ORONO, Maine - The University of Maine men's ice hockey team shutout the Providence Friars 3-0 on Friday night at Alfond Arena. Ben Bishop had 30 saves in his first career shutout. Matt Duffy had a goal and two assists, while Brent Shepheard and Mike Hamilton also scored for Maine. The Black Bears are now 9-3-1 on the season and 4-3-1 in Hockey East. Providence is 4-10-1 on the season and 3-6-1 in Hockey East.
In the first period, Providence had the first power play chance just 1:52 into the game but did not convert on the opportunity. The Black Bears had their first shot on net five minutes into the game when Rob Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) had a shot saved. At the end of the scoreless first period, Providence was outshooting Maine eight to five.
The Black Bears broke the stalemate at 3:44 in the second period when Brent Shepheard (Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia) wrapped-around the right side of the net and put the puck past Tyler Sims. Shepheard was assisted by Teddy Purcell (St. John's, Newfoundland) and Matt Duffy (Windham, Maine). Maine added to the lead when Billy Ryan (Milton, Mass.) had the puck behind the Providence net and passed it out to the right, where Mike Hamilton (Victoria, British Columbia) fired a shot from the dot for the score. Matt Duffy was also credited with an assist at 9:31 in the second period. The Black Bears had their first power play chance at the 12:50 mark of the period, but despite a couple strong chances by Bret Tyler (Maynard, Mass.) and Teddy Purcell, did not convert. Mike Hamilton had another chance with 1:20 remaining in the period, but his break-away went wide left. Maine had a 13-7 lead on shots in the period.
Providence had a 1:05 stretch in the third period of five-on-three due to two penalties by Maine. With the advantage, the Friars had strong chances by Cody Wild and Jon Rheault that were saved by Ben Bishop (Des Peres, Mo.). Once the Black Bears killed the two power plays, Maine was called for too many men on the ice. On the power play, the Friars did not get a shot on net. With Maine on their third power play chance of the night, Matt Duffy scored from the high slot off an attempted clear by the Friars. Bret Tyler was credited with an assist at 17:23. The Friars kept up the pressure and pulled Tyler Sims from net with 1:22 remaining in the game. With the man advantage, Providence had several shots, but all were saved by Ben Bishop. Providence had a fifteen to six lead on shots in the third period.
In goal, Maine's Ben Bishop had the shutout with 30 saves. For Providence, Tyler Sims had three goals against and 21 saves. Maine had a season-low four penalties for eight minutes and Providence had three penalties for six minutes. On power plays, Maine was 1-3 and Providence was 0-4. For the game, Maine was outshot by the Friars 30 to 24. In Maine's nine wins, nine different players have scored the game-winning goal.
Maine will be back at home on Wednesday, December 6 for an exhibition game against New Brunswick. The Black Bears will be at Northeastern on December 9 for the final Hockey East game before the semester break. For tickets or more information on University of Maine athletics, visit www.GoBlackBears.com or call 581-BEAR.