ORONO – Boston University welcomed the University of Maine into Division I hockey on Nov. 20, 1979, by beating the visiting Black Bears 5-3 in a hard-fought game.
On an evening in which the members of the first varsity Maine team (1977-78) were honored, the Black Bears again turned in an admirable performance against a superior BU team only to drop a 3-1 decision Saturday night.
BU is 6-0-1 in its last seven games against Maine including four straight wins in Orono.
Jack Semler, the 1977 coach, was on hand with several players from the 1977-78 team that spent its first two seasons in Division II.
Unfortunately for Semler and his former players, the Terriers turned in what BU coach Jack Parker and his players termed their best performance of the season.
“We were very, very thorough in all three zones,” said Parker, whose Terriers improved to 6-10-3 overall, 5-6-2 in Hockey East while Maine fell to 7-10-2 (3-7-2 HE). “We forechecked well and didn’t give up many Grade-A’s [high-percentage scoring chances]. We actually didn’t give up many shots at all.”
He also said sophomore goalie Brett Bennett, subbing for the injured Karson Gillespie (sprained ankle), turned in his top outing of the season.
The Terriers limited Maine to 16 shots on goal and Bennett was forced to make just seven Grade-A saves. But he made some timely stops.
The Bears also squandered chances by missing the net 11 times and having 13 shots blocked.
BU finished with 30 shots on goal and junior Ben Bishop was required to make 12 Grade-A stops among his 27.
“Everybody took care of their roles and we worked hard for 60 minutes,” said freshman defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, a first-round draft choice of the Colorado Avalanche who scored the game-winner in the second period.
The Bears simply had no answer for the high-powered line of Pete MacArthur, Colin Wilson and Bryan Ewing, which generated 13 of BU’s 30 shots and was on the ice for all three goals.
Ewing supplied BU with a 1-0 lead 9:14 into the game and Wilson sewed it up with 2:30 left when Ewing’s dump-in hit a stanchion and deflected crazily in front of the net with Bishop stranded behind the net waiting to play the puck. Bishop desperately dove in front but Wilson was able to tap it home.
MacArthur finished with three assists while Wilson, Ewing and Shattenkirk each had an assist to go with their goals.
Maine freshman center Keif Orsini scored his first college goal, tying the game just 1:41 after Ewing’s goal.
“We had a strong team effort,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead. “Ben Bishop was the best player on the ice. He was a victim of that bounce [on Wilson’s goal]. He did what he was supposed to do on the play.”
“Bishop played extremely well,” concurred Parker.
Maine senior defenseman Bret Tyler said, “They have great skill. They have four great lines, their defense was solid and their goalie was good.”
Shattenkirk broke the 1-1 tie with 6:02 remaining in the middle period after Wilson chipped the puck to him at the left point.
“I came off the wall and I wanted to take a slap shot but one of their guys [Lem Randall] came sliding out at me,” said Shattenkirk, who stickhandled around Randall. “I saw a lane and took a shot. I saw some space low blocker side.”
“I never saw it,” said Bishop. “I never even saw [Shattenkirk].”
Maine’s Wes Clark had a great chance to tie it moments later as he was set up alone in front by Tyler.
“I tried to go far corner but [Bennett] made a nice save. He got his glove on it, it dropped to the ice and he covered it,” said Clark, who added that in hindsight he might have been better off dishing it over to an unattended Rob Bellamy at the far post. “But I wanted to get the shot off quickly.”
Tyler had a glorious chance to tie it in the third period following a flurry in front of the BU net but his slap shot from the middle of the slot hit teammate Tanner House.
Ewing opened the scoring by taking a pass from MacArthur, freeing himself in the low slot and wristing a 17-footer that squeezed through Bishop’s pads.
Orsini tied it when he swooped on a Randall rebound and roofed it short side from just outside the crease after Travis Ramsey got it to the net front from the right point.
“We deserved a better fate,” said Bishop. “BU made some timely blocks.”
Neither team converted on the power play as Maine ran its streak to seven games without allowing a power-play goal (27-for-27).
TERRIERS 3, BLACK BEARS 1
Boston University (6-10-2) 1 1 1 – 3
Maine (7-10-2) 1 0 0 – 1
First period – 1. BU, Ewing 10 (MacArthur, Shattenkirk), 9:14; 2. Maine, Orsini 1 (Randall, Ramsey), 10:55. Penalties: BU, Shattenkirk, hitting after whistle and unsportsmanlike conduct, 11:35; Maine, Ryan, hitting after whistle and unsportsmanlike conduct, 11:35; Maine, Ramsey, holding, 12:10; BU, Pereira, hitting after whistle, 20:00.
Second period – 3. BU, Shattenkirk (Wilson, MacArthur), 13:58. Penalties: Maine, Ramsey, holding, 5:05; BU, Weston, hitting from behind, 15:30; Maine, Bellamy, interference, 16:42.
Third period – 4. BU, Wilson 5 (Ewing, MacArthur), 17:30. Penalties: Maine, Dimmen, tripping, 2:24; BU, Yip, roughing, 9:12; BU, Ewing, contact to head high-sticking, 13:01; Maine, Orsini, roughing, 18:25.
Shots on goal: BU 13-9-8-30; Maine 6-5-5-16
Goaltenders: BU, Bennett (16 shots-15 saves); Maine, Bishop (30-27)
Power-play opportunities: BU 0-5, Maine 0-4
High-percentage scoring chances: BU 7-7-5-19; Maine 4-4-3-11
Attendance: 5,277 (tickets issued)