ORONO, Maine-- Billy Ryan (Milton, Mass.) notched a hat-trick to lead the University of Maine men's ice hockey team past the U.S. U-18 Team in exhibition play on Saturday night at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine in front of 5,111 fans. Ryan finished the night with three goals and one assist for four points.
Keenan Hopson (Prince George, British Columbia) put the Black Bears on the board just 42 seconds into the game. Ryan had a shot that went through U.S. U-18 goalie Joe Cannata and hit the pipe. Hopson gathered the lose puck and beat Cannata to give Maine the early 1-0 lead. The goal was the lone goal of the first period.
Ryan gave Maine a 2-0 lead 9:44 into the second period when he scored a power play goal on a shot from the blueline. Hopson and Rob Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) assisted on the goal for the Black Bears. The U.S. U-18 Team got on the board when Colin Moore had a wrap-around shot that beat Maine goalie Dave Wilson (Caledon East, Ontario).
The teams combined to score five goals in the third period. Vince Laise (Brampton, Ontario) scored 2:18 into the period from West Clark (Oakville, Ontario) and Andrew Sweetland (Bonavista, Newfoundland).
Vinny Saponari cut the Maine lead to 3-2 when he tallied from Robbie Czarnik and Jimmy Hayes. Ryan answered back for the Black Bears when he beat Cannata at 14:10. It was the second power play goal of the night for Ryan.
The U.S. U-18 once again would cut the Maine lead to just one goal when Justin Florek scored a power play goal from David Warsofsky and Saponari.
Ryan capped the scoring for Maine with an empty-net goal at 19:05 from Travis Ramsey (Lakewood, Calif.).
Maine goalie Dave Wilson made 20 saves in goal. He stopped 10 shots in the third period alone. Cannata made 17 saves for the U.S. U-18 squad.
The Black Bear begin the regular season on Friday, Oct. 12 when they travel to Denver for a game with the Pioneers.