AMHERST, Mass. — The University of Maine’s men’s hockey team opened Hockey East play with a 1-1 overtime tie at the University of Massachusetts’ Mullins Center on Friday night.
Maine had a potential game-winning goal by Connor Leen with 45 seconds remaining in the third period waved off by the referees after a video review.
Maine extended its unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1). The Black Bears are 3-2-1 overall.
UMass is now 2-4-1 and 0-1-1 in Hockey East.
The teams will conclude their series at 7 Saturday night.
Maine swept UMass 3-2 in overtime and 8-4 in Orono last weekend. Those were non-conference games.
Martin Ouellette finished with 31 saves for the Black Bears while Steve Mastalerz turned aside 26 shots for UMass.
Ouellette and Mastalerz were former teammates at Kimball Union Academy (N.H.) for two years. They are now 1-1-1 against each other during their college careers.
Maine coach Red Gendron said the goal was disallowed because the referees felt Ryan Lomberg impeded with goalie Mastalerz without being pushed into him by a UMass player.
“They said he jumped in the air and hit the goalie. He knocked him on his rear end so (Mastalerz) wasn’t able to get across to the other side,” said Gendron.
With the goalie out of position, Leen was able to deposit the puck into the vacated net.
Maine sophomore defenseman Ben Hutton’s power-play goal staked Maine to a 1-0 lead 3:35 into the second period but UMass senior right wing Conor Sheary tied it up at the 17:28 mark of the period.
It was the second goal of the season for Hutton and Sheary.
Hutton’s goal was set up by Devin Shore.
Shore absorbed a hit in the high slot but kept one hand on his stick and was able to shovel the puck across to Hutton, whose one-timer beat Mastalerz. Leen also picked up an assist.
Sheary tied it when he was able to maneuver across the slot and beat Ouellette with a quick snap shot between the pads.
Ben Gallacher and Marc Hetnik assisted on the goal.
Both teams had power plays in overtime but neither was able to convert.
The Minutemen had a two-on-one in OT but Ouellette made the save off UMass’ Branden Gracel.
“Marty was terrific,” said Gendron.
Gendron said it was a “good point” earned by his Black Bears.
Teams earn two points for a win and one for a tie.
“They battled their tails off. I’m proud of them for that. But we didn’t win so we aren’t satisfied,” said Gendron.
Gendron said Hutton turned in an outstanding performance.
“It wasn’t just because he scored. He was also great defensively,” said Gendron.
Maine went 1-for-5 on the power play and has scored at least one power play in each of the three games against UMass (5-for-17).
UMass went 0-for-4 with the man advantage after entering the game with the nation’s third-best power play percentage (32.4).
It was the first game this season that UMass hasn’t scored a power-play goal.