BILLERICA, MA (Jan. 6, 2007) – Freshman Teddy Purcell (St. John’s NFLD) scored two goals for the third straight game and added an assist as No. 3 Maine defeated UMass Lowell, 5-2, Saturday afternoon in college hockey action at the Chelmsford Forum.
With the loss, UML falls to 3-13-5 overall and 2-8-2 in league play. Maine improves to 14-3-3 overall and 7-3-1 in Hockey East.
Purcell, Josh Soares (Hamilton, ON), Mike Lundin (Apple Valley, MN) and Keenan Hopson (Prince George, BC) scored for the Black Bears. Jason Bergeron (Ancaster, ON) and Mike Potacco (Kinnelon, NJ) found the back of the net for the River Hawks.
By the end of the first period, Maine led 3-0 on just nine shots. Soares opened the scoring with a power play marker at the 7:48 mark with assists from Brett Tyler and Billy Ryan.
Purcell made it 3-0 with back-to-back unassisted goals late in the first period. The first of his two strikes on the night was at 15:49. The second came just four and a half minutes later, at 19:15 of the opening stanza.
Purcell contributed once again to the Maine attack with an assist on Lundin’s second period goal. Michel Leveille (Levis, QUE) also earned an assist on Maine’s fourth goal of the night at 3:30 of the second. Purcell had five points on four goals and one assist in the weekend series. The freshman winger leads Maine in scoring with 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists).
Jason Bergeron scored for the second straight game, and for the third time in three games against Maine this season, when he slammed home a rebound at 10:39 of the second. The freshman winger is second on the River Hawks with six goals on the season.
Mike Potacco made it a two-goal game when he beat Black Bear goaltender Ben Bishop (Des Perez, MO) with a shot in the slot at 11:20 of the second. Jeremy Dehner (Madison, WI) and Nick Schaus (Orchard Park, NY) earned the assists on the goal. Maine called a timeout following the Potacco tally.
Keenan Hopson sealed the victory for the Black Bears with a shorthanded goal at the 14:27 mark of the third. Keith Johnson (Windsor, CT) picked up the assist.
Bishop made a season and career-high 42 saves, allowing just two goals in the win for Maine. The sophomore goaltender had 68 saves on 72 shots in the two games.
Carter Hutton (Thunder Bay, ON) had 27 saves in the loss for UML.
“I thought we struggled with our energy and we had some awful turnovers,” said UML head coach Blaise MacDonald. “But there’s no quit in this team. We played outstanding against Denver and against (Maine) last night so it shows us that we can compete with the best teams. We just need to form better winning habits and turnovers are a big part of it. We make it 4-2 and have three terrific opportunities to make it 4-3 and then anything can happen, but we failed to define that moment and that’s part of a young team.”
The River Hawks out-shot Maine 44-32 on Saturday and 72-55 for the weekend. UML has out-shot its opponents in 10 of the last 12 contests and 16 of 21 games for the season.
Maine went 1-for-2 with five shots on the power play. Lowell was 1-for-5 with 14 shots on the man-advantage. The Black Bears have won 14 straight against the River Hawks and swept the season series for the third year in a row.
UML is next in action Friday night at Massachusetts to take on the Minutemen for the first time this season. The River Hawks return to Tsongas Arena Saturday night, January 13, to host Providence. Maine returns home to host Boston University for two games Friday and Saturday night.