ORONO, Maine The University of Maine mens ice hockey team won their Hockey East opener on Saturday night 4-1 over Massachusetts at a sold-out Alfond Arena. Maine had two goals by Michel LÚveillÚ and one each by Bret Tyler and Wes Clark in the victory. Ben Bishop had 16 saves in the win as the Black Bears improve to 6-0-0 on the season. Massachusetts is 2-1-1 on the season and 1-1-0 in Hockey East.
Both teams traded power play chances in the first period. The Black Bears struck first when Teddy Purcell (St. Johns, Newfoundland) got the puck to Josh Soares (Hamilton, Ontario) just inside the Maine zone. Soares skated up ice and found Michel LÚveillÚ (Levis, Quebec), who took the puck into the slot and fired it past Jon Quick for the goal at 16:45. Maine had a nine to three lead on shots in the period.
The second period began with a great chance by Josh Soares just five seconds into the period that was saved by Quick. Maine then killed the Minutemens second power play chance of the night, even coming up with a strong shorthanded chance by Josh Soares that was blocked. At 6:11 in the period, Bret Tyler (Maynard, Mass.) was called for a five minute major for grabbing the facemask. The Black Bears successfully killed the five-minute advantage. Maine then went on the power play as well, but at 12:09 play was delayed after the lights went out over a portion of the ice. There was a delay of over 25 minutes while the lights were turned back on and the ice was resurfaced during the wait. The period continued, but Maine was unable to take advantage of the power play opportunity. The Black Bears then were able to stop Massachusetts third power play chance of the night as well.
Following the conclusion of the 7:51 left in the second period, the teams switched ends of the ice and continued play. Massachusetts tied the game on their fourth power play of the night when Will Ortiz scored with assists from Justin Braun and Martin Nolet at 4:41 in the third period. With ten minutes left in the third period, play was halted for another intermission and ice resurface. The teams returned to the ice for the final ten minutes of play.
At 15:24 in the third period, Bret Tyler scored with an assist from Billy Ryan (Milton, Mass.) to give Maine a 2-1 lead. With 1:16 remaining in the game, Massachusetts pulled Jon Quick for an extra skater. It was the Black Bears who were able to score as Wes Clark (Oakville, Ontario) took a shot at the empty net that slowly found the back of the net. He was assisted by Travis Ramsey (Lakewood, Calif.) and Mike Hamilton (Victoria, British Columbia) on the goal at 19:22. The Minutemen kept Quick out of the net and Maine once again was able to score an empty net goal. Michel LÚveillÚ had his second goal of the night at 19:50 with assists from Travis Ramsey and Josh Soares. Maine had a ten to four lead on shots in the period.
In goal, Maines Ben Bishop allowed one goal and had 16 saves. For Massachusetts, Philippe Jon Quick had two goals against and 24 saves. Maine had 9 penalties for 21 minutes and Massachusetts had 8 penalties for 16 minutes. On power plays, Maine was 0-3 and Massachusetts was 1-4. For the game, Maine outshot the Minutemen 28 to 17.
Maine returns to the road next weekend for a game on Friday night at Merrimack and a game on Saturday night at Boston University. The Black Bears return home November 10 to host UMass Lowell. For tickets or more information on University of Maine athletics, visit www.GoBlackBears.com or call 581-BEAR.