Maine Hockey Journal

Nor’easters blanked by Williams

Biddeford, ME – The University of New England men’s ice hockey team had their work cut out for them as they faced off in their first home game of the season against No. 5 ranked Williams College.

It wasn’t the result they were looking for, falling 6-0, but it was experience gained for the Nor’easters on home ice at Biddeford Ice Arena on Friday night.

Although lacking in the scoring department tonight, the Nor’easters played strong defense and were very impressive on the penalty kill, allowing Williams to score on only one of their nine power plays, and keeping the Ephs at bay through two 5-on-3 advantages.

“Taking the penalties is a negative, having the opportunity to practice that with a really good team and to be successful with it is really good,” said UNE coach Brad Holt as he looked at his teams’ penalty kill as one of the positives on the night.

For the first half of the opening period, the two teams seemed to be skating pretty evenly until Williams scored a shorthanded goal at 13:19 on a goal by Connor Olvany. Assisted were credited to Matt Masucci and Brian Malchoff as the momentum turned into Williams favor.

They’d scored twice more in less than three minutes as Ben Contini found the back of the net, beating Mike Roper at the 14:40 mark followed by Malchoff, who tallied his second point of the game with the help of Olvany and Evan Dugdale at 15:37 to end the first period up, 3-0.

UNE allowed only one goal in the second period as Olvany notched his second goal of the night on the power play at 11:06.

The Nor’easters played strong defensively in the second, killing a 5-on-3 power play, and doing a good job of keeping the Ephs out of the middle of the ice, forcing them to shoot from tough angles.

UNE defensemen Russ Franey and Kyle MacLennan both had notable performances, several times blocking passes and spoiling what could have turned into quality scoring opportunities for Williams.

In the third period, Williams added two more goals as Bryden McGhee scored at 13:47, and shortly after, Justin Troiani added an unassisted goal at the 14:40 mark.

Going into the season, it was expected this would another season of growing pains as UNE develops their D-III program in only its second season.

The Nor’easters kept Williams scoreless on another 5-on-3 advantage in the third and goaltender Mike Roper came up big on several occasions, blocking 40 shots total in the game.

Overall, Holt seemed optimistic of his team’s performance and looked at the game as a learning experience.

“Everybody’s fast, everybody moves the puck, they’re really creative and they win all their battles so it’s what we need to do and it’s a great example for us ‘cause we’re really young – really young – and our young players need to understand what it’s like,” said Holt of the Williams’ program. “So, it’s a great lesson, I mean, it hurts, but it’s a great lesson.”

The Nor’easters will take to the ice again to host Middlebury in a 4pm game.

NCAA D-III Scoreboard
Colby – 5; Castleton St. – 3
Colby College overcame a two goal deficit for a 5-3 victory against Castleton St. University Spartan Arena in Rutland, VT on Friday night.

Down 2-0 and 3-1, Colby scored the next four goal unanswered beginning with Colin Murray’s goal midway into the second period.

The Mules tied the game, 3-3, after two periods of play as Nick Trepp and Scott Harff scored within a two minute span late in the period.

With 2:53 left in the game, Senior Wil Hartigan found the rebound off Karl Burns’ wrist shot, beating Castleton goalie Seth McNary.

Dan Nelson added an empty net goal with 14 seconds left.

Cody McKinney made 30 saves to improve to 2-1-0 on the season. McNary suffered his first loss of the season in a 20-save effort.

Colby will travel to Saratoga Springs to battle Skidmore College on Saturday afternoon.

Bowdoin – 6; Skidmore – 7
Bowdoin College suffered their first loss of the season in an offensive shootout as Julian Malakorn scored at the 2:31 mark of overtime to give Skidmore College a 7-6 victory at the Saratoga Springs Ice Rink in Upstate New York.

The Polar Bears found themselves down by as many as four goals, 6-2, after two periods of play before making a comeback in the final period as Jeff Fanning tied the game, 6-6, with only 50 seconds left in the game.

Steve Messina started the game, making 13 saves on 19 shots, before Conner Shannon came into the game in relief where he made 13 saves, allowing only one goal in the losing effort.

Daniel Weiniger tallied five points (1G, 4A), while Kyle Shearer-Hardy (1G, 2A), Graham Sisson (3A) and Harry Matheson (2G, 1A) each scored three points in the game.

Bowdoin will look to get back into the win column with a matchup against Castleton St. on Saturday.

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