BOSTON — The University of Maine Black Bears handed Northeastern their first loss at home in a 6-2 victory in front of 4,085 Friday night at Matthews Arena. Led by freshmen forwards Adam Shemansky and Matt Mangene, the Black Bears won their first road game of the season by the largest margin of victory between the two teams since 2007.
We are very pleased with them, said head coach Tim Whitehead. Theyve been playing hard and theyve been playing clean and theyve been chipping in a lot on offense. The younger players are getting more comfortable in the system. Were getting there
The first period got off to a slow start as the first three minutes passed without a single shot on goal. Although both teams were tied at nine attempts apiece, Maine managed to put it in the net first at 17:40 thanks to Shemansky, who snuck one past Chris Rawlings on passes from teammates Matt Mangene and Kyle Beattie.
Where the game lacked in physicality on the ice, it certainly wasnt the case on the Black Bear bench. In the middle of the period, Whitehead had to head to the locker room to get patched up after receiving a stick to his forehead from Black Bear blueliner Mike Cornell. He returned minutes later unfazed.
Im alright, said Whitehead. Ive taken worse hits unfortunately. The doctor thinks it will be around six or seven stitches.
Whiteheads battle wound foreshadowed the physicality to come for the rest of the game. Where penalties and points lacked in the first period, they certainly made up for lost time in the second. A little over a minute into the period, Husky captain Tyler McNeely received a two minute minor penalty for hooking.
Two seconds after that power play expired, Spencer Abbott made it a 2-0 game thanks to help from Adam Shemansky and Brian Flynn.
After a plethora of penalties in the middle frame, Will ONeill made it 3-0 with assists from Spencer Abbott and Brian Flynn.
After Northeastern failed to convert on their power play, Maine responded with a Mike Banwell goal with just 15 seconds left in the second period.
They played a smart game, said Northeastern head coach. They played a high percentage game. They were very composed in the d-zone. They played the way we should play.
After Maines Kyle Solomon scored shorthanded to make it 6-1, Cronin had seen enough and benched freshman netminder Chris Rawlings.
He didnt play well, said Cronin. He had a bad game.
Of the 38 minutes in penalties his team took, Cronin was nonplussed.
Were not going to go anywhere until we start playing with discipline. That doesnt just include penalties, its all over the ice.
The two teams are set to face off again on Saturday at Matthews Arena at 7 p.m.