ORONO, Maine - Stu Higgins (Troy, Mich.) scored a pair of goals to lead the University of Maine men's ice hockey team to a 2-1 victory over Bentley on Saturday night at Alfond Arena. Connor Leen (Chester, N.Y.) picked up the primary assist on both goals for the Black Bears in the win. The victory was the first for Maine head coach Red Gendron.
Maine improves to 1-2-0 on the season, while Bentley falls to 1-3-0.
Behind a rowdy home crowd, Maine jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a goal by Higgins just 2:21 into the contest. Great pressure on the Bentley defense by Jon Swavely (Reading, Pa.) resulted in the puck being tipped to Leen. He made a perfect pass to Higgins, stationed just outside the crease. Higgins beat Bentley goalie Branden Komm for his first goal of the season.
Bentley knotted the score at 1-1 just over a minute and a half later. After a faceoff, Max French got the puck to Justin Benton. Maine's defense attempted to clear the puck, but it went right to Andrew Gladiuk, who beat Maine goalie Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec).
The game remained 1-1 until Leen and Higgins teamed up once again. This time, Jake Rutt (Scarborough, Maine) began the play, finding Leen. Once again, he got the puck to Higgins, who fired it past Komm for his second goal of the game.
Despite numerous scoring chances during the remainder of the second and third periods, it was the goalies that stole the show. Both Maine and Bentley each had seven power plays in the game, including both with lengthy five-on-three advantages. Maine finished the game with a 35-25 edge in shots on goal.
Ouellette made 24 saves in goal for the Black Bears and improves to 1-2-0 on the season. Komm made 33 saves in goal for the Falcons and falls to 1-3-0.
Maine returns to action on Friday, October 25, 2013 when they host UMass. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 PM.