Eastern Conn. Pulls Away in 2nd Half, Downs Southern Maine

MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut limited Southern Maine to one goal in a 26-minute span and went on to post a 16-9 Little East Conference victory Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Eastern (6-7, 4-1 Little East) got goals from four different players in a four-goal run to break from a halftime tie and win its third straight conference game. With two conference matches remaining in the regular season, Eastern maintains a share of second place in the conference with Plymouth State University, which downed homestanding Western Connecticut State University, 17-10, Saturday.

Twelve different players contributed a goal or assist for Eastern, which scored the first three goals of the match and never trailed in defeating Southern Maine (5-9, 1-4 Little East) for the12th time in as many games in this series. The third quarter was decisive, with Eastern's 14-4 advantage in shots resulting in a 6-1 advantage in goals.

The score was tied three times in the first half before junior All-America Mike Devine (Cheshire) and junior Mike Jordan (Cheshire) the team's scoring leaders this season scored 37 seconds apart in the opening miniutes of the third quarter, and senior Kevin Fechtmann (Levittown, NY) and sophomore Zach Thresher (Somers) followed with strikes of their own to make it 10-6 with five minutes left in the third quarter. The Huskies never got closer than three the rest of the way. Devine and Thresher's goals were scored while the Warriors were in a man advantage.

After sophomore midfielder Burleigh Desjardins (Brunswick, ME) scored an unassisted goal to tie the match, 6-6, with two minutes left in the first half, the Huskies managed only one goal over the next 26 minutes and were outscored 9-1 by Eastern in that stretch.

Jordan led Eastern with four goals and an assist, junior Trevor Morrissette (Bedford, NH) adding three, and Thresher two goals and an assist. Freshman Angus Deane (Vernon) recorded his first career goal with 2:27 left in the match. Devine's goal moves him to within two of becoming the 11th 100-goal scorer in program history.

Eastern's penalty-killing unit stopped all five of USM's extra-man opportunites, improving the team's success rate this year to .805.

Freshman goalie Blake Smaldone (Hamilton, MA) made eight saves through the first 50+ minutes and left on the winning end of a 14-7 lead to gain his fourth victory in six decisions, with freshman Brendan Gillotti (Danbury) and senior Drew Deane (Vernon) combining for five saves over the final 9+ minutes.

Junior defenseman Chris Brown (Cohasset, MA) and senior faceoff specialist Josh Dubinsky (Woodstock) combined for 11 ground balls, Brown leading players on both clubs with six. Dubinsky won ten of 21 faceoffs.

Southern Maine senior attack Kyle Baker (Kennebunk, ME), the LEC leader in goals and points, unloaded nine shots but connected on only two the first coming with his team down 10-6 and the second proving to be the final goal of the contest inside the final two minutes.

Senior midfielder Zach Blauvelt (Lewiston, ME) won 15 of 27 faceoffs for Southern Maine and picked up four ground balls, while junior defenseman Dylan Kenney (Portland, ME) led the team with five ground balls.

Eastern visits Western Connecticut in a conference match Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

* * * *

MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut scored four goals in the first five minutes to the third quarter to break a 6-6 halftime tie and went on to defeat Southern Maine, 16-9, in Little East Conference action Saturday afternoon at the ECSU Mansfield Athletic Complex.

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