PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The University of Maine men’s ice hockey team dropped a 4-3 decision to Providence College on Friday night at Schneider Arena in Providence, R.I. The Friars jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one period of play and despite a valiant effort, the Black Bears were unable to come back. Maine sees its six-game winning streak snapped and falls to 16-9-3 on the season and 11-8-2 in Hockey East play. Providence improves to 11-14-2 overall and 9-10-1 in conference play.
Providence took a 1-0 lead at 9:23 of the first period. Tim Schaller carried the puck into the zone and fired a shot on Maine goalie Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.). He made the initial shot, but the rebound went right to Matt Bergland in the slot. He pushed the puck towards the goal and it crossed the goal line under a sliding Maine defender. Drew Brown also assisted on the goal.
Bergland made it a 2-0 lead for the Friars at 12:26 of the first. Brown had a shot and the rebound went right to Bergland in the right face-off circle. He fired the puck into the back of the net to extend the Friar lead.
The Friars extended their lead to 3-0 at 18:22 of the third period. Stefan Demopoulos dished the puck to Shane Luke in the crease. Luke redirected the puck past Sullivan and into the back of the net. For Luke, it was his third goal of the season.
Maine got on the board at 3:57 of the second period. Nick Pryor (Woodbury, Minn.) carried the puck into the zone and fired a shot that was deflected in front. Matt Mangene (Miller Place, N.Y.) got a stick on it and deposited it into the back of the net. For Mangene, it was his 12th goal of the season. Spencer Abbott (Hamilton, Ontario) also assisted on the goal.
Maine pulled to within one goal at 18:08 of the second period. In the defensive zone, Matt Mangene found Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) who skated in a on a two-on-one odd man rush with Abbott. Abbott received a great pass from Flynn and beat Providence goalie Alex Beaudry stick side. For Abbott, it was his 16th goal of the season.
Maine had several great chances to tie the game late in the period and drew a penalty, but was unable to get the equalizer. Sullivan made several outstanding saves, including stopping a breakaway, and the game remained 3-2 after two periods of play.
Providence extended its lead to 4-2 at 7:02 of the third period when the Friars scored on an odd-man rush. Tim Schaller kept the puck and fired it past Sullivan for his 12th goal of the season. Bergland and Daniel New each assisted on the goal for the Friars.
Maine cut the deficit to just one goal at 18:50 when Joey Diamond (Long Beach, N.Y.) redirected a Matt Mangene shot into the back of the net. For Diamond, it was his 18th goal of the season. Will O’Neill (Salem, Mass.) also assisted on the goal.
Maine goalie Sullivan made 28 saves in goal for the Black Bears. He falls to 15-6-3 on the season. Alex Beaudry made 27 saves for the Friars and improves to 10-14-2.
Providence outshot Maine 32-30 in the game. The Black Bears were 0-for-3 on the power play, while Providence was scoreless in two chances. The Black Bears saw their streak of 19 straight games scoring a power play goal come to an end on Friday night as well.
The Black Bears return to action on Saturday, Feb. 11 when they travel to UMass Lowell. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 PM at Tsongas Arena.