Marty Leads Black Bears Past Merrimack

Martin Ouellette was on fire stopping all 29 shots in a terrific shutout performance with the Black Bears coming out on top 2-0.

This was Marty’s fourth shutout of the season (Other three were 11/8 vs. UVM, 11/15 vs. BU, 12/28 vs. Princeton)

No save came more important than with 30 seconds left when Hampus Gustafsson intercepted a Devin Shore pass in the Black Bear zone and had a breakaway chance. Marty flat out stopped the chance as many in Black Bear nation’s heart sunk before breathing a sigh of relief moments later.

“I was able to come out and I got his shot right against my chest. Then I was able to cover it.” Said Ouellette after the game. His save was the defining moment of the game and by far the biggest save Marty has made, as he’s had some contenders for that title this season.

Marty makes big save in crunch time. Photo courtesy of Matt Dewkett Photography

Marty makes big save in crunch time. Photo courtesy of Matt Dewkett Photography

When tweeting for WMEB Sports, I simply put it

The game got off to a great start for Maine as a second over two minutes into the game. Senior Mark Anthoine fired a backhander than was off-speed catching Rasmus Tirronen off-gaurd. “The puck bounced to [Cerretani] up high and he had his head up. Instead of throwing it back down behind the net, he had enough poise to throw it at the net. It hit Swavely and bobbled around. I kicked it [to my stick] and just threw it on net.”

Shore hustles to negate icing. courtesy of Black Bears athletics

Shore hustles to negate icing. courtesy of Black Bears athletics

Devin Shore was able to notch his fourteenth goal of the season on an empty net with 16 seconds left as he hustled to a prevent an icing call as he was able to outrace the defender and knock the puck in the net to punch Maine’s ticket to Providence. It’s plays like these in why Devin Shore is the best player on the team with hustle like that in moments like these.

Merrimack was able to stay in the game as Rasmus Tirronen was having a great night himself only allowing the one goal all night, stopping 33 shots total. He faced as much pressure as Marty, if not more as he had some spectacular saves himself.

Both teams were able to stay disciplined for most of the game as both teams only got 5 penalties each. Neither team was able to capitalize off power plays in this one.

My final thoughts are that the Black Bears played well enough to win. There’s still work to be done, but it’s a great first step.

After the game, Mark Anthoine said:

This team still has work to done as they haven’t scored on the powerplay in their last 17 attempts. Their last powerplay goal was in the first period against Northeastern (Sat 2/22) by Ben Hutton. I imagine this will be a major point of emphasis this week in practice as Providence has one of the best penalty kills in conference.

The other thought in being how this team has struggled on the road, but that at this point it doesn’t mean anything. This team knows that it needs to win or else the season is over.

The (6) Black Bears will travel to Schneider Arena home of the (3) Providence Friars, whom Maine played last weekend. The series is best 2-out-of-3 with the winner heading to the TD Garden in Boston for the Hockey East semifinals.

Schedule:

Game 1 – Friday, March 14, 7:00 pm

Game 2 – Saturday, March 15, TBD

Game 3 – Sunday, March 16, TBD (if necessary)

Check back in during the week as I’ll write a preview for this weekend’s series.

Alex Quirk

About Alex Quirk

Alex covers UMaine Hockey for WMEB Sports, the sports department at WMEB 91.9 FM, as the sideline reporter/live-tweeter during the games. .