Maine Hockey Journal

Maine sweep weekend series against No.2 North Dakota

Orono, ME — Opening the second game to the weekend series, the University of Maine men’s ice hockey team looked to sweep the No. 2 team in the nation, North Dakota. Brian Flynn scored the game winner early in the third period as Maine completed the sweep, winning 4-2 in front 5,361 at Alfond Arena on Saturday night.

“I think this was the best 60 minute game I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” said Maine forward Brian Flynn.

Both teams skated to a scoreless first period, but not without having several chances to score. North Dakota goaltender Aaron Dell got the start, stopping numerous chances for Maine, including two power play opportunities.

North Dakota would strike first, scoring at 13:25 of the second period, when Sioux defenseman Ben Blood found himself in front of the net, capitalized on a big rebound off the right leg pad of Maine goalie Dan Sullivan.

Blood’s rebound recovery was his first goal this season, giving UND a 1-0 lead.

Just minutes later, with Maine on the power play, Gustav Nyquist took advantage of the lack of coverage picking up the rebound and roofed it home at 16:04 to tie the game at 1-1.

A little more than two minutes later, at 18:17, the momentum for Maine continued as Joey Diamond skated around the net and wrapped it around the post, beating Dell on the glove side to take the lead 2-1.

It didn’t take long for Maine to find their third goal of the game, only 54 seconds into the period. Black Bears’ winger Brain Flynn received a pass just ahead of him and fired a snapshot under the Dell’s right blocker to give Maine a two goal lead.

At 6:39, Maine pulled further ahead with a Spencer Abbott bomb from beyond the left circle past Dell. Abbott recorded his second point in the game with his goal at Maine took a three goal lead at 4-1.

Less than two minutes later, Sullivan may have been star struck by how well his team was playing because the Sioux forward Matt Frattin scored an easy shorthanded goal to bring the game to within two goals, 4-2.

“I wanted to definitely forget that one and concentrate on not letting (North Dakota) back in the game and thought that I did that,” said Sullivan. “We did a great job defensively in the last couple of minutes and we kept the puck out of our end.”

Last night was the first time since 2008, a 2-1 win against Boston College, Maine has beaten a No.2 ranked team in the nation. Tonight, they did it again and Maine head coach was very impressed with the team response to the weekend challenge.

We just continued to do what we were doing well and stay focused, stay disciplined, and capitalize when we get a chance,” said Whitehead.

Much of Maine’s success was attributed to the 23 saves made by rookie goalie Dan Sullivan, who improves to 1-1-0 on the season and Whitehead was extremely pleased with the performance of his first-year, starting goalie.

“Both guys made tremendous stops all night” said Whitehead. “For a freshman, I thought he showed a lot of poise and a lot of confidence and again some key stops.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply