ORONO — Black Bear head coach Red Gendron likely couldn’t have drawn it up any better on a dry erase board in the dressing room an hour before puck drop.

The University of Maine hockey team capped off an opening weekend sweep of St. Lawrence Saturday night, getting goals from four different players in a 4-1 win over the Saints at Alfond Arena. The Black Bears are 2-0-0 for the first time since 2016-17.

Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup, Patrick Shea, Rob Michel and Tim Doherty accounted for Maine’s goals. Jeremy Swayman was superb in making 23 saves in the nets.

“I like what I see. I think it was a positive weekend,” said Maine junior Mitchell Fossier, who had a pair of assists. “Anytime you get a sweep in college hockey, it’s a good thing.”

From the outset, Maine got the jump. The Black Bears were the best team out of the gate in opening a 1-0 lead via Schmidt-Svejstrup only 31 seconds after the opening draw. They hardly let up from there, scoring twice more in the second period — buoyed by Shea’s shorthanded goal at 2:01 for a 2-0 lead — and putting the game away with a decisive final stanza.

Good start. Good finish. Good goaltending. Toss in opportunistic special teams play and the balanced scoring stretched across three lines and two of its defensive pairings, and it was a fine start to the season for the Black Bears.

“I think overall we were better tonight than we were (Friday) night,” Gendron said. “We had one lull (in the second period), but I think you’re going to get those in most college hockey games. We want to get to the point where we can be precise in what we do for 60 minutes and not have any significant lapses… When that does happen, Jeremy Swayman is a pretty good goalie. I thought he had a really good weekend.”

Swayman made his best stop of the night with the win already in hand, stoning Carson Gicewicz on a 2-on-none breakaway with under 30 seconds remaining in the third period.

For St. Lawrence (0-2-0), it was a disappointing night with a young team trying to respond from Friday night’s 3-1 loss at the hands of Maine.

Down 3-0 after Michel’s late second-period goal, Ryan Garvey pulled one back with 2:42 remaining until the intermission. Maine, though, jumped out in the third period — eventually putting things away with Doherty’s bad-angle goal from the left side at the 7:07 mark.

“With this much youth, there’s really no shortage of things to work on,” said Saints coach Mark Morris, who had eight sophomores and six freshmen in his lineup Saturday. “We’ll continue to chip away. … The fact of the matter is that we’ve got to make the players that we have better. That’s our job as a coaching staff.”

It certainly didn’t help that Maine’s penalty killers outscored St. Lawrence’s power play. The Black Bears were a perfect 4 for 4 on the PK (11 for 12 across the two-game set).

Maine’s power play, though it didn’t connect in an 0 for 5 night, was still momentum-shifting. The Black Bears peppered Saints goalie Arthur Brey (35 saves) with 13 power-play shots.

“We’re going to try and play aggressive and make them make mistakes on their power play,” Fossier said. “When you’re playing aggressive and you’re in the right position, sometimes they’ll bobble the puck and you’ll get some odd-man rushes. We were fortunate to get a few of those tonight.”

But the early jump, which built into a three-goal lead and, finally, a dominant third period in which Maine outshot its guests by a 15-5 count, helped send the Black Bears off to the weekend sweep without too many nervous moments.

“We played from ahead all weekend,” Gendron said. “It was nice to get (the lead) on the first shift. That always takes some pressure off.”

The win for Maine was marred by an injury to freshman Adam Dawes, a special teams spark plug. Dawe was leveled near center ice by Saint defenseman Dylan Woolf with under two minutes remaining in the game. Woolf was given a five-minute major penalty on the play.

Gendron had no post-game update on Dawe, who remained down for several moments before exiting straight to the dressing room.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.