ORONO, Maine - The University of Maine men's ice hockey team lost their first game of the season 8-2 to New Hampshire on Sunday afternoon at Alfond Arena. Maine outshot the Wildcats 35-23, but could not stop New Hampshire from scoring. Maine had goals from Michel Léveillé and Mike Hamilton, while Ben Bishop had 13 saves on 19 shots faced. The Black Bears are now 8-1-1 on the season and 3-1-1 in Hockey East. New Hampshire is 5-2-1 on the season and 3-1-1 in Hockey East.
The Wildcats got on the board first when Mike Radja took a loose puck in one-on-one on Ben Bishop (Des Peres, Mo.) for a goal at 7:02. He was assisted by Jacob Micflikier on the goal. With the Wildcats on their second power play of the night, Jacob Micflikier scored with assists from Mike Radja and Kevin Regan at 9:19. The Wildcats scored goals on two of their first three shots of the game. Late in the first period, the Black Bears had their first power play chance of the night. After a Maine goal was waived off since the whistle had blown, the Wildcats scored an unassisted goal by Mike Radja with just one second left in the period to take a 3-0 lead.
Just 1:34 into the second period, Maine's Wes Clark (Oakville, Ontario) and Rob Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) and New Hampshire's Jamie Fritsch and Chris Murray were sent to the penalty box for double minors and ten minute misconducts. The Black Bears then had a second power play chance and Michel Léveillé (Levis, Quebec) converted for the goal at 2:17. He was assisted by Mike Lundin (Apple Valley, Minn.) and Josh Soares (Hamilton, Ontario). The Wildcats added a goal to take a 4-1 lead when Craig Switzer scored at 6:15 with an assist from Trevor Smith. Maine responded two minutes later with another power play goal, this time by Mike Hamilton (Victoria, British Columbia). He was assisted on the goal at 8:26 by Mike Lundin and Michel Léveillé. New Hampshire added one more goal in the second period when Bobby Butler scored at 13:53 with an assist from Matt Fornataro. Maine outshot the Wildcats 20 to three in the second period, but New Hampshire scored on two of the three shots.
In the third period, Chris Murray gave the Wildcats a 6-2 lead when he scored at 14:26 with assists from Craig Switzer and Jacob Micflikier. Maine pulled goalie Ben Bishop (Des Peres, Mo.) after the goal and was replaced by Dave Wilson (Caledon East, Ontario). The first shot Wilson faced was a goal by Matt Fornataro at 14:51 with an assist from Trevor Smith. Late in the period, Trevor Smith added a goal at 17:37 with assists from Matt Fornataro and Joe Charlebois for the 8-2 final score.
In goal, Maine's Ben Bishop allowed six goals and had 13 saves and Dave Wilson had two goals against and two saves. For New Hampshire, Kevin Regan had two goals against and 33 saves. Maine had 13 penalties for 42 minutes and New Hampshire had 18 penalties for 52 minutes. On power plays, Maine was 2-9 and New Hampshire was 2-4. For the game, Maine outshot the Wildcats 35 to 23.
Alfond Arena has been sold out for all five home games this season. The last time Maine gave up eight goals in a game was in an 8-5 loss to Boston University on March 11, 1994. The six goals allowed by Bishop were the most in his career.
The Black Bears are back at Alfond Arena on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm against Boston College. For tickets or more information on University of Maine athletics, visit www.GoBlackBears.com or call 581-BEAR.