Maine Hockey Journal

He was a Darling in net

Orono, Me– Scott Darling came up big. He made 22 saves and few of the saves were spectacular. The Black Bears defeated the Dutchmen 5-1.

“The difference was Darling tonight. They out goaltended us. We knew coming in it was a .941 save percentage,” said Union’s Head Coach Nate Leeman. “Scott Darling was our best player for sure. I thought the difference in the game tonight was Scott Darling,” said Maine Head Coach Tim Whitehead.

Union out shot the Black Bears 23 to 16. Spencer Abbott and Lem Randall each had a goal and an assist to lead the way. Gustav Nyquist had two goals.

“I am not disappointed in our play and thought we carried the play tonight. I thought we showed up and competed tonight,” said Leeman. “We were fortunate that we won the game. They (Union) deserved a better fate tonight but it’s crazy how the game is. I am very impressed of Union’s team,” said Whitehead.

3:20 into the contest, Will O’Neil got called for roughing. Two minutes later, Spencer Abbott found the five hole. Lem Randall and Will O’Neil picked up the assists. Kyle Solomon went to the penalty box at the 7:13 mark for cross checking. With 10:21 remaining in the first, Jon Lareau went to the sin bin for holding.

Gustav Nyquist had a nice chance on the powerplay. Brett Carriere split the defenseman and was all alone with the goaltender. He shot it into his bread basket. The Dutchmen had a flurry on Scott Darling. Darling came up big.

“We hit a post there and in the third. That’s a sign of a good goaltender,” said Leeman. “It was six (shots) but five saves within ten saves. Pucks kept squeaking through and we were trying to block shots. When that happens, it’s harder to control your rebounds,” said Scott Darling.

With two minutes remaining Jason Shaffer was called for tripping.

On the ensuing powerplay, Gustav Nyquist found the back of the net for the 8th time this season. Chris Hahn and Matt Duffy got the assists. The goal came with 1:16 remaining.

Mike Banwell made a nice defensive play when Union had a 2 on 1. Gustav Nyquist almost mad a tip in from a point shot. Will O’Neil went off at the 8:31 mark for contact to the head. With 10:10 remaining, Jeff Marshall got called for holding. Maine was able to kill the five on three penalty. Darling believed in the guys on the penalty kill.

“You have to trust the guys around you. You have to know that they will do their job and that’s how you stay focus,” said Darling. “We killed penalties well,” said Whitehead after the game.

Maine would find itself back on the penalty kill when Mike Banwell for interference. Maine would go on the powerplay at the 3:49 mark when Lareau tripped Gustav Nyquist. The Black Bears couldn’t set up the powerplay.

With one minute remaining, Maine Black Bears made it 3-0. Lem Randall batted it in the net. Keif Orsini let the initial shot and the rebound went to Randall. Abbott got credit with the secondary assist. The goal went to review and it was confirmed as a goal.

At the 2:36 mark, Brendan Milnamow was called for hitting from behind. The Black Bears responded with a goal at the 4:09 mark when Robby Dee tipped in a Jeff Dimmen shot. Simon Danis-Pepin also grabbed a helper. At the 4:26 mark, Adam Preizniuk got called for roughing. Maine gave up two short handed chances on the powerplay.

At the 7:05 mark, Mike Wakita blasted one past Darling from the left circle. Stephane Boileau got the lone assist. 20 seconds later, Carriere was called for roughing. At the 8:48 mark, Randy Hanagan got called for high sticking. Once Maine got on the powerplay, they had a nice chance on a tic-tack-toe play.

Maine would go up by four when Gustav Nyquist stuffed a rebound home. Tanner House and Ryan Hegarty picked up the assists. Banwell got called for elbowing at the 12:02 mark. Main would go back on the powerplay when Wakita was called for roughing with 5:03 remaining.

Milnamow and O’Neil were also giving two minutes for hitting after the whistle. Maine couldn’t convert on the powerplay. With 2:44 left in the contest, Brock Matheson was called for interference. Randall and Mike Schreiber each got a delay of game penalty. With 58 seconds left Wikata got called for roughing.

At the end of the game Dee finished a check and everyone paired up. Shaffer, Matheson, Duffy, Solomon, Banwell, and Chris Hahn all go hitting after the whistle. Mike Harr got a charging and a instigating call. Wakita got five minutes and a DQ. All penalties were with no time remaining. Nyquist thinks Darling got to them.

“They played a good game. They had more shots then us and couldn’t get shots in because Darling played so well. Maybe that’s why a little frustrated,” said Gustav Nyquist. ‘I thought the official did a great job not ejecting anyone from the game,” said Whitehead.

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