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Hockey East roundup: Defense key as Maine beats UMD to advance to Florida title game

Maine 1, Minnesota-Duluth 0
The Black Bears were able to score just once in Friday night's contest at Germain Arena, but junior Martin Ouellette made it stand up for good as Maine advanced to the finals of the Florida College Hockey Classic with a 1-0 victory over the Bulldogs in Estero. Freshman Ryan Lomberg dashed out of the penalty box off a spring feed from classmate Steven Swavely and beat UMD rookie Matt McNeely (21 saves) on a shorthanded breakaway at 13:26 of the second period for the game's only goal. Freshman Bill Norman looked to have iced the game with an empty-netter in the final minute, but the goal was waved off as it hit quickly bounced off both posts and out of the net. Stellar between the pipes, Ouellette made saves on each of the 31 shots he saw on the night, including 12 in the second period alone, to improve to 2-5-2 on the season and earn his second-career shutout, though it was his first since topping Providence as a freshman on Dec. 4, 2010. With the victory, the Black Bears improve to 3-11-2 on the season and will face fellow tournament host and No. 11 Cornell on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Maine and the Big Red have each ventured to Florida following the Christmas holiday for 13 straight years with the Black Bears having won four of the five head-to-head meetings. Maine will be making its eighth appearance in the title game and has earned the victory in four of those contests.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.