|University of Massachusetts||University of Maine|
Orono, Maine – The University of Maine men’s ice hockey team tallied three goals in the second period on its way to a 3-1 victory over visiting Massachusetts on Tuesday evening at Alfond Arena. Canon Pieper, Peter Housakos and Emil Westerlund found the back of the net for the Black Bears while Jeremy Swayman turned away 34 shots in net for the Black Bears.
With the win, Maine moves to 12-9-2 overall on the season and 6-6-1 in Hockey East play while UMass’ record bumps to 10-10-1 overall and 4-6-1 in conference play.
The Minutemen came out flying in the first period but Swayman was up to the task, turning away two door-step bids in the opening five minutes, first with his left pad and then with a flash of the glove seconds later. Patrick Shea nearly put Maine on top with three minutes to go in the opening frame after Eduards Tralmaks found him with a slick breakout pass to create a two-on-one but Ryan Wischow was able to stick the shot away.
Maine carried that momentum into the second period and Pieper broke the scoreless tie, 2:35 into the frame with his third goal of the season to set off three unanswered goals for the Black Bears.
After Nolan Vesey’s shot from the left dot clanged off the crossbar, Pieper crashed the net and was able to nudge the puck past Wischow. The Black Bears struck again just under four minutes later. Chase Pearson gathered the puck down the left wing before turning and firing a pass to the front of the net. Housakos then buried his shot past Wischow.
With Maine on the penalty kill, Swayman’s stop of four point-blank shots preserved Maine’s 2-0 lead and then Westerlund’s fifth of the year gave Maine the three-goal lead. Brendan Robbins began that scoring play with a pass up the left wing to Pearson. Pearson then carried the puck behind the UMass net before sliding it to Westerlund, who beat Wischow to his glove side.
Swayman – who made double-digit saves in each period – narrowly missed out on his second shutout of the season after an extra attacker goal from Jake Gaudet with just 35 seconds remaining. The performance marked Swayman’s 10th game this season with at least 30 saves.
UMass outshot Maine (35-20) while Wischow finished with 17 saves for the Minutemen. Maine’s penalty-kill unit went 6-for-6 on the night while the power-play unit went 0-for-4.
The Black Bears will remain at home this weekend, welcoming the rival Wildcats of New Hampshire to Alfond Arena on Friday and Saturday.