Auburn, ME. – The Central Maine Community College hockey team fell in disappointing fashion to the visiting Mass Maritime Buccaneers in a penalty-filled contest on Sunday afternoon at Norway Savings Bank Arena by a final count of 7-3. The victory completed the season sweep for the Buccaneers, who defeated the Mustangs 3-0 in Falmouth, Massachusetts on Halloween night.
The Mustangs surrendered the first goal of the contest when Tim Glynn would break the ice 4:16 into the first period with an even strength tally. The Mustangs would respond with 6:03 left in the first on the man advantage. Collin Sheehan would take a Jordy Knoren feed in the slot and fire the puck past goaltender Evan Remmes to knot the game at one.
Sheehan would nudge the Mustangs in front with :19 left in the first period when he overpowered the Buccaneers defense and slipped a loose puck past Remmes give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
"I couldn't have been happier with the first period," said Mustangs head coach Matt Buotte afterward. "We had great jump, limited their chances and responded well when they scored first. It was a great start."
Mass Maritime—who were ranked 8th in the ACHA's DIII Atlantic Conference coming into the game with a record of 19-1-0—would flex their muscles in the first half of the second period. Jack Storms would score an unassisted tally :31 into the middle frame to level the score at a 4-2 advantage.
The teams would trade chances until a pair of quick goals—one from Liam Brennan and another from John Malewicz—would give Mass Maritime a 4-2 advantage.
The excitement was just beginning, however. With 11:03 remaining in the second period after a seemingly innocuous play, Buccaneers goaltender Evan Remmes exploded after covering a puck for a whistle, leaping up and throwing a gigantic punch at Sheehan, which sparked a brawl. In total six players—including Remmes—were ejected, leaving the Buccaneers without a goaltender.
While the visitors waited to dress a goaltender—they had not suited up a back-up—the Mustangs scored a power play tally when Beau Armstrong slipped a Jordy Knoren feed into the open net to pull the hosts to within one at 4-3.
"I don't have much to say about the second period," said Buotte. "If you were there you know what happened and you know who was at fault. We have made a really concerted effort to stay out of stuff like that this year. We want to play the game the right way. But there are times in this sport when you have to protect yourself, your teammates in situations like that. I'm disappointed that a great game turned out like that but ultimately it was nice to see our guys stick together."
The Buccaneers would ultimately score three more times in the third period and would end up with a 7-3 win over a depleted Mustangs team. In total 218 penalty minutes were handed out between the two sides. The Mustangs dropped to 7-9-0 for the semester.
"Overall, we had a solid semester," said Buotte. "We would've liked to win a few more games, but it's a work in progress. We are getting there. We are going to get this program to a place where we are all proud to be a part of it, where we are winning games and playing the game the right way. I think the first semester was a great start despite a disappointing end to this one."
The Mustangs will now have the Christmas period to regroup. They return to action on January 23rd when they head to Augusta to take on Thomas College.