|University of New Hampshire||UMaine|
ORONO, Maine – In front of a sellout crowd of 5,165 at the Harold Alfond Sports Arena, the University of Maine men’s ice hockey team and New Hampshire skated to a 3-3 tie in the finale of their weekend series on Saturday evening.
Ryan Smith, Canon Pieper and Chase Pearson each tallied goals for the Black Bears, who move to 12-9-4 overall and 6-6-3 in Hockey East play. After the tie, the Wildcats stand at 9-11-4, 4-7-3 in league action.
Ara Nazarian started the scoring as his tally 3:53 into the first period gave the Wildcats an early 1-0 advantage. Charlie Kelleher carried into the Maine zone before dumping a backhand pass off to Nazarian who found the back of the net for his seventh goal of the season.
The Black Bears evened the score when Ryan Smith found the back of the net with just 49-seconds remaining in the opening period. Brady Keeper began the play when his shot from the top of the right face-off circle was tipped through the crease by Emil Westerlund. Smith gathered the puck on the left post before roofing his third goal of the season past New Hampshire goaltender Danny Tirone.
Richard Boyd regained the lead for the Wildcats when he cashed in on the power play, 12:30 into the second period. Kelleher added his second assist of the evening on the goal, sliding the puck out to Boyd before his wrister found its way past Jeremy Swayman.
Another late period goal for the Black Bears once again tied the game as Pieper’s power play tally with 1:16 left in the second pulled Maine even. Skating on the power play, Alexis Binner found Nolan Vesey, who then fired a shot on net. The shot was turned away but right to Pieper who stuffed it home.
Maine took its first lead of the game with 11:13 remaining in regulation. Eduards Tralmaks carried the puck in deep on a rush before sending a spinning backhand shot towards the net. The puck was tossed aside where Rob Michel quickly gathered and sifted a turnaround pass to the slot, finding a streaking Pearson who buried the go-ahead tally.
New Hampshire evened the score at 3-3 just over a minute later.
Kelleher’s wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle ricocheted off a Maine defender, causing it to change direction and sneak by Swayman.
Neither team was able to find the net over the closing half of the final period, sending the game into overtime for the second-straight night.
The Black Bears controlled the opening minutes of the extra frame with great chances from Pearson and then Vesey streaked in and ripped a shot on Tirone, which was turned away.
Swayman made two key saves late in the overtime, snaring Jason Salvaggio’s slap shot out of the air before again coming up big with the glove, shutting down a 3-on-2 rush with just 14.6 on the clock.
Tirone finished with 33 saves while Swayman had 27. Maine held the final edge in shots on goal at 36-30 while both UNH (1-for-3) and Maine (1-for-4) tallied power-play goals.
Maine is back in action next weekend when it travels to play UMass on Friday and Saturday night.