ORONO - Connor Leen (Chester, N.Y.) scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season late in the third period, but it was not enough as the University of Maine men's ice hockey team fell to Merrimack 3-2 on Saturday night at Alfond Arena.
Merrimack jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 18:36 of the first period when Brendan Ellis fed Kyle Bigos five-on-three. Bigos ripped a shot past Maine goalie Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec) for his fourth goal of the season. Mike Collins also assisted on the play.
The Warriors made it 2-0 just 39 seconds into the second period when Collins set up Jordan Heywood for his fifth goal of the season.
Joey Diamond (Long Beach, N.Y.) put the Black Bears on the scoreboard when he forced a Merrimack turnover short-handed and broke in alone on goalie Sam Marotta. For Diamond, it was his fifth goal of the season.
Rhett Bly scored when proved to be the game-winner at 10:53 of the third period from the right faceoff circle.
Maine pulled to within one goal at 15:21 when Leen scored on a shot from the right post from Mike Cornell (Franklin, Mass.) and Diamond.
Merrimack outshot Maine 28-24 in the game. Maine finished 0-for-7 on the power play, while the Warriors were 1-for-8.
Maine goalie Ouellette made 25 saves in goal for the Black Bears. He falls to 3-7-4 on the season. Marotta made 22 saves for Merrimack. He improves to 6-4-3.
Maine falls to 5-14-4 on the season and 1-9-4 in Hockey East play. Merrimack improves to 9-9-5 overall, 7-5-2 in conference play.
The Black Bears return to action on Friday, Jan. 25 when they travel to Boston College to start a weekend series with the Warriors.