ESTERO, Fla. – Goals have been hard to come by lately for the University of Maine men’s hockey team and that proved costly at the Florida Everblades Classic at Teco Arena this past weekend.
Junior goalie Morgan Cey stopped all 32 shots he faced and Mike Walsh scored on the power play at the 9:03 mark of the second period as the University of Notre Dame blanked Maine 1-0 in their consolation game Sunday afternoon.
On Saturday night, Ohio State jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held off the Bears 4-2 to prevent them from playing in the Everblades championship game for the first time in four tourney appearances.
Matt Beaudoin’s first-period goal and second-period power-play goals by Dave Steckel and Doug Andress staked OSU to a 3-0 lead but power-play goals by Jon Jankus and Dustin Penner closed the gap in the first 4:33 of the third period. Scott May clinched it with an empty-netter.
Maine, which was without one of its leading scorers in right wing Greg Moore (World Junior Championships), assistant captain-defenseman Jeff Mushaluk (mononucleosis) and goalie Jimmy Howard (knee), fell to 12-4-1 and had its six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) snapped.
On Sunday, Maine was shut out for the first time in 55 games dating back to a 3-0 setback to Colorado College on Oct. 18, 2002.
“We had a lot of quality chances but we ran into a hot goalie and the puck never found the back of the net,” said Maine senior left wing and captain Todd Jackson.
“We had tons of chances,” agreed Bears coach Tim Whitehead. “We also had opportunities [Saturday] night [against Ohio State] despite our sluggish start. We had chances to tie that game and perhaps win it.
“We had a very consistent 60-minute effort against Notre Dame. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to capitalize on our scoring chances. Sometimes, that happens. I was pleased with our progress over six periods. We got better each period,” added Whitehead.
Walsh’s game-winner came 55 seconds after Maine defenseman Prestin Ryan was called for elbowing.
Walsh redirected Brett Lebda’s shot from the point past Maine goalie Frank Doyle.
“It was a shot through traffic. I had a good look at it. It was going to my left and then it hit something in front and went in the opposite direction,” said Doyle.
Maine had a great chance off a 3-on-1 with 10 minutes left in the game but Colin Shields fired Michel Leveille’s pass over the net.
For the second straight game, Maine was hurt by third-period penalties as Brent Shepheard and Leveille were whistled for tripping and boarding, respecitvely, 34 seconds apart within the final eight minutes.
Doyle finished with 21 saves after making 32 stops the previous night.
“Frank was fantastic. He was our most consistent player on the weekend,” said Whitehead.
“I was pretty happy with the way I played. I think I did a good job keeping the games close,” said Doyle, who was victimized Saturday when he slipped and had a puck hit his stick behind the net and deflect in front to Steckel for his power-play goal.
“That was an unfortunate bounce. Those things happen,” said Doyle.
In the third period of the Ohio State game, penalties taken by Ben Murphy, Mike Hamilton, Jankus and Ryan hurt Maine’s comeback attempt.
“We need to focus on our discipline more,” said Jackson, whose Bears have scored just 12 goals in their last six games.
Mike Betz made 19 saves for the Buckeyes.
Maine, which had nine players miss Friday’s only practice after being stranded by weather in Philadelphia, will face Vermont Sunday at 2 p.m. in Portland.
BUCKEYES 4, BLACK BEARS 2
Ohio State (12-7) 1 2 1 ? 4
Maine (12-3-1) 0 0 2 ? 2
First period ? 1. OSU, Beaudoin 2 (Guenin), 16:05. Penalties: Maine, Ryan, hooking, 5:38; OSU, Steckel, hooking, 8:50; OSU, May, tripping, 17:17; Maine, Murphy, hooking, 19:43
Second period ? 2. OSU, Steckel 11 (May, Caponigri), :08 (pp); 3. OSU, Andress 1 (Bencharski, Guenin), 11:30 (pp); Penalties: OSU, Pelley, charging, 4:04; Maine, Jackson, hooking, 4:25; OSU, May, tripping, 7:18; Maine, Zabkowicz, interference, 10:45; Maine, Deschamps, roughing, 13:00; Maine, Jankus, roughing, 14:34; OSU, Steckel, holding the stick, 14:34; OSU, Beaudoin, interference, 18:37.
Third period ? 4. Maine, Jankus 3 (Ryan, Shields), :21 (pp); 5. Maine, Penner 4 (Ryan, Shields), 4:33 (pp); 6. OSU, May 6 (Bittner, Andress), 19:25 (en). Penalties: Maine, Murphy, tripping, :32; OSU, Olsgard, tripping, 3:30; Maine, Hamilton, holding, 5:05; Maine, Jankus, holding, 6:02; Maine, Leveille, hooking, 8:56; OSU, Beaudoin, unsportsmanlike donduct, 8:56; OSU, Waddell, hooking, 9:46; Maine, Damon, slashing, 9:46; Maine, Ryan, slashing, 10:12; OSU, Caponigri, tripping, 14:38.
Shots on goal: OSU 12-8-16?36; Maine 3-11-7?21
Goaltenders: OSU, Betz (21 shots-19 saves); Maine, Doyle (35-32)
Power-play opportunities: OSU 2-7, Maine 2-7
FIGHTING IRISH 1, BLACK BEARS 0
Notre Dame (9-6-2) 0 1 0 ? 1
Maine (12-4-1) 0 0 0 ? 0
First period ? No scoring. Penalties: Maine, Leveille, interference, 2:18; ND, McLean, hooking, 6:40; Maine, Damon, checking from behind, 16:23.
Second period ? 1. ND, Walsh 8 (Lebda, McLean), 9:03 (pp). Penalties: ND, O’Neill, hooking, 1:41; Maine, Ryan, elbowing, 8:08; Maine, Ryan, tripping, 10:41; ND, Galvin, holding, 17:08; ND, Lebda, high-sticking, 19:11.
Third period ? No scoring. Penalties: ND, Trick, interference, 4:30; Maine, Shepheard, tripping, 12:16; Maine, Leveille, boarding, 12:50; Maine, Soares, roughing, 17:14; ND, Walsh, roughing, 17:14.
Shots on goal: Notre Dame 9-7-6?22; Maine 7-12-13?32
Goaltenders: Notre Dame, Cey (32 shots-32 saves); Maine, Doyle (22-21)
Power-play opportunities: Notre Dame 1-5, Maine 0-5