Maine Hockey Journal

Torris earns first win with a shutout against Colby, 3-0

Gorham, ME – Looking to avoid starting the season winless in their first three games, the University of Southern Maine men’s ice hockey team prevailed behind the stellar play of goaltender Braely Torris, defeating Colby, 3-0, at the USM Ice Arena in ECAC East/NESCAC action.

The first-year Husky turned away all 38 shots to earn his first career NCAA victory along with the shutout as a member of the USM men’s hockey program.

“It was a good all around team effort,” Torris said. “The defense cleared guys out in front of the net and our forwards put back pressure on their forwards coming into the zone, which kind of made it easier for me to read the rush.”

Colby's Will Hartigan tries to get around USM's Chris LaCount (PHOTO: Jennifer Rose)

USM was on the board first, late in the first period, as sophomore defenseman Shane Harvey shot one from the right side of the blue line off of a feed from forward Mike Greene. The goal was Harvey’s first of his career. Despite taking a 1-0 lead into the locker room, as was the case for the entire game, Colby was right with USM, and actually had better looks at the net during the contest.

“We seemed a little slow and flat at first,” USM Head Coach Jeff Beaney said. “I think that both teams were feeling each other out for most of the first period and things settled in. Our games with Colby are always really pretty good games.”

If things were even in the first, the Mules put even more pressure on Torris during a 16-shot second period.

Colby senior Karl Burns took a slap shot from about 20-feet out with 11:30 remaining in the second, and was denied. Torris was clearly focused, as the puck actually popped over his head while crouched, and landed behind him. The combination of awareness and luck led the goalie to make the save the near goal.

“We had some rebound chances that we just didn’t get to,” said Colby Head Coach Jim Tortorella, “so I attribute that to his guys for holding us back from those rebound chances, and then you make your own luck. I don’t think we generated any of that.”

“That’s how the game’s played, sometimes you just don’t get those bounces and you got to keep working hard and plugging through and maybe you get those sometimes.”

Colby's Nick Kondiles in a game vs. USM (PHOTO: Jennifer Rose)

Colby’s efforts and chances of winning the affair took a turn for the worse toward the end of the second period, as senior defenseman Paul Conter went top shelf against Colby goaltender James Lemonias. The goal occurred just after a Colby penalty had expired, and was assisted by sophomore forward David Nies.

The Mules had power play chances, point blank shots, and crashed the net like a pack of wolves to outshoot the Huskies 32-20 halfway through the third period. But, with the freshman from Alberta between the pipes, nothing could go wrong.

I felt great out there,” Torris said. “All the guys were excited about the home opener, as well as I, so it kind of gave us a little extra energy.”

Down 2-0 late in the third period, Tortorella was forced to pull his goaltender and go with an extra attacker. The attempt failed when USM’s Greene found the empty net for his first career goal, and his second point of the night.

“You play the defending champions, and it’s pretty much an even game to the last minute, and I think you get some confidence,” Beaney said.

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