CANTON, N.Y. -- The University of Maine men's ice hockey team dropped the season-opener at St. Lawrence 3-1 on Friday night. Rookie Blaine Byron (Manotick, Ontario) tallied the lone goal for the Black Bears in his collegiate debut.
The game also marked the debut of Maine head coach Red Gendron.
Maine had a pair of power plays early in the first period and generated some offense, but was unable to beat Saints goalie Matt Weninger. The best chance for the Black Bears was when sophomore defenseman Bill Norman (Stockholm, Sweden) hit the post.
St. Lawrence got on the board first at 13:07 of the first period, just after killing a Maine power play. Greg Carey had the puck and circled the net, but was unable to get a shot off. He lost the puck off his stick, but rookie Gavin Bayreuther gained control and beat Maine goalie Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec), who had committed to Carey.
Maine tied the game early in the second period on a goal by rookie Blaine Byron (Manotick, Ontario). Brian Morgan (Windham, N.H.) created the play, carrying the puck up the ice. Byron, stationed on the goal post, was able to beat Weninger at 1:48. For Byron, it was his first career goal. Ben Hutton (Prescott, Ontario) began the play, getting the puck to Morgan.
St. Lawrence took the lead back less than two minutes later. The Saints won a face-off in their defensive zone and carried the puck the length of the ice. Patrick Dougherty beat Ouellette glove side, giving St. Lawrence the 2-1 lead.
The Saints extended their lead to 3-1 at 13:14 of the second period. St. Lawrence had an odd-man rush and Woody Hudson carried the puck up the ice and had a shot on Ouellette. He was able to stop the initial shot, but the rebound lay in the crease and Brian Ward was able to fire it into the net for the Saints.
The two teams played through a scoreless third period. St. Lawrence finished the game with a 31-26 edge in shots on goal. The Black Bears finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Saints were scoreless in five opportunities.
Ouellette made 28 saves in goal for the Black Bears. Matt Weninger made 25 saves for the Saints.
The two teams finish their two-game season-opening series on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Appleton Arena in Canton, N.Y. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM.