The College of Maine’s ninth-ranked hockey group deserved a greater destiny in its pair of one-goal losses at No. 8 Boston College final weekend, particularly Saturday night time.
In Friday night time’s 3-2 loss, the penalty-killing price the Black Bears as BU scored on its first three energy play possibilities. That’s the first time this season that UMaine surrendered a couple of energy play objective in a recreation.
However they rallied from a 3-1 deficit and had possibilities to tie it solely to have BU goalie Mathieu Caron give you some key saves down the stretch.
Caron was the story once more in Saturday’s 5-4 loss as he made 39 saves, together with two within the ultimate minute that UMaine head coach Ben Barr termed “game-savers” to allow his Terriers to carry on after almost blowing a 5-2 third-period lead.
UMaine outshot BU 43-24 on Saturday however Caron clearly outplayed UMaine senior goalie Victor Ostman, who was lifted within the third interval after surrendering 5 targets on simply 20 photographs. Freshman Albin Boija had a powerful debut as he stopped all 4 photographs he confronted within the 9 minutes and 20 seconds he performed.
“Victor was common on Saturday whereas their child made some unbelievable saves,” Barr stated. “Their goalie performed higher than ours. However Victor wasn’t the rationale we misplaced the sport.”
He defined that the group doesn’t have “an enormous margin of error” towards groups in Hockey East, particularly whereas taking part in on the highway.
“I can’t be upset with how the blokes performed. We went into their constructing and performed among the best groups within the nation, if not the perfect group, and we enforced our will on them,” Barr stated.“However we nonetheless misplaced. If we need to be the perfect, we’ve to seek out methods to win these video games.”
No person has performed a harder early-season schedule than UMaine and the Black Bears are presently sporting a 6-3-1 file and are ranked tenth on this week’s U.S. School Hockey On-line ballot and twelfth within the USA Hockey ballot. Boston School is second and tied for first within the polls, respectively, at 9-2-1; defending nationwide champ Quinnipiac, with whom UMaine break up a sequence at Quinnipiac, is third in each at 9-3-1; and BU is fifth in every at 8-3-1.
The Black Bears additionally swept Merrimack on the highway and Merrimack was an NCAA Event group a yr in the past.
BU coach Jay Pandolfo was impressed with UMaine and stated the sequence reminded him of the thrill that accompanied the video games between the 2 colleges when each had been constantly competing for nationwide titles.
“Maine has an excellent group. They’re exhausting to play towards,” Pandolfo stated. “They preserve coming at you, and their defensemen pinch on a regular basis. They don’t stop, they don’t surrender.”
He added that Maine’s prime all-New Brunswick line of senior captain Lynden Breen between freshman brothers Josh and Bradly Nadeau is “harmful.”
“Each time they’ve the puck, they’re going to make a play,” Pandolfo stated.
Proper winger Josh Nadeau, the older of the brothers, presently has a six-game factors streak by which he has racked up two targets and 7 assists. Breen and Bradly Nadeau have every registered not less than a degree in 5 of their final six video games with Breen tallying three targets and 5 assists and Bradly Nadeau posting 5 targets and three assists.
Josh Nadeau leads the group in scoring by way of 10 video games with 4 targets and 9 assists; brother Bradly has seven targets and 5 assists and Breen has 4 & 8.
Whereas the penalty killing struggled over the weekend, permitting 4 targets on eight makes an attempt, the ability play went 3-for-7 and has now scored in three straight video games after going by way of an 0-for-22 funk.
“Our penalty killing has to get higher, particularly towards groups like that,” Barr stated. “It’s important to shut them down on entry [into the UMaine zone]. For those who allow them to arrange within the zone, they’re like an NHL group.”
Barr was happy with the play of his three freshmen defensemen, Liam Lesakowski, Bodie Nobes and Ryan Hopkins, together with freshman heart Sully Scholle and the all-sophomore line of Felix Trudeau between Reid Pabich and Bentley College switch Nicholas Niemo, who picked up his first UMaine objective on Saturday.
Niemo turned the 14th Black Bear to attain a objective this season and scoring depth is one thing the group wants.
Barr additionally favored Boija’s efficiency.
BU has 14 NHL draft decisions to UMaine’s one: Carolina Hurricanes first-round decide (thirtieth total) Bradly Nadeau. Eight of their draft decisions had been chosen within the first three rounds and freshman heart Macklin Celebrini is projected to be the primary total decide in June.
The earlier weekend, UMaine earned a win and a tie at dwelling towards Boston School, which additionally has 14 NHL draft picks together with 4 first-rounders.
UMaine was with out injured junior heart and energy ahead Nolan Renwick and sophomore defenseman Grayson Arnott towards BU and its lineup had 13 freshmen and sophomores among the many 19 skaters.
The tradition has modified dramatically over Barr’s three seasons.
This group now goes into video games anticipating to win, not simply hoping to win. The gamers imagine in themselves.
It’s within the dialog for this system’s first NCAA Event berth since 2011-12 though it’s nonetheless very early within the marketing campaign.
“This group performs actually exhausting,” stated Barr, who famous that the one sub-par efficiency they’ve had got here within the 4-1 loss to Quinnipiac on the second night time after profitable the opener 2-1 in time beyond regulation.
The Black Bears are off this weekend earlier than entertaining the stunning New Hampshire Wildcats (twelfth, tenth in polls) on Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. and UConn two days afterward Sunday at 5 p.m.
There aren’t any straightforward wins on their Hockey East schedule in order that they need to preserve getting higher. The league is significantly better this yr than it was a yr in the past. Since UMaine is such a younger group, its enchancment ought to be extra dramatic than a veteran group’s enchancment.
The very fact they’ve performed constantly properly and have extra depth than they’ve had in a very long time is an excellent signal.
However they can not afford to get complacent and take something with no consideration.
They need to proceed to outwork their opponents and use their velocity and physicality to restrict their opponents’ time and house with the puck and to increase forechecks within the offensive zone.