The University of Maine men's ice hockey team won its sixth straight game with 4-3 win over UMass on Friday night at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass. Maine jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but saw the Minutemen score three third period goals to make it a 4-3 final. Spencer Abbott (Hamilton, Ontario) had a goal and an assist for the Black Bears, while Robby Dee (Plymouth, Minn.) netted the game-winner.
Maine improves to 17-10-6 on the season with the win and 14-8-4 in Hockey East play. UMass falls to 6-21-5 overall and 5-16-5 in conference play.
Maine took a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at 12:19 of the first period. Will O'Neill (Salem, Mass.) got the puck to Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) who skated it behind the net. Nyquist found Spencer Abbott near the top of the face-off circle and he fired a shot past UMass goalie Paul Dainton, giving Maine the 1-0 lead. For Abbott, it was his 16th goal of the season.
Neither team was able to notch a goal during the second period, however, the Black Bears had a 35-17 edge in shots on goal after two periods of play.
Maine took a 2-0 lead just 1:30 into the third period goal with a short handed goal. Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) got the puck to Matt Mangene who fired it at the net. Dainton got a piece of it, but the puck had enough momentum to just barely roll across the goal line. The play was reviewed and called a good goal. For Mangene, it was his third goal of the season.
Maine extended its lead to 3-0 at 4:12 of the third period. Nyquist got the puck to Josh Van Dyk (Woodstock, Ontario) who fired the puck past Dainton from the left face-off circle. Van Dyk extended his goal scoring streak to three games with the goal. Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta) also picked up an assist on the play.
UMass got on the scoreboard at 10:46 of the third period when Adam Phillips slide the puck past Maine goalie Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.) from the right face-off circle. Marc Concannon assisted on the play.
Maine answered right back with a goal by Robby Dee just 17 seconds later. Kyle Beattie (Avondale, Ariz.) and Abbott each assisted on the goal by Dee, which was scored from the slot.
UMass then scored goals seven seconds apart by Danny Hobbs and Michael Pereira to pull to within one goal at 4-3. Both team had chances for goals in the final minutes, but the game finished 4-3.
Maine outshot UMass 40-34 in the game. The Black Bears finished 1-for-2 on the power play, while UMass scored a goal in four chances.
Maine goalie Dan Sullivan made 31 saves in goal. He improves to 10-5-1 on the season. Dainton stopped 36 shots for the Minutemen. He falls to 6-16-4 on the campaign.
The Black Bears and Minutemen wrap up the 2011 regular season when face each other on Saturday, March 5 at 7 PM at the Mullins Center.