Maine Hockey Journal

UNE surprise Amherst, 5-2

Biddeford, ME – The University of New England men’s ice hockey team earned a huge 5-2 victory over Amherst College (MA) on home ice at the Biddeford Ice Arena Friday evening for their first division win of the season, snapping a seven game losing streak for UNE.

“It’s really important for our program,” said Nor’easters head coach Brad Holt. “We need to show that we’re a better team and that we’re improving and that we’re worthwhile to be in the ECAC East.”

Having a division win is really important for us. It gives us some points and it gets us some momentum. So hopefully we can carry this through the end of the year and keep playing better and better.”

The Nor’easters jumped on the scoreboard first with a power play goal from senior captain Jack Nolin, assisted by Sean Sullivan and Russ Franey at 14:01.

Amherst wasted little time battling back. Trip Wray rushed the puck in and tallied a goal at 14:27 to send the two teams into the intermission tied 1-1.

The second period was almost a repeat of the first.

UNE scored another power play goal, this time Adam Laite set up Paul Kashmanian for the one timer to give UNE the lead again at 2:34, with just one second left on the power play. Scott McManaman also assisted on the goal.

Then, as in the first, Wray would tie it up again for Amherst, firing a wrister over the glove of UNE goaltender Mike Roper at 9:27.

In the third period, the Nor’easters regained the lead again for a third time, this time holding on to it.

Sean Sullivan caught a pass from the point from Biddeford native Tyler Fleurent, spun around and backhanded it in for the game winning goal at 11:08.

“I tried to tip it in,” said Sullivan, “realized I had a lot more time than I thought I did, so then I went to my backhand and slid it in.”

Soon after, Justin Miner would net another one for the Nor’easters, catching a rebound off the right pad of Amherst netminder Cole Anderson – who had just been called in to relieve Nathan Corey after Sullivan’s goal – and firing it home at 12:42 to double UNE’s lead.

Amherst pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, but UNE was able to clear the puck out to Zach Lokey in the neutral zone and pulled away from the Amherst defenders for an easy shot at the empty net, finishing off the scoring at 18:43 for a 5-2 victory over Amherst.

Coach Holt was obviously pleased with his team’s performance.

“They’re becoming more disciplined,” he said. “We took fewer penalties, we’re blocking shots, we’re playing our position, and I think that’s what it’s gonna take for us to be a successful team, and they’re starting to get it – a little late in the year, but we’re starting to get it.”

With tonight’s victory, UNE improves to 1-11 in ECAC East (3-13 overall). UNE will be back in action tomorrow afternoon when they face Hamilton with the hope of building on the momentum from the much-needed win.

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