Maine Hockey Journal

Maine blanks USA U-18 team, 4-0

Orono, ME — The University of Maine men’s ice hockey team won their second straight exhibition game over the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 team on Saturday night. Freshmen goaltender Shawn Sirman made 33 saves in the 4-0 shutout in front of 3,832 fans at Alfond Arena.

All the motivation the Blezard Valley, Ontario native needed was seeing USA goaltender Jack Campbell between the pipes at the other end.

“I saw Campbell was playing, so it motivated me to play a little better,” said Sirman.

Campbell recently helped end Canada’s bid for six straight gold medals at the World Junior Championship game by replacing St. Cloud State goalie Mike Lee and pacing USA to victory.

“I think the best thing about this week is I thought our best player in both exhibition games was (our) goalies,” Maine Head Coach Tim Whitehead said.

Dave Wilson led the Black Bears to a 4-1 victory over the University of New Brunswick on Tuesday night.

After a slow start, the momentum swung in Maine’s direction when Team USA had a goal disallowed by a high stick at the ten-minute mark of the first period.

“We had a lot of quality scoring chances,” said Team USA’s Head Coach Kurt Kleinenorst.

With the face-off in their attacking zone, Maine capitalized as Brett Carriere was able to convert a backhanded shot near Campbell’s crease to give Maine the 1-0 lead with 9:29 remaining in the period.

Sirman was peppered with 14 shots in the opening frame and stood tall when Kenny Agostino sprang from the penalty box and rushed in on a breakaway, only to be thwarted.

“I settled down five-six minutes into (the game),” said Sirman.

No one was going to get a shot by Sirman according to Brett Carriere.

“When you have a goalie playing as well as Sirman was tonight, that’s any team’s worst night mare – running into a goalie like that.”

Maine jumped to a 2-0 lead when Gustav Nyquist found Nick Pryor in the slot at the 3:53 mark of the second period. Pryor, who played for the National Program from 2006 to 2008, enjoyed notching his first collegiate goal against his former club.

“It was fun, I wanted one going into the game against my old coaches and trainers,” said Pryor. “It made it sweeter to have it against them.”

Gustav Nyquist gave Maine the 3-0 lead when Will O’Neil found him on the backdoor with 1:02 remaining in the middle period.

O’Neil capped off the scoring with 2:18 to play in the game as Campbell misplayed the shot that originated from above the left circle.

Campbell was solid; making 23 saves in his tenth loss of the season.

Both coaches were pleased by the effort of the youngsters.

“At the end of the day, I am not disappointed in the effort,” said Kleinenorst. “I am not disappointed with exception of the score.”

“They got some real skill as we knew they would and I was very impressed,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead.

Maine was 1-for-5 on the power play and USA had no chances with the man advantage.

The Black Bears return to Hockey East action next weekend with a pair of games against the University of Vermont.

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