ORONO — The University of Maine men’s hockey team didn’t think it played its best Friday night against Colgate, except for perhaps one player. Making just the second start of his career and his first since Dec. 1, goalie Albin Boija was sharp.

The freshman from Sundsvall, Sweden, made 30 saves, leading the Black Bears to a 3-1 win in front of 4,785 fans at Alfond Arena.

“I thought it was a pretty even hockey game. I thought we gave up a little too much as the game went along. Albin made some big saves. A win’s a win, which is always tough in college hockey, but I think we have to be much better,” Maine Coach Ben Barr said. “(Boija’s) a kid who’s going to play a lot of games here. I thought he was our best player tonight.”

It was the seventh consecutive win for seventh-ranked Maine (13-3-1). The Black Bears will host Colgate (6-9-2) again Saturday night in their final nonconference game of the regular season before a string of 16 Hockey East contests.

Boija was at his sharpest in the second period. After facing just four shots in the first period, Boija turned away 15 Colgate chances in the second. But his best save came 35 seconds into the third when he made a right pad stop on Daniel Panetta’s breakaway chance.

“I thought (Panetta) was going to do a 5-hole shot, so I just went down a little bit early,” said Boija, whose only other start this season was a 5-2 win over rival New Hampshire. “I’m pretty happy overall. I think they came after us hard, in the second period especially.”


Boija said he wasn’t worried having so much time off since his last start.

“I played so many games last year, I know my routine. I just go back to my old routine,” Boija said.

Colgate broke up the shutout with Ryan McGuire’s power-play goal at 10:24 of the third.

Throughout the game, Colgate took advantage of stretch passes, creating odd-man rushes and keeping the pressure on Maine’s defense. Boija was up to the task, turning away shot after shot. The Black Bears mixed and matched defensive pairs throughout the game. With Liam Lesakowski and Grayson Arnott out because of injuries, Maine played with six defensemen instead of their usual seven.

“Albin was fantastic. He kept us in it. He was so steady back there, making some huge saves,” Maine defenseman and captain David Breazeale said. “They’re a tough team to play against. They’re big, they’re physical. And we didn’t play our full game for 60 minutes. There was flashes of it, but we have to be more consistent, more mature, if we want to be a championship team.”

Maine took a 1-0 lead at 5:26 of the first on Bradly Nadeau’s 13th goal of the season. Alone near the right post, Nadeau took a pass from his brother, Josh, and shot over the shoulder of Colgate goalie Carter Gylander.


The Black Bears made it 2-0 at 4:57 of the second. Harrison Scott skated around the back of the net and stuffed a backhand shot just inside the post.

With just 51 seconds left in the second period, freshman defenseman Ryan Hopkins scored his first collegiate goal on a shot from the point for a 3-0 lead.

“That was a critical goal for us. That was a great shot. That was a great faceoff play by Lynden (Breen). Josh (Nadeau) got to the net. That’s what we talked about all week, is getting to the net and taking the goalie’s eyes. Josh did a great job of that and Hoppy put it in the perfect spot. It’s awesome to see him get that. He’s worked so hard,” Breazeale said.

Gylander made 32 saves for the Raiders.

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