ORONO, Maine — Paul Kariya never did it. Neither did Jim Montgomery, Scott Pellerin, Jean-Yves Roy, or Cal Ingraham. In fact, no player in the storied history of Maine Black Bear hockey had ever scored seven points in a game until Friday night.
Maine sophomore left wing Brian Flynn set the school’s single-game scoring record with five goals and two assists to lead Maine to an 8-4 trouncing of the Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks in the first game of a weekend set at Alfond Arena. Flynn’s five goals in a game also tied a school record set by Jay Mazur in 1987.
“I’m surprised someone else hasn’t gotten seven,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead. “I’m happy for Brian. He’s worked extremely hard, and he really earned a lot of bounces tonight.”
Flynn scored twice in the first and third periods and once in the second. The Black Bears rallied for four third-period goals to fend off the River Hawks, who made it a 5-4 game with 13:01 remaining.
“I’m not sure the last time I saw that,” Whitehead said. “That’s remarkable against a really good defensive team.”
Flynn’s previous career-high for points in a game came in November when he tallied five against St. Lawrence.
“You have to congratulate a young man for having a remarkable evening,” Lowell coach Blaise MacDonald said. “He got some fortunate bounces, but most importantly he was able to capitalize on his bounces.”
Maine rebounded from being swept last weekend by Boston University to improve to 15-11-3 and 12-8-2 in Hockey East. Lowell fell to 15-14-2 (9-11-2 Hockey East).
Flynn notched his hat-trick goal just 3:35 into the second period, converting at the net-front, where all five goals would come from. All of Flynn’s goals were scored at even-strength.
“It was kind of one of those days where everything was kind of going our way,” Flynn said. “My two linemates played great tonight.”
Maine’s top line of Flynn, right wing Gustav Nyquist and center Tanner House combined for six goals and ten assists. Nyquist had a goal and four assists and leads Maine with 47 points on the season. House contributed four assists. The line looked for improvement after failing to connect for a goal the previous weekend.
“We weren’t happy with how we played last weekend,” Flynn said. “It was good to pick it back up tonight.”
“They got a little extra rest this week, and you could see the extra jump in their legs,” Whitehead said. “I was proud of how they competed.”
Senior right wing David deKastrozza’s power-play goal 12:42 into the third period gave Maine some needed insurance after Lowell’s Paul Worthington answered Flynn’s fourth goal to make it a one-goal game. Tic-tac-toe passing between Flynn, left wing Spencer Abbott and deKastrozza led to a turn-around shot opportunity at the doorstep.
“That was an impressive play,” Whitehead said. “That was the key goal in the game.”
The Black Bears did not commit a penalty all night, and deKastrozza’s goal made them one-for-three on the power play.
“We took too many penalties at B.U., and we were determined to keep our penalty minutes down tonight,” Whitehead said. “That’s great to see, because it was a pretty hard-hitting game.”
Maine took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission, and opened up a three-goal advantage with Flynn’s hat-trick goal, but the River Hawks battled back with a pair of goals before the second-period horn.
“We were up 4-1 and not very pleased being scored on twice,” Nyquist said. “I think we came out hard (in the third period).”
Maine junior defenseman Jeff Dimmen scored his sixth goal in seven games to cap the Black Bears’ scoring 13:53 into the third period.
Maine outshot their opponents 14-1 in the final period, and goaltender Scott Darling made just 13 saves in the win. He improved to 15-4-3. Carter Hutton took the loss for the River Hawks in relief of Nevin Hamilton, who was replaced after allowing three goals through 17:30 of the first period.
“We were not very good at competing,” MacDonald said. “When you don’t compete, a lot of things go wrong. Maine, you have to give them credit. It seemed like most of the loose-puck battles and puck races were won by a Maine player.”
Lowell has lost five of its last six games. The teams will play again Saturday at 7 p.m.