ORONO, Maine — University of Maine sophomore defenseman Patrick Holway’s goal 7:45 into the third period, coming just seconds after Boston University came inches away from tying it, helped give the Black Bears a 5-2 men’s hockey win over the 18th ranked Terriers at Alfond Arena Friday night.
The triumph ended a streak of six consecutive BU wins over the Black Bears.
The Black Bears improved to 4-5 overall, 3-2 in Hockey East, while BU fell to 5-7-1 and 3-4-1. The two teams will play again at 7 p.m. Saturday at Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena.
UMaine took a 3-2 lead into the third period but the Terriers carried the play while pressing for the equalizer.
During a scramble in front of the UMaine net, Kasper Kotkansalo rang a shot off the post and UMaine goalie Jeremy Swayman, who was lying on the ice, extended his right skate and blocker to make a terrific save off Drew Melanson.
“I got it with the inside of my blocker,” said Swayman. “I didn’t see it until the last second. It was a desperation move.”
UMaine cleared the puck and broke into the BU zone where Holway was set up by Tim Doherty and Patrick Shea for a quick wrister as he closed from the right point. His initial shot was blocked by Kotkansalo and came right back to him and Holway roofed a 20-footer.
Shea added an empty net goal after fighting through two checks at center ice.
“It’s just one of those things right now. We aren’t capitalizing on our opportunities,” said BU coach David Quinn. “That sequence in the third period when we had so many chances to make it 3-3 and then they come down and put their first chance in the back of our net….That’s been happening to us all year. Credit to Maine. They played hard and they capitalized on their chances.”
Freshman Swayman was outstanding, turning aside 40 shots including 16 of the Grade-A (high-percentage) variety.
“He played great,” said Quinn.
Max Prawdzik, making his second collegiate start after shutting out New Hampshire 4-0 last weekend, finished with 23 saves.
UMaine’s Canon Pieper scored his first collegiate goal at the 4:37 mark of the second period and set up Brendan Robbins’ goal 2:29 later to give UMaine a 3-1 lead before BU freshman left wing Logan Cockerill notched the first goal of his college career 1:54 after Robbins’ goal.
A pair of freshman defenseman swapped goals in the evenly-played first period.
Boston University’s Kotkansalo opened the scoring with his first career goal at the 7:50 mark but Brady Keeper equalized for UMaine 2:30 later on the power play. It was Keeper’s third of the season.
Each team was able to carry the play for stretches of the first period.
Kotkansalo, who played for Finland in the World Junior Championships last year, converted a deflected pass from Cockerill. Cockerill threw the puck across a crowded slot from the right circle and it found its way across to the far post where Kotkansalo jammed it home.
Keeper answered when he was set up at the midpoint by Rob Michel.
With two teammates screening in front, Keeper sailed a wrist shot over the blocker of Prawdzik.
Pieper, a transfer from Quinnipiac, supplied UMaine with a 2-1 lead at the 4:37 mark of the middle period when he came out of the penalty box and pounced on a loose puck at center ice.
He was able to pull away from a pair of Terriers and fired a breakaway wrister past Prawdzik’s stick.
“That was a huge goal,” said UMaine head coach Red Gendron. “It gives you a big lift when you get a breakaway and you finish it. It’s always a letdown when you don’t.”
A few minutes later, Pieper found some open ice behind the BU net and, as he skated from one side of the net to the other, he shoveled a backhand pass to the top of the crease and Robbins stuffed it home.
“Canon is an extraordinarily fit kid,” said Gendron. “He can skate, he’s got good hands and a good shot.”
Cockerill answered by finishing off a pretty passing play involving linemates Patrick Harper and Shane Bowers. Harper skated down the right wing and slid a shot pass ahead to Bowers, who then swept it across to the far post where the open Cockerill deposited it into the half-empty net.
UMaine was able to kill off back-to-back penalties at the end of the period to take the one-goal lead into the second intermission.
“I didn’t like how we played in the second period but I thought we were pretty solid in the third period. We got two goals from defensemen,” said Gendron who added that Swayman was “terrific.”
UMaine’s penalty-killing came through as the Black Bears held the Terriers scoreless in six attempts. It is just the second time UMaine has held an opponent without a power play goal. Minnesota-Duluth was 0-for-1 in its 2-1 victory over UMaine on Oct. 27.
UMaine went 1-for-3 on the power play.