For the second installment, we take a look at the month that kicked off Hockey East play, it’s the month of November.
November 1-2, at Massachusetts, Mullins Center
Results: T 1-1 & L 2-1
The Black Bears road woes continued as they only collected one point in their Hockey East opener against the Minutemen. Friday saw a goaltender’s duel in which Ouellette and Mastalerz only allowed one goal each in a tying effort. Ben Hutton was the lone goal scorer for the Black Bears.
Saturday night saw the Black Bears containing Umass through one period, but in the second it hit the fan. Eight and a half minutes in Maine gave up a goal, and only 17 seconds later the Minutemen tallied a second goal. The lead was too great as the Black Bears were only able to muster one goal as Devin Shore got his first goal of the year.
Some could argue adapting to the dimensions of Mullins Center (10 feet wider than regulation size). But nonetheless it was a disappointing series for the Black Bears as team they battled and swept a week ago having the Minutemen’s number. But this would one of the many times Maine dropped what now in hindsight were critical conference points.
November 8-9, vs Vermont, Alfond Arena
Results: W 2-0 & L 4-3
The Black Bears battled hard on Friday night that saw late-game heroics in their effort to beat the Vermont Catamounts in their conference home opener. Brody Hoffman and Martin Ouellette were standing tall as both goalies dueled with Hoffman making more of the saves. Maine got a break with just under five minutes left in the gamewhen following a Vermont penalty, Connor Brickley received a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for hitting from behind. This gave the Black Bears a 5-on-3 PP for 53 seconds and a powerplay advantage for the rest of the game. Maine was able to capitalize instantly as Devin Shore found Ben Hutton down-low for the game-winning goal. Steven Swavely was able to tally a powerplay goal of his own to seal it for the Black Bears. Marty collected his first shutout of the season.
Saturday night saw a disappointing game for Maine as the Black Bears got on the board first, but Vermont would be the ones to get the last laugh. Freshman Eric Schurhamer got the scoring started, but Vermont countered with four unanswered goals to put the Black Bears down for the count. Mark Anthoine and Blaine Byron scored but it was too little too late as the Black Bears fell 4-3.
Saturday’s game proved to be one of those games the Black Bears let one get away them as they could’ve won but instead its marked as a loss. This game was one of many times when these loses would come back to bite Maine in the butt.
Friday W 2-0
November 15, vs Boston University, Alfond Arena
Result: W 7-0
In the 120th meeting between these two rivals, Maine clobbered BU 7-0 in an all-around beatdown. Devin Shore and Connor Leen both scored in the first period to make it 2-0. The turning point was in the second when two Black Bear penalties saw them down 3-on-5 penalty kill for 1:25. Fortunate for Maine, BU’s defender blew a tire and Ben Hutton managed to walk in shorthanded and knock in a goal to make it 3-0. The goal was best summed up in my tweet for WMEB Sports below
MAINE GOAL!!!!!! Ben Hutton, the shorty of all shorties, a 3-on-5 SH Goal 10:42 left, 3-0 Maine #gomaine
— WMEB Sports (@SportsWMEB) November 16, 2013
The goals for Maine continued to pile on as Blaine Byron, Bill Norman, & Brian Morgan (2) scored to make it 7-0. Marty stopped 34-of-34 shots to earn the shutout, his second of the season.
While this wasn’t the same BU team from year’s past as this was the first season in the post-Jack Parker era for the Terriers; it was still a huge victory as it set the tone for a series of key victories in the coming weeks.
November 23, vs Boston College, Alfond Arena
Result: W 5-1
Post: Maine Upsets BC
Following Maine’s dominating victory over BU a week prior, they battled against Hockey East juggernaut Boston College in a clash. Maine got on the board early as Devin Shore got the first goal just 37 seconds in. Ben Hutton and Ryan Lomberg followed that up with goals of their own as the Black Bears jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first. Devin Shore knocked in his second of the game off a rebound to make it 4-1 in the second, and Ben Hutton buried one in the third to make it a final of 5-1.
This helped re-establish that home dominance the Black Bears had at the Alfond. Something that was lost a season ago (12-13), but people were beginning to believe in this team as the wins kept piling up.
November 29-30, at Vermont, Gutterson Fieldhouse
Results: L 3-2 & L 5-2
Note this is a non-conference series.
The Black Bears spent their Thanksgiving break up in Burlington to take on the Vermont Catamounts. On Friday, Vermont got on the board first, but Devin Shore and Steven Swavely got goals for the Black Bears in the 2nd to give Maine the lead. But minutes later the Catamounts responded with the equalizer, and late in the third period buried the game-winner to give the Catamounts the victory.
Saturday saw the Catamounts once again getting on the board first in the second period. Steven Swavely tied it up late in the second to make it tied headed into the third. But it didn’t take long for Vermont to jump back ahead just 56 seconds in, from their they asserted their dominance in a 5-2 victory. Devin Shore tallied the second goal late in the losing effort.
I, for the most part, wrote this weekend off. It was a series during break, didn’t expect too much out of this series. It was unfortunate because of how they played weeks earlier against Vermont, but the road woes continued to show. Not to discredit Vermont as they’re a good team, that’s actually in the NCAA Tournament this year.
End of the Month Record: Conference 3-2-1 Overall 3-4-1
Season Record: Conference 3-2-1 Overall 6-6-1
Check back later in the week for more of the season review.