ORONO, Maine — It was one of those game-changing moments.
The University of Vermont’s Chelsea Furlani had just pulled her Catamounts within a goal 5:15 into the second period of Friday afternoon’s Hockey East game against the University of Maine at Alfond Arena.
Fifteen seconds later, the Black Bears’ Taryn Peacock restored the two-goal lead on a breakaway, and the Maine women went on to post an entertaining 4-1 triumph to extend its unbeaten streak to five games (2-0-3).
The teams play again today at 2 p.m.
Jessica Bond sent the puck up to Jenna Ouellette, who alertly angled her stick to deflect the puck to Peacock, who was 15 feet behind the nearest Catamount.
“I saw that Taryn was open,” said Ouellette, who assisted on all four goals and has two goals and six assists in her last three games.
“I sold the shot and pulled it to my backhand,” said Peacock, who calmly slid the puck into the empty net past helpless UVM goalie Kristen Olychuck.
There was a reason Peacock was so wide open, according to UVM coach Tim Bothwell, whose team is 5-9-1, 1-6-1 in Hockey East.
“It was a totally botched line change. We only had four skaters on the ice,” said Bothwell.
Dawn Sullivan and Lexie Hoffmeyer (power play) staked the Black Bears (4-9-5, 2-5-3 HE) to a 2-0 lead in the first period and Peacock added her second of the game with 4:41 remaining in the third period.
Maine’s penalty-killing was also an important factor in the win as the Bears killed all seven UVM power plays, including a pair of 5-on-3s that spanned 1:40 in the first period and 1:08 late in the third period.
“We got in [shooting] lanes,” said Sullivan, one of the penalty-killers.
Freshman Brittany Ott was outstanding between the pipes for Maine as she finished with 31 saves. Olychuck also played well, making 20 stops.
The line of Ouellette between left wing Peacock (2 goals, 1 assist) and right wing Sullivan combined for three goals and five assists.
Sullivan opened the scoring at the 7:59 mark as she scored from her knees in the right circle after being knocked down. Olychuck made back-to-back saves on Ouellette and Peacock before Sullivan wristed the puck through the goalie’s pads.
Hoffmeyer made it 2-0 with a highlight-reel goal after Ouellette accepted a long pass from Ott, protected the puck and left it for Hoffmeyer just inside the blue line.
Hoffmeyer darted down the slot, cut to her left and snapped a wrister over Olychuck’s glove.
Furlani scored when Brittany Nelson created a turnover and pushed the puck ahead to her. Furlani flipped the puck over Ott’s glove.
But Peacock answered quickly.
Maine’s clinching, third-period goal was set up by Hoffmeyer, whose diagonal pass deflected in off Peacock.