Maine Hockey Journal

UMaine wins big in season opener against UMass Lowell

Orono, ME –The University of Maine men’s ice hockey team started their season off strong with an 8-2 win against conference rival UMass-Lowell.

It didn’t take long for Maine to set the game pace in their season opener against UMass-Lowell.

No less than 69 seconds into the game, Brian Flynn scored Maine’s first goal of the season off a nice rebound shot by Mike Cornell. Cornell and Spencer Abbott are both credited with the assist.

Without wasting too much time, the Black Bears found the back of the net again with 14:48 left in the period as Adam Shemansky snagged a great rebound and was able to get off a wrist shot into a practically empty net.

With Maine up 2-0 halfway through the first period, the Black Bears continued applying offensive pressure without signs of slowing down.

With 11:38 into the first period, Kyle Beattie let the puck fly with a slick wrist shot that sailed under the glove of Lowell’s starting goalie Doug Carr of Hanover, Mass. Lewiston native Mark Anthoine and Mike Banwell pick up their first points of the season with the assists.

Less than two minutes later, Joey Diamond found himself some empty ice on a fast breakaway charge, getting an unassisted goal, slipping another one past Carr.

With only one period under their belts, the Black Bears went into the locker room up 4-0.

The Black Bears again don’t waste any time putting points on the scoreboard at the start of the second period.

Only 1:16 into the period, Joey Diamond scored his second goal of the game, and the season, over the blocker of Carr as Cornell picked up his second assist.

Later in the second with 14:25 on the clock, Black Bears captain Tanner House scored his first goal of the season and the first power-play goal for Maine. Getting the assists are Jeff Dimmen and Joey Diamond.

While Maine was able to keep Lowell from scoring during the first four power plays, they paid for their penalties on the fifth as Lowell’s captain Scott Campbell scored with a wrap around shot under goaltender Shawn Sirman’s left pad. With that goal, Lowell was able to get on the board, bringing the score to 6-1.

For the third straight period, Maine put the puck in the net in the first two minutes of the period.

Tanner House got his second goal of the game in less than a minute. Finding him in front of the net was Brain Flynn making it simple for House to tap it through the five hole of Lowell’s back-up goalie Marc Boulanger, who replaced Carr. Also picking up an assist on this goal was Gustav Nyquist.

Only 22 seconds later, Spencer Abbott slipped another past Boulanger with the help of Robby Dee and Joey Diamond, giving Maine a commanding 8-1 lead.

With a seven goal lead, Maine head coach Tim Whitehead used the rest of the third period to give some of his younger players more ice time.

With only 2:19 left in the game, Maine goalie Dan Sullivan, let a bouncing puck get by him, after coming in relief for Sirman, giving Lowell’s Michael Budd his first goal of the season.

Although Maine walked away victorious with a six goal difference, no one took the win for granted.

“We have to tighten up especially in our D-zone,” House said. “We gave them a bunch of chances and Sirman came up big for us. We got a couple of lucky bounces and I don’t think the score is a picture of the game.”

Whitehead, although happy with the result of tonight’s game, also felt that the score was not a reflection of the level of play.

“I think the game could’ve turned a little differently if Shawn [Sirman] hadn’t made a few saves in the first period and then that breakaway save too,” said Whitehead. “I was proud of Shawn and we generated a lot of offense obviously, and that was good, but the score was a little deceptive.”

NOTES: Tim Whitehead earned with 200th win as Black Bears head coach, and only trails the late Shawn Walsh, who had 399 victories at Maine. UMaine will be back in action tomorrow night against the University of Connecticut at Alfond Arena at 7:00pm.

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