Maine skates past St. Lawrence

Maine skates past St. Lawrence

The first game of the 2018-19 season saw the St. Lawrence men's hockey team and host Maine combine for 40 penalty minutes in a 3-1 win for the Black Bears at Alfond Sports Arena in Orono, Maine.

Senior goaltender Arthur Brey finished with 34 saves in the loss, including two on breakaway bids; one while Maine was shorthanded in the first period. Philip Alftberg was the goal scorer for the Saints on the power play, with juniors Carson Gicewicz and Ryan Garvey picking up the assists.

Chase Pearson led Maine with a pair of goals, one shorthanded and one on the power play, while Ryan Smith added the other.

The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Saints against Maine, as its Maine's first win since the 2010-11 season.

The first period was the strongest for St. Lawrence, as the Saints started strong and were dominant offensively in the early goings and Brey made key stops when he was called upon.

With just under 8:30 to play in the opening frame, Maine's Brendan Robbins capitalized on a miscue by the Saints in the offensive zone on the power play that sprung the Black Bears' forward on a clear breakaway attempt. Brey came out to cut the angle and flashed the leather, robbing Robbins with the glove to keep the game at 0-0.

After a scoreless first, Maine held just an 8-7 edge shot on goal, but came storming out in the second, outshot the Saints 18-4 and scored three goals to the Saints' one in the middle frame.

Pearson put the Black Bears on the board at the 8:28 mark with a breakaway goal that trickled over the line after Brey made the initial stop, but momentum carried Pearson into Brey and the puck into the goal for a 1-0 Maine lead.

Just over two minutes later, Ryan Smith extended the Maine lead to 2-0 with a rip from above the left circle that snuck five hole.

The Saints responded, however, with a blast of their own off the stick of Alftberg from just inside the right point that went in and out after ringing the back bar to cut the deficit to 2-1 at the 12:54 mark of the second.

With time winding down in the frame, and the Saints on the penalty kill once again, Pearson notched his second of the night with a backhanded shot from the edge of the blue paint to conclude the scoring and push to the eventual 3-1 margin.

Shots were 11-6 in favor of the Black Bears in the third period and 37-17 overall in the game. Maine's Jeremy Swayman finished with 16 saves.

With the loss, the Saints start the year 0-1, while Maine is 1-0. The teams will faceoff at Alfond Arena again on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Orono.