Men’s Hockey: Maine Tops Vermont 6-2

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

ORONO, ME. – The Black Bear power play used three conversions to fuel a 6-2 Hockey East victory for Maine over Vermont on Saturday night at Alfond Arena in the Catamounts’ final league contest of the first half.

The loss drops UVM to 4-10-2 (1-6-2 HEA), while the Black Bears snap their five-game winless streak in the series and improve to 6-7-1 (4-4-1 HEA).

Vermont opened the scoring at 4:19 of the first period when Brian Bowen ripped a shot blocker side on Jeremy Swayman (39 saves) on the power play from the high slot. Ross Colton collected the lone assist on Bowen’s first of the year.

Maine responded less than four minutes later on a 5-on-3 after a pair of tripping penalties on UVM. Rob Michel teed up a one-timer from the right faceoff dot and beat Stefanos Lekkas (28 saves) high blocker side on a slight tip from Chase Pearson.

The Black Bears then took their first lead on another man advantage later in the frame as Tim Doherty lifted a rebound over Lekkas’ right pad at 13:54. A scrum ensued after the goal, resulting in Derek Lodermeier and Patrick Shea receiving facemasking majors and game misconducts.

Brendan Robbins’ wrister through a screen 3:15 into the middle frame gave Maine a 3-1 lead as the right-wing effort found the short side.

After falling behind by two, UVM carried the play and cut the lead in half with its fourth power play tally of the weekend. Colton’s right circle shot was stopped by Swayman, but Craig Pufferlocated the rebound and snuck a shot past the rookie netminder. Rob Darrar picked up an assist on the goal and the Black Bears’ advantage was 3-2 with 8:12 left in the second.

The Catamounts came close to tying the score, firing 20 shots on the Maine net in the frame, but the Black Bears restored their two-goal cushion on a point shot from Nolan Vesey which fluttered through traffic with 1:55 remaining.

Vesey added an insurance goal with seven minutes left in regulation on a back door feed from Pearson, and Patrick Holway potted a lengthy empty-net goal in the closing seconds to secure the win.

UVM finished the night with a 41-34 edge in shots and closed the series 4-for-10 on the power play. Bowen registered a game-high eight shots on goal.

Vermont closes the first half against the ECAC’s Brown Bears at home next Saturday (Dec. 9) at 7:05 p.m. Saturday marks the annual Teddy Bear Toss at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Fans are asked to bring a teddy bear to toss on the ice between the second and third periods, and all bears will be donated to local kids in need this holiday season.