The lowest-scoring team in Division I men’s hockey managed one goal Friday night and it was just enough as Maine defeated Minnesota Duluth 1-0 in the first round of the 13th Florida College Classic at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla.
Maine (3-11-2) scored the only goal of the game in the second period following a brief UMD 5-on-3 power play. After Maine junior goalie Martin Ouellette made a save, center Steven Swavely chipped the puck to neutral ice, finding freshman right winger Ryan Lomberg coming out of the penalty box. He got behind UMD’s defense, and rushed in uncontested for his first collegiate goal. It came with 6:34 left in the period and broke freshman goalie Matt McNeely’s shutout streak of 80 minutes, 21 seconds spanning two games. He had won four straight starts.
Ouellette gained his second collegiate shutout and put his record at 2-5-2 this season. Both teams were 0-of-5 on power players.
“We didn’t generate enough around the net. We didn’t make a good offensive push,” UMD coach Scott Sandelin said by phone. “We were off and were a little blah until the third period. We have to build off a good third period.”
The Black Bears, last among 10 teams in Hockey East, entered the game averaging 1.33 goals a game and on a 0-2-2 winless streak. Maine’s most recent game was a 1-0 loss at No. 6 Boston University on Dec. 8.
The Bulldogs (7-9-3) led in shots on goal 31-22, yet couldn’t get their offense untracked. And UMD had to kill off Caleb Herbert’s five-minute major penalty for checking from behind in the third period. The Bulldogs came into the game on a 4-1-1 streak.
“We were not as sharp as we were going into our (holiday) break,” UMD captain Cody Danberg said by phone. “We were a little sluggish for two periods and then found our legs, but 20 minutes wasn’t enough for us to win a game.
“We threw 30 shots at (Ouellette), but we didn’t get into the tough areas you need to, to score goals.”
A scoreless first period produced eight shots on goal for each team. Maine came up empty on two power plays. UMD led 8-3 in shots on goal before Maine had the last five to close the period.
The Bulldogs outshot Maine 12-6 in the second period and 11-8 in the third. UMD is 0-6 this season when trailing after two periods.
“We weren’t using our speed and we were flat,” UMD senior defenseman Drew Olson said by phone. “In the third period we started using our feet, had more intensity and showed more emotion.”
The game was a rematch of an NCAA first-round playoff meeting March 24 in the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass. UMD beat Maine 5-2.
Today, UMD faces No. 19-ranked Ferris State (7-8-3) in the 3:05 p.m. consolation final, and defending champion Maine plays No. 11 Cornell University (7-3-2) in the 6:35 p.m. title game.
In Friday’s opening game, Cornell of Ithaca, N.Y., defeated Ferris State of Big Rapids, Mich., 5-3. Cornell needed an Erik Axell shorthanded empty-net goal with 13 seconds to play to secure the victory. Goals less than three minutes apart in the third period got Ferris State within 4-3. Cornell, 4-0-1 the last five games, led in shots on goal 30-25.
Minnesota Duluth……………. 0-0-0—0
First period — No scoring. Penalties — Austin Farley, UMD (high-sticking), 10:00; Connor Leen, Maine (holding), 12:32; Tim Smith, UMD (cross-checking), 17:47.
Second period — 1. Maine, Ryan Lomberg 1 (Steven Swavely, Martin Ouellette), 13:26 (sh). Penalties — Kyle Williams, Maine (holding), 2:03; Conor Riley, Maine (tripping), 5:32; Joe Baaraba, UMD (tripping), 7:24; Drew Olson, UMD (interference), 9:49; Lomberg, Maine (roughing), 11:16; Jake Rutt, Maine (elbowing), 12:54.
Third period — No scoring. Penalties — Caleb Herbert, UMD (5-minute checking from behind major, 10-minute game misconduct, served by Charlie Sampair), 6:13.
Shots on goal — UMD 8-12-11—31, Maine 8-6-8—22. Goalies — Matt McNeely (5-5-1), UMD (22 shots-21 saves); Martin Ouellette (2-5-2), Maine (31 shots-31 saves). Power plays — UMD 0-of-5, Maine 0-of-5. Referees — Tim Kotyra, Robert St. Lawrence. Linesmen — Andy Petrus, Justin Prusak.