:45 mark as Diamond cut back and forth behind the net, protecting the puck until he slipped it to Flynn for another one-timer.
Flynn said his two goals were similar.
“I found a soft spot and Joey found me,” said Flynn.
“I heard (Flynn) calling for it,” said Diamond.
Mangene made it 5-0 by using his speed to beat a defenseman wide before pulling it across the top of the crease and beating Mastalerz to the far post before tucking it in.
Mangene extended his goal-scoring streak to six games.
Mastalerz was replaced by Kevin Boyle after Mangene’s goal.
Diamond scored on a breakaway after being sent in alone by Abbott.
The puck rolled off Diamond’s stick but he alertly chased it down and whipped a backhander into the empty net.
“I liked the fact we didn’t take our foot off the gas pedal (in the second period),” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead. “We didn’t allow the disallowed goal to affect us. We stuck with it.“
Kiley and Czepiel scored three minutes apart as each tipped point shots behind Sullivan.
Pereira scored from a scramble in front at the expense of Martin Ouellette, who replaced Sullivan with 5:49 left.
Andersson converted a John Parker pass into his first goal of the season.
Maine outshot UMass 32-23.
Abbott and Diamond had two assists and Beattie had an assist to go with his goal.