PORTLAND, Me. — Apparently, the near-record crowd in Portland got what it asked for for the holidays, and the wishes came true in droves.
Six different Black Bears scored a goal and Frank Doyle made 12 saves on 13 shots in his fourth straight start as Maine ran over Vermont 6-1 at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Sunday. The win snapped a two-game skid for the Black Bears, and it gave three players an opportunity to score their first collegiate goals with the Black Bears.
“The crowd was great,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead. “The crowd usually is pretty good here in Portland, and they were really great today. The atmosphere they create is tremendous.”
Wearing their light blue third jerseys for the second time this season, Maine peppered Vermont sophomore Matt Hanson with five shots in the first four minutes of the game, and scored on three of them.
“We were boys among men out there today,” said Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon. “All I can really say is ‘wow.’”
Matt Greyeyes scored his first collegiate goal at 2:07 of the first on a nice feed from behind the net by John Ronan. Ronan escaped a pileup of players behind Hanson and slid the puck in front to a suprisingly wide open Greyeyes, who roofed the puck for the goal.
Less than a minute later, Jeff Mushaluk scored his first goal as a member of the Black Bears on a nice slap shot that also beat Hanson high to the right side.
At 3:39, Brent Shepheard notched his second of the year to give Maine a 3-0 edge. That goal spelled the end of a very short night for Hanson. Travis Russell came in and played well for the Catamounts, allowing three more goals on 39 shots, but the damage was already done.
“It was nice to see the depth of the team,” said Ronan, who racked up two assists on the day. “Personally, I started closing my eyes — maybe I play better that way.”
In the second, Maine’s defense took over, allowing just one shot to reach Doyle in 20 minutes. Goals by Derek Damon and Colin Shields extended the Black Bears’ lead to 5-0.
Josh Soares tallied his first-ever goal at 1:51 of the third period to push the Maine lead to 6-0.
Jeff Corey broke up Doyle’s shutout bid at eight minutes of the third on a nice feed from the right corner by Oriel McHugh.
Ray Jean played the final ten minutes of the game in net for Maine and never faced a shot.