ORONO, Maine - Matt Duffy (Windham, Maine) scored the game-winning goal at 16:13 of the third period as the University of Maine men's ice hockey team came from behind to defeat UMass 3-2 on Saturday night at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine. For Duffy, it was his team-leading third game-winning goal of the season. Maine improves to 9-17-3 on the season and 5-14-3 in Hockey East play. UMass falls to 11-12-6, 6-11-5 in conference play.
UMass opened the scoring just 1:33 into the game. Justin Braun and Cory Quick teamed up to find Mike Kostka who was in the right face off circle. Kostka beat Maine goalie Ben Bishop (Des Peres, Mo.) with a quick shot for his sixth goal of the season which came on the power play.
Maine was able to knot the game at 1-1 less than three minutes later. Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta) found Billy Ryan (Milton, Mass.). Ryan passed the puck to Travis Ramsey (Lakewood, Calif.) on the blueline. Ramsey had his shot from the point beat UMass goalie Paul Dainton. For Ramsey, it was his third goal of the season.
The game remained tied at 1-1 until P.J. Fenton put the Minutemen ahead 2-1 just 37 seconds into the third period. Kostka found Chris Davis who had a two-on-one odd man rush with Fenton. Fenton was able to beat Bishop for his seventh goal of the season.
Maine tied the game with just 6:10 left to play. Rob Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) dumped the puck into the UMass zone. UMass goalie Dainton went behind the net to play the puck, but was unable to gain control. Andrew Sweetland (Bonavista, Newfoundland) gained control of the puck on the other side of the net and passed to Keif Orsini (Montreal, Quebec) who was to the left of Dainton. Orsini was able to find the back of the net for his third goal of the season. It is his second goal against the Minutemen this season.
Maine got the game-winner less than three minutes later. Billy Ryan and Keenan Hopson (Prince George, British Columbia) cycled the puck until Hopson found Chris Hahn (Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan) in the slot. Hahn passed to Duffy on the blueline. Duffy fired the puck past Dainton for the eventual game-winner. For Duffy, it was his sixth goal of the season.
UMass held a slim 26-25 advantage in shots. The Minutemen were 1-5 on the power play, while Maine was 1-3.
Maine goalie Ben Bishop had another outstanding game, as he stopped 24 shots. He improves to 9-17-3 on the season. The win was the 51st of his career. Dainton stopped 22 shots and falls to 9-11-6 on the season.
The two teams return to action on Sunday, Feb. 24 with a 4 p.m. puck drop at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.