Maine hockey's season ends after playoff sweep

1:18 AM, Mar 16, 2014   |    comments
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (NEWS CENTER) - The Maine hockey team's road struggles were highlighted in their Hockey East quarter-final as they were swept, ending their season with a 4-2 loss to Providence on Saturday. 

The Black Bears finished with a 1-13-2 road record and couldn't beat the Friars for the eighth consecutive game (0-7-1). 

Maine led Providence for the first time in their four head-to-head matchups in 2014 when sophomore defenseman scored his team-leading 15th goal of the season 3:18 into the game. 

The power-play tally would give the Black Bears a cushion for a total of eight minutes and two seconds.  Nick Saracino deflected a Steven Shemanski shot past Maine senior goalie Martin Ouellette to tie the game at 1. 

The Friars used that momentum and went ahead at the 15:01 mark of the opening period when Saracino was left uncontested and beat Ouellette for a power-play goal. 

Providence seized control of the game in the second when former Scarborough standout Derek Army doubled their lead at the 2:45 mark.  Ouellette was subsequently pulled from the Black Bears goal and replaced by Dan Sullivan.

The Friars then all but locked up the game thanks to a 5-on-3 power-play where Ross Mauerman made it a 4-1 game with 4:24 left in the period. 

Maine would regain a little bit of hope early in the third when Steven Swavely's tenth goal of the season made it a two-goal game. Ouellette would replace Sullivan back in goal, but Maine couldn't get any more pucks past South Portland's Jon Gillies who made 36 saves for Providence. 

Maine concludes the season with a 16-15-4 record.  Providence advances to the Hockey East semi-finals held at TD Garden next weekend.  The Friars were the only team to complete a sweep in the best-of-three Hockey East quarter-finals. 

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