ORONO (AP) – Billy Ryan had a pair of assists Friday night to lead No. 2 Maine to its seventh straight win, 3-1, over Merrimack.

Josh Soares and Greg Moore scored two minutes apart in the first period to put the Black Bears (8-1, 3-0 Hockey East) on top 2-0. Soares flipped a shot over Patrick Watson’s glove 15:34 into the game after Ryan fed him a pass in front of the net. Moore’s goal came on a rebound of a Bret Tyler shot 17:36 into the first.

Ryan set up another goal early in the second period, tracking down a loose puck behind the Merrimack net. Ryan sent the puck back in front to surprised teammate Keenan Hopson, who settled the pass quickly and beat Watson with a backhand shot for a 3-0 Maine lead.

Ben Bishop made 17 saves for the win. Watson stopped 27 shots.

Women’s soccer
E. Conn. 2, USM 1

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Jenn Orme notched the game-winning goal and added an assist to lead top-seeded Eastern Connecticut past the University of Southern Maine in the semifinals of the Little East Conference women’s soccer tournament, 2-1.

Orme fed Meghann Booth for the first goal of the game, and then scored an unassisted goal into an open net when Husky keeper Mindy Morneault misplayed a ball to make it 2-0.

Senior midfielder Dianna Thibaudeau got Southern Maine on the board in the 89th minute, placing the ball inside the far right post, just beyond the fingertips of goalie Allison Sumecki.

Morneault stopped seven shots for the Huskies (11-7-7), while Sumecki finished the game with three saves.

Eastern Connecticut will play either Keene State or Western Connecticut for the LEC title.

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