(With contributions from UNE Sports Information)
BIDDEFORD, Maine -- Junior goalie Liz Bergstrom (Chanhassen, Minn.) stopped 20 shots to record her fourth career shutout as the University of Southern Maine women's ice hockey team blanked the University of New England, 1-0, in non-conference action Tuesday night at the Harold Alfond Forum.
The game was the season opener for the Huskies. The Nor'easters lost for the first time this season to slip to 1-1-1 overall. The game was the first meeting between the two teams.
Scoreless through the first two periods, the Huskies tallied the only goal of the game early in the third period. Senior Erin Banfield (Montpelier, Vt.) converted the rebound of a shot from junior Julia Pearl (Essex Jct., Vt.) to beat UNE rookie netminder Sydney Helmbrecht (Grand Rapids, Mich.) at 4:21.
Bergstrom stoned the Nor'easters over the final 15:39 to preserve the lead. The third-year goalie had to withstand three Nor'easter power plays, including a short-handed stretch of 3:53 shortly after the Banfield goal.
Looking for the tying goal, the Nor'easters pulled Helmbrecht for the extra attacker with 45 seconds to play in regulation, and went on their sixth power-play opportunity with 15 seconds left. Bergstrom made a saves on senior Jenni Poulin (Pembroke, N.H.) with 20 seconds to play, and sophomore Marissa Clifford-Biederman (Lee, N.H.) from point-blank range in the final 10 seconds to earn the win.
Southern Maine had a 28-20 edge in shots on goal in the game.
The Huskies open their 2013-14 ECAC Women's East schedule on Friday (4:00 p.m.) hosting Plymouth State University at the USM Ice Arena. UNE travels to Castleton State College on Friday (4:00 p.m.).