College Hockey:
Nyquist scores two as Maine tops Vermont

Diamond scores game-winner

— To cap off a thrilling weekend in Orono, Maine, the University of Maine beat the University of Vermont, 4-2.

The Black Bears were led by junior forward Gustav Nyquist, who finished with two goals, including the opener six seconds in, the fastest goal in Maine history.

The Black Bears improve to 12-10-6 and 9-8-4 in Hockey East, while the Catamounts fall to 7-16-5 and 5-12-4 in HEC.

“Give Maine a lot of credit,” Catamounts coach Kevin Sneddon said. “It was a completely different team than we saw last night. I had a feeling that was going to be the case.”

“It was a good bounce back game for us,” Maine coach Tim Whitehead said. “We carried the play, it was a real good answer game for us to bounce back within 24 hours and come out with a real thorough victory.”

The Black Bears came out like a team needing a victory, as Nyquist scored six seconds into the game. Nyquist controlled the faceoff and brought the puck into the Catamounts offensive zone, where he wristed it past junior goalie Rob Madore.

“Good start for us,” Nyquist said. “[junior forward Brian] Flynn drilled the net so hard the goalie couldn’t see much. I got a great screen by Flynn and without that, I wouldn’t have scored.”

Six seconds later, the Catamounts gained an early power play when junior defender Will O’Neill was booked for interference. Sophomore center Matt Mangene joined him less than one minute later for charging, and the Catamounts enjoyed over a minute of five-on-three action.

On the same play, Vermont senior defender Kyle Medvec went crashing into the boards and was down on the ice for a number of minutes. The assistant captain did not return.

Forty seconds into the two-man advantage, the Catamounts tied the score. After sophomore goalie Shawn Sirman stopped a flurry of shots, sophomore forward Sebastian Stalberg beat Sirman for Vermont’s first goal of the game. Senior forward Jack Downing and freshman center Mat White each assisted on the play.

Upon leaving the penalty box, Mangene almost gave the Black Bears the lead, hitting the inside of the post as the puck deflected back toward the ice.

The play went to four-on-four with eight minutes remaining when Maine senior defender Jeff Dimmen was tagged for hitting after the whistle and freshman forward H.T. Lenz followed him to the box for slashing. The Catamounts controlled the majority of four-on-four play.

The Catamounts continued to excel on the power play, taking the lead after junior defender Will O’Neill went to the box for tripping. Downing deflected sophomore forward Chris McCarthy’s shot past Sirman for the lead.

The Black Bears ended the period on a power play when senior defender Dan Lawson went to the sin bin for tripping with 43 seconds remaining.

Vermont was able to kill the remaining seconds of the penalty, as junior forward Brian Flynn hit the post less than two minutes into the period.

The period was marked by a number of penalties, with the Catamounts hitting the box four times, while the Black Bears had two penalties, resulting in a five-on-three late in the period that Maine killed.

With six minutes remaining, the Black Bears made good use of one of those four penalties. After sophomore Tobias Nilsson-Roos was booked for elbowing, junior forward Spencer Abbott took a rip from the blue line. Madore made the initial save, but the rebound landed directly on Flynn’s stick, and he tucked it past Madore for his 14th goal of the season.

Both teams brought the 2-2 tie into the final intermission.

The Black Bears had a commanding advantage in shots in the second period, putting 19 on target compared to only four by the Catamounts.

Six minutes into the final period, the Catamounts had another power-play opportunity when senior defender Mike Banwell was booked with high sticking. Seconds into the man advantage, McCarthy followed Banwell to the box for slashing, giving the Alfond crowd another four-on-four sequence.

After both teams returned to full strength, Abbott came within inches of breaking the tie after hitting the post from the center slot.

Midway through the period, sophomore forward Joey Diamond went to the penalty box for holding the opponents stick.

On the first play after the penalty wrapped up, Diamond controlled the puck behind the Catamounts’ net until he fired a shot that deflected past Madore for the go-ahead goal.

“I was kind of surprised by the [holding] penalty,” Diamond said. “They got the faceoff by the bench and Dee won a great faceoff to O’Neill and he saw me in the neutral zone and dumped it in. I beat the guy to the puck and got a couple steps on him and took it to the net.

“I didn’t feel like I gave him anything,” Madore said. “I don’t know if he was trying to pass it in front or going for the bank. It hit a knee pad in front and some games those bounces go your way some games it doesn’t.”

“We talked about continuing to play hard and good things will happen,” Whitehead said. “Sure enough [Diamond] won that battle behind the net and took advantage.”

After the Catamounts emptied their net with 48 seconds remaining, the Black Bears sealed the victory with 21 seconds left after Nyquist scored with no one in front of him.

“I can’t overstate enough how impressed I was with our kids character this weekend,” Sneddon said. “How hard they competed, it’s something to build off of.”

The Black Bears travel Lowell to take on the University of Massachusetts Lowell next weekend, while the Catamounts go home to take on the University of New Hampshire.

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  • FireWhitehead

    As good as Mogilny is, he shouldn’t save whiteheads job. He can only delay the inevitable. Whitehead after the game thanked the fans for showing up, but in all honesty, he has no fans. A stupid AD gave him a pointless contract extension. Whitehead continually gets outcoached, when will he learn that having a defensive liability on the point in spencer abbott is costing this team powerplay opportunites. FIRE HIM NOW.

    Another thing, Another turrible article by Jesse. I do not know how Maine accepted him as a student.

    • 18SecondsBeforeSunrise

      Your continued whining about the coach is getting old. Don’t you have anything good to say? Maine sucked on Friday night but played quite well last night. Yes, too many penalties and it almost cost them. But they found a way to win. Try enjoying it for a change.

      PS) Abbott has the best shot from the point on the Maine team, is second on the team in overall points, tied with Flynn for most goals, and has 5 power play goals, but you want to take him off of the point because of his lack of defense. Yes, they have given up way too many short-handed goals, but Abbott’s not the main reason.

      PPS) Why don’t you start writing game summaries? Put up or shut up.

      • Slash, burn, rebuild

        To be quite honest, Maine played like crap on Saturday night. If it wasn’t for Joey Diamond saving the day, they probably would have let another game slip away.

        Despite the number of shots on goal they always get, have you noticed there’s never anybody following shots to pick up rebounds? Their lack of penetration is killing them. Basic hockey play that has been completely forgotten. If Whitehead can’t seem to fix that problem, he needs to go.

        • 18SecondsBeforeSunrise

          Hmm, you are entitled to your opinion, but you might want to watch a replay of the 2nd and 3rd periods. Maine outshot Vermont 20-4 in the 2nd, and 10-4 in the 3rd. Also, Nyquist’s 1st goal was a very much assisted by Flynn going hard to the front of the net and screening Madore. Too bad they dont award a point for a great screen. Also, Flynn’s game tying goal was a rebound right in front (left) of Madore. I guess that Flynn got your crash-the-net memo.

          Also, Maine manage to hit 3 posts along the way, thus the score could have been a lot more lop-sided.

          Lastly, Vermont certainly played much better than their record would indicate. Maine played a terrible game on Friday and a solid 2 1/2 periods on Saturday. They just need to make that 3 periods and they can skate with anybody.

          • FireWhitehead

            Just because you outshoot a team, doesn’t mean you are controlling the game. If you have to look at where the shots are coming from, and the block shots. Watching the game, you clearly see that Vermont wasn’t blocking shots, and most of maine’s shots were to the outside. Madore easily saw every shot. If you look at friday nights game, Maine outshot vermont, and who won? Also at one point Vermont had 5 goals on 12 shots. That is a great percentage, it depends on the timing of your shot. Maine may have gotten 1 or 2 goals by getting a rebound, but Vermont had 4 or 5. Vermont just wanted these games more. Maybe Whithead should show the team D3, the mighty ducks, because that team knew how to clear the garbage in front of the net.

            Maybe 18SBS, you should learn more about hockey before you make statements. You are probably a Whitehead fan.

          • Slash, burn, rebuild

            I agree 100%. Maine’s other offensive problem is the lack of surprise. They take the puck down the ice the same way every time, stand in the same spots, throw pucks into the mid-section of goalies, and if a rebound magically escapes the glove of the goalie, there’s usually nobody crashing the net to pick up those rebounds.

            On the second night of the BU homestand, BU knew exactly where the Maine players were going to be and therefore stood in their spots dismantling Maine’s offense. When another team knows exactly where you’re going to skate and put pucks, your offense won’t accomplish anything.

            Whitehead should not only watch and show the team D3, but also the 1993 national championship documentary, where Walsh grills them over the very mistakes that are currently bringing this amazingly talented team down.

  • MainerInExile

    Too many Maine penalties. due to complete lack of discipline on the ice.

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