PORTLAND, Maine -- The University of Maine men's ice hockey team used a pair of short-handed goals in the third period to assure itself a 4-2 win over Rensselaer on Sunday afternoon in front of 6,620 fans at the Cumberland Civic Center in Portland. Maine improved to 7-9-2 with the win, while RPI dipped to 8-10-3 with the setback.
Lem Randall, Wes Clark, Jeff Marshall and Billy Ryan each tallied a goal for the Black Bears. Rob Bellamy assisted on a pair, while Ryan chipped in an assist for a two-point night. Travis Ramsey, Robby Dee and Simon Danis-Pepin also added assists in the contest. Black Bear goaltender Ben Bishop made 18 saves in the contest to improve to 7-8-2 on the season.
Chase Polacek and Seith Kierer each scored for the Engineers. RPI goaltender Mathias Lange made 32 stops, but was tagged with the loss and fell to 4-5-2.
The Black Bears controlled the pace of play in the first period by out-shooting RPI 16-8 in shots on goal. Maine registered 12 of the first 14 shots on goal in the period as it built a 1-0 lead heading into the locker room for the first intermission. The Black Bears got on the scoreboard at the 6:37 mark of the period on a goal Randall, which was his first career collegiate marker. The freshman forward deflected Ramsey's shot from the blueline and slipped it past Lange.
Both teams exchanged goals in the second period. Rensselaer knotted the contest at 1-1 at the 5:56 mark of the second stanza on a goal by Polacek as he skated down the left side of the net and slipped the puck between the legs of Bishop. However, the Black Bears responded at the 8:59 mark of the second frame on a goal by Clark. The Black Bear forward took a corner pass from Bellamy between the circles and lifted a wrister that beat Lange stickside in the upper right corner of the net. It was Clark's third of the season. Bishop preserved Maine's lead heading into the second intermission as he made a diving glove save across the crease to rob RPI of a potential tying goal.
The Black Bears put the game out of reach with a pair of short-handed tallies in the third period. Marshall got the period's first short-handed marker at the 9:17 mark to make it 3-1. Marshall stole the puck from an RPI defender and skated into the left circle and placed a wrister underneath Lange's glove into the back of the net. Maine capped its scoring at the 2:20 mark of the period with an empty net goal from Ryan to make it 4-1 Black Bears. RPI added a late goal in the final 30 seconds, but it was not enough as Maine earned the win.
The Black Bears return to action on Saturday, January 12 when they host Boston University at 7 p.m. at Alfond Arena.