ORONO, Maine — Ever since Boston University skated to a 7-6 overtime win to ruin Maine’s perfect season in 1992-93, the Black Bears have counted Boston University among its top rivals.
On Saturday, the two teams played like it.
No. 1 Maine tallied two momentum-charged first-period goals and hung on to remain unbeaten, edging Boston University 2-1 in front of 5,641 fans at a rowdy Alfond Arena.
Maine unveiled its new third jersey on Saturday, a light blue-based jersey with a black bear on the front, and gave all of the fans in the stands blue t-shirts, creating a sea of blue surrounding the ice.
“I think the fans were a huge factor tonight,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead. “They gave us a lift in the first period, and scoring those two goals early was a big help.”
The game also featured typically chippy play between the two schools, and in the third period that almost cost Maine. The Black Bears killed off two Terrier power plays in the final ten minutes to cement the win.
“It almost seems that when you have those situations and BU starts buzzing that you expect them to score,” said Whitehead, “but there was none of that on our bench tonight.”
As far as the chippy play, Parker twice started yelling at the officials, delaying play, and several more times sent his captain Mark Mullen to talk to him.
“All I can say is that I’m glad we tape the games,” said Parker.
Maine notched the first goal of the game at 3:57 of the first period, capitalizing on Boston’s inability to clear the puck from it’s own zone.
With BU trying desperately to clear the puck, Ben Murphy snared a clearing attempt at the right circle. Murphy twirled to his right and fed true freshman Mike Lundin at the point. Lundin had little time, but managed a weak wrister to the far left post. The puck wriggled on end and fluttered in to Fields, who tried to play it low with his blocker. The puck skipped up and over Fields’ stick and blocker and into the net.
“I had two guys coming at me,” said Lundin. “I just wanted to get the shot off on net.”
Maine pushed the lead to 2-0 at 14:11 when Colin Shields snagged the puck at his own blue line, skated the length of th ice along the right wing boards and blasted a slap shot from the right circle. The shot flew by Fields to the high glove side, pushing the lead to two.
“I thought the defenseman would pinch at me, and he started to,” said Shields. “But he backed off, let me get a shot off.”
Boston University climbed to within one at 11:44 of the second period on a picture perfect pass play.
Tom Morrow slid the puck ahead to Ryan Whitney, who sped down the left boards, drawing the eyes of two Maine defenders. Once in the left corner, Whitney flipped a backhander to Matt Radoslovich in front of the net, and all Radoslavich needed to do was redrect the puck past Doyle for the goal.
Rough play continued in the second frame, with both schools receiving four penalties, although the potential for more penalty time existed.
Maine (7-0-0) travels to Boston College on Friday and to New Hampshire on Saturday, while BU (2-1-1) will host New Hampsire on Friday.