Maine Hockey Journal

Maine’s momentum gives them big win over No. 2 North Dakota

With the University of North Dakota men’s ice hockey team in town, Alfond Arena was filled to capacity as the University of Maine dominated the No. 2 ranked team in the nation with a 7-3 victory on Friday night.

It took Maine only 43 seconds to score their first goal of the game as the arena erupted when Robby Dee received a well-placed pass from behind the net by Nyquist, firing a one timer to give Maine an early 1-0 lead.

“We really got it going in the first period and never looked back” said Maine’s Gustav Nyquist.

Penalty trouble plagued North Dakota all night long, and it started early in the first period. On the first power play advantage for the Black Bears, left winger Brian Flynn found open space, taking the pass from Adam Shemansky and beating UND starting goalie Brad Eidsness for the goal to give Maine a 2-0 lead.

Maine found itself on another power play and kept applying the pressure on UND.

Capitalizing on the man-advantage was Flynn; his second of the game, as he found the net with a slick wrist shot over Eidsness’ stick side. Picking up the assists were Spencer Abbott and Gustav Nyquist which allowed Nyquist to pick up his 100th point as a Black Bear.

That ended the night for Eidsness, who is a Sabres prospect, as North Dakota Coach Dave Hakstol yanked the netminder, replacing him with sophomore goalie Aaron Dell.

For the third time in the first period, Maine would go to the power play, but this time North Dakota took charge with Derek Rodwell’s breakaway shorthanded goal at the 10:50 mark of the period, cutting into the lead 3-1.

Will O’Neill re-established the three goal lead for Maine, faking a slap shot, before snapping a wrister to light the lamp and giving Maine a 4-1 lead. Maine captain Tanner House picked up another point on the season with the assist.

With less than four minutes to play in the first period, Nyquist chasing the puck down the ice was met by Dell, who attempted to poke the puck away near the blueline. He fumbled the puck, allowing Nyquist to snap a shot into an empty net, giving Maine a commanding 5-1 lead.

Maine continued the high tempo into the second period.

Only 2:58 into the period, Maine struck again with another empty net goal off a Kyle Beatie’s back hander as a confused Dell came out of the crease to block a Matt Mangene shot, losing his balance as the puck trickled in front of the net for Beatie. Lewiston, ME native Mark Anthoine was credited with an assist on the play.

Midway into the middle frame, House hammered the puck home under Dell’s glove, giving Maine an unprecedented 7-1 lead.
With less than five minutes to go in the second, North Dakota forward Matt Frattin tried to take some of the sting out of the game, scoring a power play goal with a snap shot from beyond the left circle, beating Maine goalie Shawn Sirman.

Maine played less aggressive in the third period, focusing on protecting their 7-2 lead.

The Black Bears were playing in their own zone when, despite their best efforts, allowed Michael Cichy to find the puck, passing it to Brad Malone, who took an odd shot to the side of Sirman.

“That last goal kind of caught me off guard,” said Sirman, “and I can’t let those in.”

In almost every respect, the game was dominated by the Black Bears.

Flynn attributes this success to Maine’s biggest strength, their speed.

“I think our biggest strength as a team is speed,” said Flynn. “We just have to keep our feet moving which is what we were able to do tonight.”

Maine will have a chance to sweep North Dakota tomorrow, but they understand it won’t be an easy task.

“We have a tough challenge tomorrow,” said Nyquist. “They are obviously not happy with the result and it’s going to be even tougher tomorrow, so we have to be ready to play.”

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