Maine Hockey Journal

Black Bears unbeaten streak reaches six

Orono, ME – The Maine Black Bears men’s ice hockey team scored four powerplay goals in their 5-1 victory over the Northeastern Huskies in front of 4,292 fans at Alfond Arena Saturday night in Hockey East action.

The Black Bears finished the season series against Northeastern by winning two of the three games and improving to 7-4-1 in Hockey East play (9-7-1 overall). The Huskies dropped to 4-7-1 in the conference (6-8-1 overall).

“In the second, we stayed discipline and we capitalized on the powerplay, that’s the bottom line,” said Maine Head Coach Tim Whitehead.

The Black Bears were 4-for-6 on the powerplay while the Huskies went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.

After a scoreless first period Adam Shemansky would give Maine the early lead by capitalizing on a Northeastern penalty. Adam sent a soft shot towards Northeastern goaltender Chris Rawlings. The shot deflected off of Rawlings’ stick and into the net at 3:58 of the second period for his 8th goal of the year.

“It was actually a pass in front to (David de Kastrozza),” Adam Shemansky stated. “It hit the heel of (Rawlings’) stick. I was just lucky it went in.”

A little over a minute later the Black Bears would score again as Brett Carriere capitalized on a rebound set up by a Matt Mangene wrist shot that trickled into the slot. The goal was Brett’s first of the year and gave Maine a 2-0 lead.

“I was really happy for Brett (Carriere),” Whitehead added. “It’s been frustrating for him the last month because he had a couple of injuries and was the odd guy out when we really started playing well six weeks ago.”

“He had a good solid game all-around.”

Northeastern would score their first goal of the night to cut Maine’s lead down to a goal with 5:33 remaining in the second period. A Jeff Dimmen interference call left the Black Bears a man short and Tyler McNeely would score for the Huskies, his goal coming just 40 seconds into the powerplay.

That goal would be the only blemish of the night for Black Bears goaltender Scott Darling as he made 23 saves on 24 shots.

Maine would capitalize on another Northeastern’s penalty when they were provided a 5-on-3 opportunity with 3:09 remaining in the second period. Brian Flynn planted himself on the goal line and Gustav Nyquist sent a pass to Flynn, who buried the puck into the net for a 3-1 lead.

“(Gustav Nyquist) gave me a great pass through a couple guys’ sticks,” Brian Flynn added. “It was a tap in but that’s kind of how our 5-on-3 is designed. We have a lot of options.”

Northeastern’s penalty problems continued as Justin Daniels took a tripping penalty just 17 seconds after the Flynn goal, giving the Black Bears their third powerplay of the night. Jeff Dimmen would then help stretch Maine’s lead to 4-1 with 1:57 to play in the second period.

It also meant Chris Rawlings night was finished as he managed to stop 16 shots in two periods. Bryan Mountain came in for the relief effort and he made 10 saves.

Northeastern head coach Greg Cronin wasn’t too pleased with effort on the penalty kill.

“To do what we did the last three minutes in that period is a sin,” he said. “I am speechless why we would be taking those penalties. I didn’t like our execution on the 5-on-3’s either, it’s like we never saw a 5-on-3 before.”

With 8:32 left in the game David de Kastrozza would score Maine’s fifth and final goal of the night. The score came on yet another powerplay as he found the pick in front of the net and sent it across the line for the fourth Black Bear powerplay goal of the night.

The win puts Maine’s unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1) heading to the Holiday break.

Notes: Joey Diamond will miss the Princeton game on December 29 as he received a game disqualification for fighting at the 12:33 mark of the third period.

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