ORONO, Maine - The University of Maine men's ice hockey team scored two goals each in the second and third period to defeat New Hampshire 4-1 in front of a sell-out crowd at Alfond Arena on Friday night. The Black Bears were led by Josh Soares with two goals and Mike Hamilton added a goal and assist. Ben Bishop had 21 saves in the win. Maine is now 18-9-0 on the season and 11-7-0 in Hockey East play, while New Hampshire is 13-10-4 on the season and 9-6-3 in Hockey East play. Maine has moved into fourth place in the conference standings.
In the first period, the Black Bears took the first eight shots on net, which included one power play. New Hampshire had their first shot on net at 9:35 when Brian Foley dumped the puck in from the red line. On the Wildcats' first power play chance, Brad Flaishans and Matt Fornataro had shots saved by Ben Bishop (Des Peres, Mo.). In the period, Maine had an eleven to five lead on shots.
Maine came out of the locker room fast, as Greg Moore (Lisbon, Maine) placed a pass to Josh Soares (Hamilton, Ontario), but the shot was saved by Kevin Regan. The Black Bears then had 38 seconds of five-on-three play, but were not able to score.
However with Maine still on the power play, Billy Ryan (Milton, Mass.) scored on a shot from the right circle past Regan's left side. Mike Hamilton (Victoria, B.C.) and John Hopson (Prince George, B.C.) had assists at 4:01 in the period. With the teams skating four-on-four, the Wildcats tied the game with a goal by Andrew Leach. He was assisted by Brad Flaishans and Brian Yandle at 11:41. Just after a Maine power play expired, Mike Lundin (Apple Valley, Minn.) chipped the puck up to Greg Moore on the left boards, who centered to Josh Soares for the goal at 14:57. The team's skated four-on-four for much of the remainder of the period, with New Hampshire having several scoring chances at the 18:30 mark. Maine had a 19 to eleven lead on shots in the period.
The Black Bears again came out of intermission fast, as Mike Hamilton added a goal at 1:13. Michel Léveillé (Levis, Quebec) took an initial shot, then Bret Tyler (Maynard, Mass.) shot the rebound and it deflected out to Hamilton on the right side of the net for the goal. The penalties began to add up for both teams as play continued, with several more four-on-four opportunities. With 2:24 remaining in the game, New Hampshire pulled Regan from the net. Maine was able to keep the puck in the Wildcats' zone and Josh Soares added an empty net goal at 18:04. Derek Damon (Bangor, Maine) had the assist on the goal. For Damon, it marked his 100th career point at Maine and becomes the 44th Black Bear to reach that milestone. Several more penalties marred the end of the game, but Maine came away with the 4-1 win. In the third, Maine had an eleven to six edge on shots.
In goal, Maine's Ben Bishop had one goal against and 22 saves. For New Hampshire, Kevin Regan had three goals against and 37 saves. Maine had nine penalties for 26 minutes and New Hampshire had eleven penalties for 33 minutes. On power plays, Maine was 1-4 and New Hampshire was 0-2. For the game, Maine outshot the Wildcats 41 to 22.