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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Black Bears maul #2 North Dakota in series opener


Alfond Arena sounded more like it was hosting a brass concert than a hockey game with all of the horns that sounded off during this out of conference contest.

The Black Bears came ready to defend their turf against the then undefeated Fighting Sioux.  Maine struck early and often as they ousted North Dakota 7-3.  Gustav Nyquist scored his first goal of the season and had two assists, while Brian Flynn notched two power play goals.  Sophomore Shawn Sirman also picked up his second victory on the year.

Senior forward Robby Dee netted a goal just 43 seconds into the game to give Maine the early lead.  This was just a foreshadowing of things to come, as just over two minutes later, Flynn punched the net with Maine’s second goal.  The offensive onslaught would not let up, as once again Flynn would score a power play goal. Flynn’s strike was then followed by a goal by both Will O’Neal and Nyquist, all happening in the first period.  The five goals would be enough to oust the Sioux, but the Black Bears would push two more across in the second, off the sticks of Kyle Beattie and captain Tanner House.

After Maine’s second game with seven or more goals this season, they now boast the top four point scorers in the conference, while Spencer Abbott leads in points (9) and is tied for first in goals (4).

Sirman picked up the win saving 19 of 22 shots.  North Dakota would however score three by way of Derek Rodwell (1st), Matt Frattin (2nd), and Brad Malone (3rd).

The Sioux looked unready for the Alfond faithful and the rested Black Bears, but they should be well adjusted for the second game tonight.  The Mainiacs were rowdy all night as North Dakota had to change net minders after nine plus minutes when Brad Eidness had given up three goals on five shots.  Chants of ‘this is our house’, rang throughout the 33 year old building as Maine looked more like the second best team in NCAA than the Sioux.

This victory for Maine will bring up a very exciting game two in the series, as North Dakota will be hungry for a win a salvage their 1,500 mile trip to Orono.  One thing is for sure though, Maine looks ready to put up some big numbers at home this season.  With that in mind, be sure you make the trip up to watch them whenever you can.

Bryan Stackpole is the sports director and a play-by-play announcer  for WMEB 91.9 FM, Orono, ME.  He is the voice of UMaine football, basketball, and baseball.  You can listen to game two of the Maine vs. North Dakota series, live on 91.9 FM and streaming at  WMEB is your only commercial free home of UMaine hockey and sports all season long.


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