ORONO, Maine — Two years ago, Sacred Heart shocked the Maine Black Bears with a tie at Alfond Arena. After a lackluster first period, Maine made sure there would be no deja vu in 2004.
Todd Jackson, Colin Shields, Cameron Lyall and Keith Johnson all scored goals in the second period to break open a 1-0 game and lead Maine to a 6-0 win over Sacred Heart in front of 5,459 fans Saturday night.
“We talked a little about that game beforehand,” Maine coach Tim Whitehead said. “It can be such a challenge for a goaltender, especially, not to see a shot and then all of a sudden face a two-on-one or a hard shot.”
Frank Doyle made 11 saves for his third shutout of the season against a Pioneers team that couldn’t sustain offensive pressure from the beginning.
“You tend to look at the scoreboard,” Doyle said. “You see that you have just one shot on you and think about what happens if you give one up on one of the next shots, and then you have to re-focus yourself on making the next save.”
Michel Leveille, who finally scored his first goal of the season last Tuesday after leading the team in assists with 16, added three more to the assist column on Saturday, tying him for the team lead with 20 points.
In a lackluster first period, Jeff Mushaluk continued his hot streak with the only Maine goal.
Just one minute into the game, Leveille drew three Sacred Heart defenders into the left corner. With his back to the net, Leveille backhanded the puck to the high slot, hitting Mushaluk, who was cutting in from the blue line. Mushaluk one-timed a slapshot that slid through Pioneers’ netminder Kevin LaPointe’s pads.
“We had to make sure we didn’t get frustrated,” Whitehead said. “We had a couple of guys we needed to calm down. We came out in the second and drove the net better and made it tougher on their goalie.
In all, Maine launched 11 shots in LaPointe’s direction, but connected just once. On the flip side, the lone shot on Doyle in the first 20 minutes was a William Billinghurst offering from just inside the left circle midway through. Doyle turned it aside.
In the third, Dustin Penner notched his sixth goal of the year to cap the scoring with assists from John Ronan and Mike Lundin.