ORONO, Me. - The Black Bears scored a pair of third period goals, but it was not enough to complete the comeback as the University of Maine men's ice hockey team fell to Vermont 4-3 on Saturday night at Alfond Arena.
Maine falls to 4-4-1 on the season and 1-2-1 in Hockey East play. Vermont improves to 3-3-1 overall, 2-2-0 in conference play.
Like Friday, the two teams played through a scoreless first period before the Black Bears were able to get on the scoreboard. Eric Schurhamer (St. Paul, Minn.) gave Maine a 1-0 lead 8:14 into the second period with a power play goal. He received the puck from Cam Brown (Natick, Mass.) on the blueline and skated a few strides before unleashing a wrist shot that beat UVM goalie Mike Santaguida. For Schurhamer, it was his first collegiate goal. Bill Norman (Stockholm, Sweden.) also assisted on the goal.
Vermont evened the score when Chris Muscoby scored just 48 seconds later. Muscoby picked off the puck and went to center it on an odd-man rush, but it deflected off a Maine defenseman and slipped by Maine goalie Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec).
The Catamounts took the lead less than three minutes later. On the power play, Mike Stenerson passed to Robert Polesello on the goal line. He made a pass to Brady Shaw who jammed the puck past Ouellette for the go ahead goal.
Vermont made it a 3-1 lead in the final minute of the second period. Jake Fallon won a face-off to the corner where Mario Puskarich gained control of the puck, skated to the crease and beat Ouellette.
The Catamounts extended their lead to 4-1 midway through the third period. Chris McCarthy picked off the puck and skated in on a breakaway, beating Ouellette for his third goal of the season.
Maine made it a 4-2 game at 12:55 of the third period. Stu Higgins (Troy, Mich.) stole the puck and fed Mark Anthoine (Lewiston, Maine), who was uncontested in the slot. He fired the puck past Santaguida for his team-leading fifth goal of the season.
Maine made things real interesting when Blaine Byron (Manotick, Ontario) pulled Maine to within one goal at 18:02. Norman had a shot that went wide, but Brown picked up the puck and fed Byron, who beat Santaguida in the crease for his third goal of the season.
Maine pulled Ouellette in the final minute and went on the power play, but was unable to get the equalizer. Maine finished the game with a 34-33 edge in shots on goal. Maine was 1-for-10 on the power play, while Vermont was 1-for-5.
Ouellette made 29 saves and falls to 4-4-1 on the season. Santaguida made 31 saves for the Catamounts and improve to 3-2-1.
Maine returns to action on Friday, Nov. 15 when it hosts Boston University. Puck drop is slated for 7 PM.