PORTLAND – University of Maine junior center Tommy Reimann knew he had to try to return to the ice after reinjuring his shoulder on the first shift of Sunday afternoon’s game against Dartmouth College in front of 5,784 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
He was back on the ice in the second period and scored a critical shorthanded goal with 42 seconds left in the period to regain a two-goal lead and lead the Bears to a 4-1 triumph over the Big Green.
Maine is now 11-6-3 overall and is 8-2-1 in its last 11. Dartmouth fell to 7-6-1.
“We were missing some pretty good players so I knew I had to suck it up and play,” said Reimann, referring to centers Marty Kariya [flu] and Chris Heisten [sprained ankle] and right wing Donny Richardson [broken thumb]. Kariya had four goals and an assist in Friday night’s 5-4 win over Providence.
Reimann, who received treatments in the locker room during the first period, was set up beautifully by Niko Dimitrakos after freshman goalie Dan Yacey coughed up the puck.
“I pressured him and he turned it over right to Niko,” said Reimann. “I snuck around the net and all I had to do was tap it in. It was a great play on Niko’s part. I’m lucky I didn’t have to shoot it much.”
Dimitrakos said he thought the puck was going to bounce over his stick due to the ice conditions “but I was able to knock it down. The goalie put all his focus on me and as I was about to shoot it, I changed the direction of my stick and got it to Tommy.”
Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet called it a “backbreaker” and the Maine players concurred.
“It was a giant goal,” said Maine senior goalie Mike Morrison, who finished with 31 saves, including 15 in the third period as Dartmouth pressed to get back into the game.
“We definitely had a lot of good chances. Morrison played very well. He stacked his pads [on the initial shots] and also stopped the rebounds,” said Dartmouth senior center Jamie Herrington.
Maine interim head coach Tim Whitehead said Reimann’s return was important as it enabled him to continue to use all four lines.
“And Tommy played well and scored a huge goal. He also threw a check on one of their big defensemen,” said Whitehead. “It was a solid win. Dartmouth played very well. Both teams had plenty of chances. Both goalies played very well.”
Maine had built a 2-0 lead on Todd Jackson’s first-period goal and Gray Shaneberger’s second-period score. But a power-play goal by Trevor Byrne cut the lead in half with 11:48 left in the middle period.
Colin Shields, who hit the post and the crossbar in the second period, sewed up the win with an empty-net goal. That extended his point-scoring streak to 12 games.
Morrison made three saves in an early third-period flurry including two whacks by Mike Wheelihan from the top of the crease after stopping a Herrington shot.
Dartmouth, also playing without three regulars, had the first six shots on goal in the third period.
Morrison also made a short-side glove save on a 25-foot blast by Jason Costa from the right circle.
“I didn’t want to leave my pole [short-side post] too early. I didn’t want to get caught leaning. And he tried to go short side. I kept my glove up,” said Morrison who was beaten short side by a Jon DiSalvatore blast in the final minute of Maine’s 5-4 win over the Friars on Friday night and stored that in his memory banks.
Morrison said “after I made the first couple of saves, I was confident. The defense played well in front of me.”
Jackson opened the scoring 4:40 into the game. Maine outshot the Big Green 16-6 in the first period but Yacey, making his first varsity start, was outstanding. One of his saves was a nice stick stop on Michael Schutte’s breakaway.
Jackson scored on a breakaway after poking the puck free from a Big Green defenseman at the defensive blue line.
Shaneberger made it 2-0 4:48 into the second period as he worked hard along the boards to slide it back to Francis Nault at the left point. Shaneberger continued to the crowded goal mouth and Nault’s shot glanced in off Shaneberger’s shin guard.
Dartmouth scored when Mike Murray fed the puck to Byrne at the midpoint and he beat Morrison with a one-timer.
“I never saw it,” said Morrison.
BLACK BEARS 4, BIG GREEN 1
Dartmouth (7-6-1) 0 1 0 ? 1
Maine (11-6-3) 1 2 1 ? 4
First period ? 1. Maine, Jackson 4 (unassisted), 15:20. Penalties: Dart, Byrne, interference, :57; Dart, Turner, boarding, 4:07; Dart, Byrne, slashing, 5:14; Maine, Schutte, elbowing, 5:14; Maine, Nault, interference, 9:48; Dart, Murray, roughing, 16:16.
Second period ? 2. Maine, Shaneberger 3 (Nault, Jackson), 4:48; 3. Dart, Byrne 4 (Murray, Maturo), 8:12 (pp); 4. Maine, Reimann 8 (Dimitrakos, Loya), 19:18 (sh). Penalties: Maine, Metcalf, tripping, 7:44; Dart, Turner, holding, 9:58; Maine, Greyeyes, interference, 18:17.
Third period ? 5. Maine, Shields 18 (Deschamps, Metcalf), 19:03 (en). Penalties: Maine, Ryan, slashing, 8:23; Dart, Hontvet, roughing, 8:23; Dart, Byrne, 10-minute misconduct, 17:04.
Shots on goal: Maine 16-9-9-?34; Dartmouth 6-11-15?32
Goalies: Maine, Morrison (32 shots-31 saves); Dartmouth, Yacey (33-30)
High percentage scoring chances: Maine 12-8-5?25; Dartmouth 4-6-8?18
Power-play opportunities: Maine 0-4, Dartmouth 1-3