ALBANY, N.Y. – Derek Damon vowed to his teammates that if they got him a game Sunday, they wouldn’t be disappointed.

The former St. Dom’s forward followed up on his promise with a goal and an assist after sitting out Saturday’s game with a suspension.

“I talked to the team Thursday,” said Damon. “I told them if they pick me up on Saturday, that I’ll pick them up on Sunday. I think all of us did that.

“It was a very emotional weekend for myself and for the team. We’ve been through a lot, but it helps us get closer when things happen.”

Damon set up Matt Duffy’s goal for a 1-0 lead with a faceoff win. He then made it 4-1 at 3:35 of the second when he finished off a cross from Josh Soares.

Damon credits his teammates and family for helping get through the challenging weekend. Damon was sidelined for the Harvard game because of a violation of the student athletic code of conduct.

“They’re the ones that have been there for me,” said Damon. “They understand that mistakes happen. I’m glad I had my teammates and my family and friends. It’s just a mistake that happens, and it’s too bad it happened at this time.”

The closer

Duffy must have that finishing touch.

The Windham native went without a goal all year, but scored two to beat Lowell in the Hockey East quarterfinal clincher two weeks ago. Sunday, the defenseman had a goal and an assist to finish off Michigan St.

Duffy was named to the all-tournament team along with Michel Leveille, Ben Bishop and John Hopson.

“It’s a great time to elevate my game. I just feel great out there,” Duffy said.

Duffy went through a stretch where he missed 13 of 17 games, but has since earned a regular spot in the lineup. When Mike Lundin returned for the playoffs after missing time with a finger injury, Duffy stayed in the lineup, leaving Simon Danis-Pepin as the odd man out. Duffy now has three goals and two assists in the last seven games. “They put me back in the lineup,” said Duffy. “They put me on the power play this weekend. I just feel good. I’m getting pucks to the net. My confidence is up right now.”

Frozen Black Bears

This will be Maine’s 10th trip to the Frozen Four. The Black Bears have reached the National Championship game five times, winning twice.

Maine beat Lake Superior St. in 1993 in Milwaukee and outlasted New Hampshire in overtime to claim the 1999 crown in Anaheim.

Maine versus Frozen Four field

Maine has gone 1-2 against Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament. The Bears beat the Badgers in the 2004 East Regional in overtime.

Boston College is the only Frozen Four team Maine played this season. The Black Bears met the Eagles four times, winning all three regular-season games, but losing to the Eagles in the Hockey East semifinals.

In the National Tournament, Maine has gone 2-1 against Boston College. Maine has only played North Dakota once in the tournament, losing on the 2000 semifinal.


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