ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The University of Maine men's ice hockey team defeated Massachusetts 3-1 in the finals of the NCAA East Regional on Saturday at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. Maine had a goal by Bret Tyler and power play goals by Mike Hamilton and Matt Duffy in the win, while Ben Bishop had 35 saves. The Black Bears are now 23-14-2 overall while Massachusetts is 21-13-5 overall. Maine advances to the NCAA Frozen Four for the fourth time in the last six years.
The Black Bears started strong with chances by Michel LÚveillÚ (Levis, Quebec) and Keith Johnson (Windsor, Conn.) saved by Jon Quick in the first minute of play. Teddy Purcell (St. Johns, Newfoundland) hit the right post at the two minute mark. The Minutemen had the first power play chance of the game, but the Black Bear defense held. On Maine's first extra-man chance, Mike Lundin (Apple Valley, Minn.) had a shot from the point saved. Late in the second period Massachusetts was called for back-to-back penalties, giving Maine a 1:14 five-on-three. The Black Bears had three shots saved, two blocked and one go wide on the advantage. Massachusetts had their third power play of the game begin with under a minute to go in the first period. Maine had a thirteen to five lead on shots in the period.
Massachusetts began the second period still on the power play, but it was killed by the Black Bears. In the first five minutes of the period, the Minutemen had all eight shots on goal as Ben Bishop (Des Peres, Mo.) made key saves. With the teams skating four-on-four, Michel LÚveillÚ found Bret Tyler (Maynard, Mass.) in the slot. Tyler's initial shot was saved by Jon Quick, but the rebound bounced into the net off a Massachusetts player. Josh Soares (Hamilton, Ontario) also had an assist on the goal at 5:23. On the Black Bears' fourth power play chance of the game, Mike Hamilton (Victoria, British Columbia) took a shot from behind the net that went in off the back of Jon Quick. Josh Soares and Billy Ryan (Milton, Mass.) had assists on the goal at 9:45 to take a 2-0 lead. Maine took back-to-back penalties, giving the Minutemen a 1:02 five-on-three. Ben Bishop made saves of Mark Matheson and Justin Braun on the advantage as the Black Bears escaped the two-man disadvantage. With the Minutemen on their sixth power play, they scored when Matt Anderson got a shot past Bishop from the point. He was assists on the goal by Kevin Jarman and P.J. Fenton at 18:14. Massachusetts held a sixteen to seven lead on shots in the second period.
In the third period, Maine had a strong chance at the four minute mark when Billy Ryan went in with a shot that was saved, but Teddy Purcell was wide on the rebound shot. The Black Bears then had a five-on-three for 1:16, but did not need all the time as Matt Duffy (Windham, Maine) fired a shot from the point for the goal at 6:28. He was assisted by Bret Tyler and Billy Ryan on the goal to take a 3-1 lead. With 1:29 to go in the game, Maine was called for a penalty. Massachusetts also pulled Jon Quick at that time, giving the Minutemen a six-on-four advantage. Despite the two-man advantage, Maine did not allow a goal and won 3-1.
In goal, Maine's Ben Bishop had one goal against and 35 saves. For Massachusetts, Jon Quick had three goals against and 26 saves. Maine had eight penalties for 16 minutes and Massachusetts had nine penalties for 18 minutes. On power plays, Maine was 2-8 and Massachusetts was 1-7. For the game, Maine was outshot by Massachusetts 36 to 29. Attendance was 3,522 for the game.
Maine's Michel LÚveillÚ was named Most Valuable Performer of the Regional. LÚveillÚ, Bret Tyler, Ben Bishop and Mike Lundin were named to the All-Regional Team.
Tickets for the NCAA Frozen Four in St. Louis will go on sale at the University of Maine on Monday, March 26 at 8:30 am. For more information on University of Maine athletics, visit www.GoBlackBears.com or call 581-BEAR.