BILLERICA, MA (Jan. 5, 2007) – Freshman Teddy Purcell (St. John’s NFLD) and senior Keith Johnson (Windsor, CT) each scored goals 2:58 apart late in the third period to lift the University of Maine over UMass Lowell, 4-2, Friday night in a Hockey East clash at the Chelmsford Forum.
With the loss, UML slipped to 3-12-5 overall and 2-7-2 in Hockey East while the Black Bears improved to 13-3-3 overall and 6-3-1 in Hockey East.
The two teams close out the season series Saturday afternoon at 3:00 at the Chelmsford Forum as part of the Back to the Forum Weekend. Highlighting Saturday’s game will be the induction of the University of Lowell NCAA Division II Championship teams of 1978-79, 1980-81, and 1981-82 into the UML Athletic Hall of Fame.
The River Hawks out-shot the Black Bears 28-23, including 12-6 in the second period. Sophomore Vinny Monaco (Andover, MA) stopped 19 shots while sophomore Ben Bishop (Des Peres, MO) turned away 26 shots.
Senior J.R. Bria (Monroe, CT) opened the scoring 5:53 into the first period as his shot from the far left blue line eluded Bishop. The Black Bears capitalized on a power play with 33 seconds left in the period when senior Josh Soares (Hamilton, ONT) stole the puck from a UML defender and weaved his way toward the goal to beat Monaco.
Maine snatched a 2-1 lead 5:17 into the second period when Purcell scored the first of two with help from senior Michel Leveille (Levis, QUE).
Freshman Jason Bergeron (Ancaster, ONT) knotted the score, 2-2, off assists to senior Jeremy Hall (Mays Landing, NJ) and freshman Kory Falite (Billerica, MA) 8:40 into the third period.
Purcell scored the game-winner at 16:22 with help from senior Mike Lundin (Apple Valley, MN) and Bishop. UML pulled Monaco in the final minute and continued to pressure, but Johnson capitalized on a defensive error and tucked a shot into the empty net from the far right faceoff circle.
“I give Maine a lot of credit, because winning is a habit,” said UML head coach Blaise MacDonald. “Winning comes from a culture and Maine has created that culture over time. They do the things that allow you have success. Whereas we do an awful lot of great things, but we’re just having a hard time getting the wins. But I’m very proud to coach this team. They work incredibly hard and they’re very coachable.”