ESTERO, Fla. - The University of Maine men's ice hockey team defeated Cornell 6-3 in the championship game of the Florida College Classic at Germain Arena on Saturday night. Teddy Purcell had two goals for Maine and the Black Bears scored three power play goals. Ben Bishop had 24 saves in his twelfth win of the season. The Black Bears are now 12-3-2 overall and 5-3-1 in Hockey East while Cornell is 9-4-1overall.
In the first period, Maine struck first when Teddy Purcell (St. John's, Newfoundland) scored at 4:32. He was assisted on the goal by Michel LÚveillÚ (Levis, Quebec) and Brent Shepheard (Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia). Ben Bishop (Des Peres, Mo.) came up with a big save of Cornell's Tony Romano at the eight minute mark, but at 12:17 Romano tapped in a loose puck that had gotten behind Bishop. He was assisted on the goal by Evan Barlow and Byron Bitz. The Black Bears then had their first power play chance of the night and were able to take a 2-1 lead. Billy Ryan (Milton, Mass.) passed the puck to Josh Soares (Hamilton, Ontario), who had an open lane to the net and put the puck past Troy Davenport. Keenan Hopson (Prince George, British Columbia) also had an assist on the goal at 16:54. The lead was short-lived as Jared Seminoff played the puck into the Maine zone and the rebound off the boards went into the net. Byron Bitz was credited with an assist on the goal at 17:10. Cornell lead Maine eleven to ten on shots in the first period.
Maine continued the success on the power play in the second period, as Keith Johnson (Windsor, Conn.) scored at 3:20 with assists from Brent Shepheard and Teddy Purcell. But once again the Big Red was able to tie the game when Doug Krantz fired a shot from the point after the face-off was won by Topher Scott. The goal was scored at 8:31 in the second. The Black Bears once again took the lead when Teddy Purcell scored his second goal of the night off a rebound shot by Keenan Hopson. Josh Soares also had an assist on the goal at 9:31. Following the goal, Cornell replaced Troy Davenport in net with freshman Ben Scrivens. Maine tested Scrivens early, but he was able to make several key saves. Maine had their third power play chance of the game beginning at the 11:23 mark, but were unable to convert, ending a streak of six-straight power plays with a goal. Cornell had two power play chances late in the second period, but did not score. Maine had a ten to nine lead on shots in the period.
Early in the third period, Maine scored a third power play goal of the game when Mike Lundin (Apple Valley, Minn.) fired a shot from the point for the goal. He was assisted at 7:19 by Michel LÚveillÚ and Brent Shepheard for a 5-3 lead. After killing another Cornell power play, the Black Bears added a goal when Vince Laise (Brampton, Ontario) scored his first career goal at 16:01. Chris Hahn (Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan) and Wes Clark (Oakville, Ontario) had the assists on the goal.
The game marked the first time the Black Bears won the Florida College Classic since 2002. It was the third time Maine has won the tournament. Maine had Bret Tyler, Billy Ryan and Ben Bishop named to the All-Tournament team. The Shawn Walsh Memorial Trophy for the MVP was Teddy Purcell. Maine will return to the Florida College Classic in 2007, when the field will include Cornell, Clarkson and Boston College.
In goal, Maine's Ben Bishop had three goals against and 24 saves. For Cornell, Troy Davenport had four goals against and 13 saves, while Ben Scrivens had two goals against and had 6 saves. Maine had 7 penalties for 14 minutes and Cornell had 5 penalties for 10 minutes. On power plays, Maine was 3-5 and Cornell was 0-7. For the game, Maine was outshot by the Big Red 27 to 25.
Following a road trip to UMass Lowell next weekend, the Black Bears return home on January 12 and 13 to host Boston University. For tickets or more information on University of Maine athletics, visit www.GoBlackBears.com or call 581-BEAR.