PORTLAND, Maine — The St. Lawrence University men’s hockey team would like to quickly forget their Saturday visit to Portland, Maine’s Cumberland County Civic Center. The Saints of the Eastern College Athletic Conference were trounced by Hockey East’s University of Maine Black Bears 10-1 on the neutral ice in front of 5,279 fans, and stopped the bleeding only after Maine posted an 8-0 advantage on the scoreboard.
“I’m a little embarrassed,” St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh said. “It didn’t matter who they had out there. They played great.”
It was the first time Maine has scored 10 goals in a game since 1997. The Black Bears bested their previous season-high goal total of six just past the midway point of the second period. Maine’s goals came from five different skaters with junior center and captain Tanner House, junior center Robby Dee, and sophomore left wing Brian Flynn leading the charge with two goals apiece. Flynn also assisted on three goals and Dee assisted on two.
“It felt good,” Flynn said of his career-high five point game.
Sophomores Will O’Neill, Gustav Nyquist, and Theo Andersson, and freshman Joey Diamond accounted for the rest of the onslaught.
“It was definitely nice to see it all kind of get put together,” Flynn said.
The line of House, Nyquist, and Flynn generated half of Maine’s scoring in their third game reunited after being a constant combination for the Black Bears last year. They were Maine’s top scoring line a year ago.
“It’s nice to be back with those two guys,” Flynn said. “We kind of picked up where we left off.”
Maine earned four points on the weekend after upsetting third-ranked Mass.-Lowell Friday night and improved to 6-7-1. The Saints fell to 7-6-1 in their first of three regular season games against Hockey East opponents.
“I know that they’re a much better team than that,” Maine coach Tim Whitehead said. “We were fortunate to build a big lead early and we kept playing hard.”
St. Lawrence committed seven of the first eight penalties and paid for five in the game. Maine converted three times on the power play in the first period alone, and on a five-on-three in the second. The Black Bears went five-for-eight with the man advantage while St. Lawrence capitalized on one of two power plays. Maine committed just three penalties in the game.
“We talk a lot about staying out of the box,” Marsh said. “But all we do is talk about it. We have a lot of work to do.”
Each of St. Lawrence’s three goaltenders saw a period between the pipes. Senior Alex Petizian allowed five first period goals and was lifted for classmate Kain Tisi after the first intermission. Tisi allowed three in the second period, and sophomore Robby Moss let two by in the third.
Marsh credited the quality of Maine’s goals.
“They had beautiful goals,” Marsh said. “They were unbelievable tonight.”
Maine sophomore goalie Scott Darling carried a shutout until St. Lawrence junior left wing Jared Keller broke through with less than three minutes remaining in the second period. Darling made 17 saves through two periods and senior Dave Wilson came in for the third.
Dee scored his first goal at even-strength just 29 seconds into the game and was followed by House, Nyquist, and Flynn before adding his second on the power-play with 2:02 left in the first period.
Diamond and Flynn sandwiched even strength goals in the second period around ONeill’s five-on-three tally.
House and Andersson capped the Maine scoring in the third. Andersson’s goal at 16:20 was the first of his career at Maine.