Senior goaltender Martin Ouellette made 33 saves and sophomore right wing Steven Swavely scored two goals Saturday as the University of Maine shut out Princeton 4-0 in the first game of the Florida College Classic at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla.
The Black Bears (10-6-1) will try to win their third consecutive Florida College Classic title Sunday night at 7:35 against Cornell. The Big Red beat New Hampshire 4-2 Saturday behind Andy Iles’ 44-save performance.
Cornell, ranked 15th in the latest U.S. College Hockey Online poll, is 8-4-2.
Princeton (3-13) and New Hampshire (9-10-1) play in Sunday’s 4:05 p.m. consolation game.
Maine won its fourth game in a row and it was Maine’s first victory away from Alfond Arena. Maine is 9-1 at Alfond Arena.
The Black Bears have won six of the previous 13 Florida College Classics.
Princeton lost its fifth straight contest.
Swavely scored the only goal the Black Bears were to need 3:23 into the game when he redirected a Dan Renouf shot from the point past Princeton goalie Colton Phinney.
Devin Shore also assisted on the goal to extend his points streak to eight games.
The scoreline remained unchanged until Swavely expanded the lead 43 seconds into the third period when he put the finishing touch on a play involving linemates Shore and Connor Leen. Leen made the pass across the slot and Swavely corralled it and beat Phinney with a quick shot.
“That goal was the big one … first shift of the third period,” said Maine coach Red Gendron. “Princeton had carried the play in the second period but when we came out and went up 2-0 just 43 seconds into the third period, it knocked some of the wind out of their sails.”
Cam Brown gave the Black Bears some valuable breathing room with 6:39 left to play as he dropped a pass for Jake Rutt and drove to the net where he tipped Rutt’s blast past Phinney.
Blaine Byron also assisted on the goal.
Stu Higgins closed out the scoring with a one-timer with six seconds left. Renouf picked up his second assist of the game and Eric Schurhamer also assisted.
Phinney finished with 32 saves.
“We played in-and-out over the first two periods but played really well in the third period,” said Gendron. “All four lines created offense and three of our lines scored.”
He noted that freshman right wing Josh Henke, who played on the line that didn’t produce a goal with Jon Swavely and Billy Norman, hit the post on a couple of occasions.
Gendron also praised Ouellette, saying he made “six or seven great saves” en route to his third shutout of the season.