In the 120th meeting between these two rivals, Maine won convincingly over BU 7-0 at Alfond Arena Friday Night.
The Black Bears, coming off a split against Vermont, were looking to prove to the 4,494 fans in attendance that this team was making strides. They did so by absolutely demolishing the rival Terriers in Maine’s first home win against BU since November 8, 2009. Maine’s offense came from six different Black Bears as Devin Shore, Connor Leen, Ben Hutton, Blaine Byron, Brian Morgan, & Bill Norman each scored goals with Morgan getting the seventh.
Maine got on the board 10 minutes in as Devin Shore fired a shot near the board, and the puck trickled through Maguire’s equipment to end up in the back of the net to make it 1-0 Maine.
“I was alone. There wasn’t anybody with me so I just threw it to the net and it went under his blocker and over his pad,” said Shore.
Maine continued to battle, after drawing two penalties in the last minute, Maine capitalized. On the 5-on-3 powerplay late in the 1st period, Devin Shore fired a shot on Sean Maguire, a rebound went right to Connor Leen’s stick and he buried it past Maguire with just 6 seconds left to give Maine the 2-0 lead headed into the locker room.
BU began to fought back, and following penalties by Connor Leen and Jon Swavely, Maine was looking at a 3-on-5 for 1 minute and 25 seconds. About 40 seconds into the penalty-kill, Ben Hutton forced a turnover, took the puck into the offensive zone. He then fired it on net, the puck trickled off of Maguire’s leg pads and went into the net to make it 3-0. As I put it on the WMEB Sports twitter page:
BU head coach David Quinn said, “As fragile as a group that we are now, to give up the third goal the way we did really demoralized us.”
At this point Quinn went to his second goalie in Matt O’Connor to check in for Maguire. Maine continued to roll as just a few minutes later Brian Morgan sent a beautiful cross pass to Blaine Byron on a exposed O’Connor to make it 4-0 with just under five minutes left in the second period. Brian Morgan added on by scoring a goal via a deflection from an Eric Schurhamer shot from the point to make it 5-0, it would stay that way going to the 2nd intermission.
At this point in the game, Maine put the game in cruise control. Despite getting outshot 12-7 in the third period, Bill Norman managed to score off a turnover and Brian Morgan scored on a 2-on-1 to put the final nail in the coffin 7-0.
“The thing that pleased me the most was we scored seven goals,” Said coach Red Gendron after the game. He should be happy as literally days ago him saying “I’m angry.”, he obviously knows Maine needs to keep fighting as the hill will only get steeper from here.
This game was a historic victory in the rivalry, in terms of the records books. Back on November 16, 1991 at Walter Brown Arena in Boston, MA, Maine defeated BU 8-1 making the largest defeat in the rivalry seven. However that game was forfeited following NCAA sanctions on Maine in the mid-90’s, so the game is invalid. This 7-0 victory fills in as the official placeholder of the record for largest defeat in rivalry history. There were three instances of games with a six-goal differential in the history of the rivalry.
Marty played well yet again as he’s continued to solidify his legacy as one of the greatest goaltenders at Maine. Now his second shutout in three games, if asked if he was on a groove, he downplayed it giving praise to the boys [Maine] that support him like in this photo on the left and I love it.
Overall Maine played really well, the fact that they haven’t gotten a lot of offense in most of their games, it’s a breath of fresh air as they quite the challenge ahead of them. Maine showed hustle and gave that 60 minute effort that I’ve been chirping about all season. That tendency to ease up after scoring one goal wasn’t there Friday night.
Another positive is the improvement of their even strength play; a team that was struggling on offense just a few weeks ago is now firing on all cylinders. While I don’t expect Maine to put 7 up on BC, it’s still an improvement from a team that has scored 4+ goals four times through 10 games.
Maine’s discipline was very key in this game, the game featured a lot of physicality, with chipping during/after the whistle. But Maine was able to keep their cool especially with hot heads like Jake Rutt who managed not to draw a penalty. Maine did an excellent job and it’ll help them down the road as we get into the meat of the schedule. In fact their discipline lead to Blaine Byron drawing a penalty that led to that 5-on-3 powerplay which resulted in Maine’s second goal.
Maine and BU will meet again on January 14th, 2014 at Fenway Park as part of Frozen Fenway. Maine will host #7 Boston College Saturday night in a big matchup. BU rebounded Sunday by winning 4-1 over UConn, they will host #15 North Dakota in Boston, MA Friday and Saturday night.
Check in later this week where I’ll have a preview on this weekend’s matchup with BC.