PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The lines had a new look, and a goalie who hadn’t played in more than two months got the start.

Those weren’t exactly desperation moves for the University of Maine men’s hockey team, but they helped the Black Bears to their first win since beating Northeastern on Nov. 13.

Freshman goalie Martin Ouellette made 32 saves in his first start since Oct. 9, and five players scored Saturday night in Maine’s 5-0 victory over Providence at Schneider Arena — the Friars’ first loss at home.

The win not only earned the ninth-ranked Black Bears (7-3-4, 5-2-2 Hockey East) valuable points in the standings, it also ended a three-game winless stretch spanning nearly three weeks.

“Thinking back to it, it feels a little longer than that,” Maine right wing Gustav Nyquist said. “We had a week off there (Thanksgiving week) and things didn’t go the way we wanted them to (Friday in a 3-3 tie with Providence). But we really (bore) down there and I’m proud of how the whole team competed.”

Ouellette recorded Maine’s first shutout of the season and first overall since March 13, when Dave Wilson made 23 saves in a 2-0 win over UMass-Lowell in the Hockey East quarterfinals.

“I felt great, really comfortable,” Ouellette said. “Nervous in the first few minutes, but after the first few saves, you just feel comfortable.

“(The defense) cleared out the rebounds really well. They had good gaps in front of me and let me see the shots almost every time.”

Maine retooled its first and second lines, with Joey Diamond at left wing on Maine’s first line and Brian Flynn at right wing on Maine’s second line.

Diamond and Flynn combined for two goals and two assists, while Nyquist, Kyle Beattie and Spencer Abbott also contributed a goal apiece.

“We played a much more thorough game,” Flynn said. “Sixty minutes.”

Maine also earned a pair of critical points with Saturday’s win; the Black Bears and Friars (6-6-4, 3-4-4) entered the game tied for fifth place in Hockey East, each with 10 points.

“We talked about it before the game,” Nyquist said. “We have three games left before winter break here and obviously six valuable points.

“If we lose those, we’re down to a .500 team and that’s not the kind of team we are this year. That’s not how we want to play and that’s not what our record should be. We’re better than that.”

Diamond gave Maine a 1-0 lead at 12:16 of the first. With less than three minutes left in the second, Flynn lofted the puck across the blue line, where Abbott gathered it and drove to the net. Defenseman Alex Velischek fell in the slot, allowing Abbott to beat goalie Alex Beau-dry and give Maine a 2-0 lead.

Nyquist’s goal 38 seconds into the third gave Maine a 3-0 lead, despite the fact the Black Bears were outshot 11-4 in the second period and 7-1 in the first eight minutes of the third.

“We got out of the gate good and took it to them first period,” Nyquist said. “We had a little bit worse of a second period but we got right back at it in the third period.”

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at:

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