UMaine hockey nipped by St. Francis Xavier in exhibition

UMaine's season begins Friday against RPI

ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The University of Maine men's ice hockey team jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead during Sunday's exhibition against St. Francis Xavier. However, the Black Bears could not hold on as the X-Men netted four second period goals, coming back to defeat Maine 6-5.

Chase Pearson tallied two points with a goal and an assist in his first action as a Black Bear while six others added single points. Nolan Vesey, Jake Pappaiardo, Eric Schurhamer and Blaine Byron each scored for Maine.

Vesey gave the Black Bears the lead less than a minute into the game when Chase Pearson found him at the left face-off circle. Vesey's shot ricocheted in off a St. Francis Xavier defenseman directly in front of the net.

Maine took a 2-0 lead when Schurhamer found Pappalardo for the tally, 3:15 into the period. Schurhamer netted a goal of his own to make it 3-0,14:33 into the first period courtesy of assists from Ryan Smith and Dane Gibson.

The Black Bears outshot the X-Men 15-10 in the first period.

The second period belonged to St. Francis Xavier, as the X-Men outshot Maine 19-7 and tallied four goals, including three on the power play, from four different players; Cole MacDonald, Jagger Dirk, Nathan Pancel and Eric Locke - to take a 4-3 lead after two periods.

The X-Men took a 5-3 lead 23 seconds into the third period when Mark Tremaine broke in on a breakaway and notched a shorthanded goal.

Maine responded when Byron skated towards the net, falling to his knees before slipping a shot past X-Man goaltender Brandon Hope, bringing the Black Bears within one with 19-minutes left in the third period.

The Black Bears continued to pressure but could not get the equalizer and the X-Men added an empty net goal to take a 6-4 lead with 48 seconds remaining. Pearson gave the Black Bears life when he scored with 19 seconds left, but the X-Men held on for the win.

St. Francis Xavier outshot Maine 36-32 with Brandon Hope making 27 saves for the X-Men and Rob McGovern and Matt Morris combining for 30 saves for the Black Bears. St. Francis-Xavier went 3-for-8 on the power play while Maine was 1-for-6.

The Black Bears open the regular season on Friday at 7 p.m. against RPI in the Alfond Arena

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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