ORONO, Maine - University of Massachusetts hockey scored four times in the third period to secure a 5-2 victory at Maine on Friday night at Harold Alfond Sports Arena. The win moves the Minutemen to 12-16-5 on the season, 6-14-3 in Hockey East, while the Black Bears fall to 15-14-5 overall and 9-10-4 in league action.
"My concern was that we come out and have a good start," said UMass head coach Greg Carvel. "I didn't want to get behind early. I knew the energy of this building. No one on our team has played here before except (Matt) Koopman, so we tried to warn them all week of the volume in here and the energy and we came out, got a great start. We gave them a little momentum in the second half of the first period, but I thought the second and third periods were great. The third period was outstanding, both sides of the puck. You're seeing Owen Murray start to develop into a really good player for us and it was great to see Taylor Makar get off the schneid. We need him to score and he had two huge goals tonight."
51 seconds in, Scott Morrow crashed the net to put back a Reed Lebster rebound with Cal Kiefiuk collecting the secondary helper on the sophomore's eighth of the season.
The Black Bears ultimately tied the score at one at the 16:26 mark of the opening frame. Thomas Freel collected the puck from Donavan Villeneuve-Houle and found Lynden Breen at the far post who sent a backhander into an open net.
With the teams still deadlocked at 1-1 following a scoreless second, Makar put UMass back on top, taking an outlet feed from sophomore Lucas Mercuri and Morrow and driving to the Maine net to pot his eighth of the season 2:27 into the third.
Murray gave the Minutemen some breathing room with his first collegiate goal at the 6:04 mark, firing home a wrister on the rush from sophomores Ryan Lautenbach and Ryan Ufko.
Makar added another 10:30 into the frame, picking up a pass from Murray and Lautenbach, and stickhandling through a Maine defender to send the puck home from the slot.
The Black Bears took one back at the 14:42 mark with Breen netting his second of the night from Freel and Luke Atonacci to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Senior Cal Kiefiuk then capped the scoring with an empty net goal from classmate Eric Faith at 17:50.
Maine finished the contest with a 31-21 shot advantage and went 0-for-1 with the lone power play of the evening.
Cole Brady made 29 saves in net for UMass and Victor Ostman had 16 stops for the Black Bears.
The teams will close out the regular season tomorrow night, March 4, at Alfond Arena with their second 7:05 p.m. matchup of the weekend.