Michel Léveillé notches two goals for the Black Bears
Senior forward Michel Léveillé scored two goals for the Black Bears.
ORONO, Maine - The University of Maine men's ice hockey team scored three goals in the second period on the way to a 4-1 win over UMass Lowell on Friday night at Alfond Arena. Maine's Michel Léveillé had two goals, while Keenan Hopson and Simon Danis-Pepin each added one. Ben Bishop had 22 saves in his eighth win of the season. The Black Bears are now 8-0-1 on the season and 3-0-1 in Hockey East. UMass Lowell is 3-3-3 on the season and 2-1-2 in Hockey East.
In the first period, the Black Bears had the first two power play chances of the night. Maine did not generate any shots on the first, but on the second both Billy Ryan (Milton, Mass.) and Michel Léveillé (Levis, Quebec) had shots saved by Carter Hutton. In the last six minutes of the period, the Riverhawks had two power play chances but did not convert on either opportunity. Maine and UMass Lowell each had eight shots in the first period.
The Black Bears took an early penalty at the start of the second period, but once again were able to kill the advantage. At 5:05, Maine took the lead when Rob Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) placed a pass to Michel Léveillé who buried the puck for the goal. Josh Soares (Hamilton, Ontario) also had an assist on the goal. The teams traded power play chances, then Maine struck again. At 12:38, Keenan Hopson (Prince George, British Columbia) scored with assists from Billy Ryan and Rob Bellamy. A little over two minutes later, Simon Danis-Pepin (Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec) scored his first career goal when the puck came off the boards and he fired a shot from the left circle. David de Kastrozza (Toms River, N.J.) and Zach Sill (Colchester County, Nova Scotia) each had their first career assists on the goal at 14:44. Maine had a twelve to seven lead on shots in the second period.
In the third period, the Riverhawks countered with a goal from Jason Bergeron at 1:11. Chris Auger took the puck from Ben Bishop, and Bergeron had a clear shot at the net to make it a 3-1 Maine lead. Mike Hamilton (Victoria, British Columbia) had a strong chance five minutes into the period the was saved by Carter Hutton. Maine was able to kill the Riverhawks' sixth power play chance of the night and immediately responded with a goal by Michel Léveillé. Josh Soares had the initial shot and Michel Léveillé put in the rebound at 12:48. Teddy Purcell (St. John's, Newfoundland) also had an assist on the goal. Maine was able to withstand several strong chances by the Riverhawks late in the game, including one shot that was saved by defenseman Bryan Plaszcz (Apple Valley, Minn.).
In goal, Maine's Ben Bishop allowed one goal and had 22 saves. For UMass Lowell, Carter Hutton had four goals against and 30 saves. Maine had a season-low 6 penalties for 12 minutes and UMass Lowell had 4 penalties for 8 minutes. On power plays, Maine was 0-4 and UMass Lowell was 0-6. For the game, Maine outshot the Riverhawks 34 to 23.
Alfond Arena has been sold out for all four home games this season. Maine has now defeated UMass Lowell twelve straight times in the series. Ben Bishop has had 17 games where he has allowed only one goal and Maine has won all 17 of those games. The Black Bears are 4-0-0 at home this season. The loss was the first Hockey East loss of the season for UMass Lowell and Maine is the only unbeaten team in the conference.
The Black Bears continue the home-stand on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm against New Hampshire at Alfond Arena. For tickets or more information on University of Maine athletics, visit www.GoBlackBears.com or call 581-BEAR.