ORONO, Maine — Scott Munroe almost stole the show in Orono on Friday. Instead, Frank Doyle made history.
Doyle stopped 15 shots to record his fifth shutout of the season and seventh of his career in Maine uniform, and freshman Mike Lundin scored his third goal of the season in the first period as Maine held on to upend Alabama-Huntsville 1-0 at Alfond Arena.
The win gives Maine another 20-win season, and the shutout by Doyle set school records for both the season and for a career.
Nonetheless, Maine had its hands full with College Hockey America’s second-place team, which held Northern Michigan to a tight one-goal win and a tie last weekend. Munroe made 35 saves for the Chargers.
“This was a hard-fought game,” Maine coach Tim Whitehead said. “We expect it to be the same tomorrow, too. I almost feel lucky to get two points out of tonight.”
After sweeping New Hampshire last weekend, the potential for a Maine letdown was there.
“Perhaps it’s human nature that we play like that after a big weekend,” Whitehead said. “Perhaps our guys felt it would be easy tonight at the beginning. They won’t feel that way tomorrow, though.”
Maine’s power play, so potent last weekend, seemed to dissipate on Friday. Though Lundin’s goal was a power-play tally, the Black Bears were just 1-of-8 with the extra skater, reverting to their midseason form.
Lundin gave the Black Bears their only offense in the first period on a wrist shot from the right point.
Michel Leveille dropped the faceoff back to Colin Shields on the left point. Shields feigned the shot and slid the puck to his right, setting Lundin up for the shot. Once airborne, the shot hit a Huntsville defender in the hip and sailed past Munroe into the top right corner for the goal.
The Black Bears, favorites in the game, looked sluggish in the first half of the opening frame, allowing the Chargers to scurry around the Maine zone. At one point, Alabama-Huntsville had a 6-2 shot advantage, but the Black Bears recovered to outshoot the Chargers 11-8 in the first.
Maine continued to pummel Munroe in the second, outshooting the Chargers 14-4, but Munroe and the Chargers defense were equal to the task.
Offensively, Alabama-Huntsville couldn’t gain any momentum, though, and offered no scoring chances, and in the third, neither team could muster much offense, although Maine did outshoot the Chargers 35-15 overall.