ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine men’s hockey team hadn’t beaten Boston University at Alfond Arena since Nov. 8, 2009.
But the Black Bears ended their frustration emphatically Friday night.
Freshman left wing Brian Morgan scored a pair of goals and also added an assist as the Black Bears thumped the Terriers 7-0 at Alfond Arena.
Maine is now 5-4-1 overall, 2-2-1 in Hockey East. BU, which had been 3-0-2 in the last five games at Alfond Arena, fell to 4-6 and 2-3, respectively.
It was BU’s most lopsided loss since an 8-1 setback to Providence in 1995.
Martin Ouellette picked up his second shutout of the season with 34 saves while BU used Sean Maguire and Matt O’Connor in goal. They combined for 27 stops.
“The thing that pleased me the most was we scored seven goals,” Maine coach Red Gendron said. “We had gone nine periods without an even strength goal (until two third-period goals in a 4-3 loss to Vermont last Saturday). BU had just as many chances as we did, maybe more but Marty Ouellette came up with some important saves and their goalies weren’t able to tonight.”
Devin Shore and Connor Leen scored first-period goals to provide Maine with a 2-0 lead before second-period goals by Ben Hutton, Blaine Byron and Morgan moved the lead to 5-0.
Billy Norman and Morgan added third-period goals.
“We played really well,” said Shore. “We battled hard for 60 minutes. We made some mistakes but (Ouellette) came up with some big saves.”
“The guys went hard to the net and made it hard for their goalies,” Ouellette said.
Shore scored the first goal at the 10:01 mark of the first period and assisted on the second by Leen on a five-on-three with just six seconds left in the period.
Shore opened the scoring by carrying the puck down the left wing in a one-on-one with BU defenseman Garrett Noonan and taking a seemingly harmless wrist shot from the outside of the left faceoff circle that hit Maguire and trickled over the goal line.
“I was alone. There wasn’t anybody with me so I just threw it to the net and it went under his blocker and over his pad,” said Shore.
The goal actually jump-started the Terriers and they generated some sustained pressure over the next five minutes.
Speedy defenseman Matt Grzelcyk made a nice rush down the left wing and circled the net only to have Ouellette kick out his wraparound attempt with his left pad.
Penalties late in the period 42 seconds apart on Matt Lane and Patrick MacGregor supplied Maine with the five-on-three and Leen capitalized when he one-timed the rebound of a Shore shot from the high slot past Maguire. Leen was parked in the right circle and beat Maguire to the short side.
Ouellette preserved the 2-0 lead early in the second period with a crucial stop on Cason, Hohmann’s breakaway.
“He had a penalty shot on me a year ago and said in the paper that he wanted to go five-hole but saw the glove side open,” said Ouellette. “He went glove side and I made the save. So I figured he’d try to go five-hole this time. He did and I was able to get my stick and pad on it.”
Shortly afterward, BU defenseman Ohti Oksanen lost his stick at the right point and Hutton pushed the puck around him before dashing out of the defensive zone and carrying it down the left side on a two-on-one with Shore.
He carried the puck into the left faceoff circle as his wrister squeezed off the pads of Maguire, who was then replaced by O’Connor.
“I wanted to go top-shelf but the puck wasn’t in the right spot. Their defenseman came over to me so I just tried to get a shot on net and it went over his pads. He got a piece of it,” said Hutton.
Gendron said the dramatic sequence in which Ouellette stopped the breakaway and Hutton scored shorthanded was “huge.”
Byron expanded the lead six minutes later when BU defenseman Doyle Somerby lost his stick and Cam Brown forced the puck ahead to Morgan, who skated down the slot before sliding the puck across to Byron, who directed the puck past the helpless O’Connor.
Morgan’s first goal made it 5-0 on the power play. He tipped Eric Schurhamer’s screened wrister from the midpoint behind O’Connor.
In the third period, Norman scored on a breakaway early in the third period before Brown fed Morgan on a two-on-one and he converted.
“Maine played fast and they generated a lot of chances,” said BU senior defenseman and co-captain Noonan. “You’ve got to give them credit. They played a good game. They worked hard.”