Eastern Connecticut Holds off Southern Maine

MANSFIELD, Conn. Eastern Connecticut padded a slim three-goal halftime lead by killing off a penalty early in the second half, then followed by scoring twice in a span of less than two minutes the second on an extra-man opportunity and went on to trim Southern Maine, 11-7, Saturday afternoon in the Little East Conference opener at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

A seven-time conference regular-season champion, Eastern (6-2, 1-0 Little East) limited Southern Maine (2-5, 0-1 Little East) to two goals on ten extra-man tries. The Warriors, whistled for five straight penalties in the second half, have killed off 34 of their opponents' 38 man-up tries over the last five matches.

The Warriors trailed twice by a goal in the opening quarter but were able to open up some room by scoring three straight goals in the second quarter, then began the second half with the goals by freshman Mike Devine (Cheshire) and senior Grant Albertson (New Canaan).

Senior Vinny Tornatore's (Norwalk) man-down strike in the opening minutes of the second quarter sparked that three-goal run, with junior Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) and Albertson adding even-strength goals two minutes apart to push Eastern's lead to 7-3.

In the second half, Eastern's defense allowed only one goal on seven Southern Maine man-up opportunites. The Huskies managed only that one man-up goal from Tim Bryant in the second half against sophomore netminder Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) until scoring twice in the final 89 seconds after the starting goalie had retired to the bench.

Albertson and Bolivar each had three of Eastern's goals, Albertson maintaining his team lead with 18 goals. The pair combined to take more than half (24) of the team's 45 shots.

Senior All-America Eric Vasil (Southington) won 16 of 18 faceoffs and scooped up 16 ground balls. Vasil leads Division III with a .794 faceoff percentage and an average of 14.4 ground balls per game.

Southern Maine sophomore goalie Kyle Dussault kept his team within striking distance all afternoon by making 18 saves, while Berube turned back 12 shots to improve his season mark to 6-2.

Eastern hosts Massachusetts Boston in a Little East Conference game Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

* * * *

MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Senior Grant Albertson (New Canaan, Conn./Trinity Pawling) and junior Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk, Conn./Brien McMahon) each scored three goals as Eastern Connecticut State University defeated the University of Southern Maine 11-7 in the teams' Little East Conference opener Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Athletic Complex.

The win was the second straight, and sixth in the last seven games, for the Warriors and lifts their overall record to 6-2. The Huskies, who have never beaten the Warriors in 10 tries, dropped their third straight to slip to 2-5 overall.

Albertson and Bolivar led all scorers with a hat trick and an assist each. Rookie Mike Devine (Cheshire, Conn.) and senior Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk, Conn.) added two goals apiece for the Warriors. Second-year goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, Mass.) made 12 saves before giving way to sophomore Drew Deane (Vernon, Conn./Rockville) with 2:20 to play. Deane did not record a save.

Junior Kyle Baker (Kennebunk, Maine) was the only repeat goal scorer for the Huskies netting two goals. Classmate Kayle Hamilton (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle) had two assists. Sophomore goalie Kyle Dussault (Lewiston, Maine) was outstanding making 18 saves.

The Huskies grabbed a 2-1 lead in the opening six minutes as freshman Dylan Bousquet-Smith (Bowdoinham, Maine/Mt. Ararat) and Baker sandwiched a goal by Bolivar. Devine, Tornatore and Albertson would score before the end of the period to give the Warriors a 4-2 edge after 15 minutes of play.

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