ORONO, Maine — University of Maine senior right wing Joey Diamond has had a lot of success against the University of Vermont and that continued on Saturday night.
Diamond’s power-play goal 1:11 into the third period extended his goal-scoring streak against Vermont to six games and enabled the Black Bears to earn a 2-2 overtime tie in front of 3,787 at Alfond Arena.
Maine is 2-10-2 overall, 1-6-2 in Hockey East, while Vermont is 3-7-3 and 3-6-3, respectively.
The Black Bears are now 0-6-2 at Alfond Arena and the eight-game home winless streak is the longest in the history of the hockey program dating back to the 1977-78 season,
Maine lost seven straight at Alfond Arena during the 1984-85 season but beat North Dakota to end the streak.
Maine outshot Vermont 38-21 and had a 77-42 edge in shot attempts.
UVM goalie Brody Hoffman finished with 36 saves, including 17 of the Grade-A (high-percentage) variety while Maine goalie Martin Ouellette wound up with 19, including 13 Grade-A’s.
“It wasn’t the result we wanted but there were a lot of positives and we need to keep working to build on those positives,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead.
“We got better as the game went on,” said tri-captain Diamond. “We played hard. We played better than we did on Friday night [2-1 loss].”
Junior center Matt White staked UVM to a 1-0 lead in the second period but freshman defenseman Ben Hutton drew Maine level 4:32 later. Senior right wing Tobias Nilsson-Roos broke the tie with four seconds left in the second period.
Diamond answered when he dashed to the front of the net from the corner to the right of Hoffman and took a point-blank backhander that Hoffman saved with his left pad. However, Diamond poked the rebound inside the far post.
“I just threw it to the net and got the rebound,” said Diamond who has seven goals in nine career games against UVM..
“He out-waited me,” said Hoffman. “I should have pushed out more.,”
“We’re going to have to shadow [Diamond] next time,” quipped UVM coach Kevin Sneddon. “He’s a good player,”
Sneddon felt his team was “fortunate” to get the tie.
“Maine was the better team tonight. They played an outstanding game. [Hoffman] earned us a point,” said Sneddon.
Ouellette made his best save of the night moments after Diamond’s goal when Mike Montagna was set up alone off a pass from Jacob Fallon off a two-on-one.
“I saw the pass coming across and was able to square myself up to the shooter,” said Ouellette.
Ouellette also made some important saves on a Vermont power play that spanned the last 48 seconds of regulation and the first 1:12 of overtime.
“I thought I played a decent game and the team played really well,” said Ouellette. “We’ll take the point but it’s frustrating because we should have won.”
Following an uneventful and scoreless first period, White opened the scoring for Vermont at the 4:02 mark off a faceoff but Hutton equalized at the 11:38 mark.
Maine outshot Vermont 18-7 in the second period but the Catamounts were opportunistic.
White scored his second goal of the season when he drove to the net and jammed home the rebound of a Nick Luukko shot from the point that bounced out of Ouellette’s glove. The Catamounts won a faceoff clean back to Luukko.
“I’d like to have that one back,” said Ouellette. “I should have caught [Luukko’s shot].”
Hutton drew Maine level when Mark Anthoine’s shot off an Adam Shemansky feed was blocked but deflected over to him.
Hutton’s wrister from just beyond the left faceoff dot glanced in off Hoffman’s shoulder.
The goal energized the Black Bears and they carried the play until the final minute when the Bears turned the puck over in their own end and the Catamounts generated a multiple-shot flurry.
Ouellette made saves off Fallon and Chris McCarthy before Nilsson-Roos deposited the puck behind the helpless Ouellette.
Scoring chances were at a premium in the first period although both teams received power-play chances that they failed to capitalize on.
Maine had three consecutive power plays but rarely challenged Hoffman.
Later in the period, the Catamounts squandered a full two-minute two-man advantage without seriously testing Ouellette.
Maine went 1-for-7 on the power play and now has a power-play goal in four of its last five games. However, it failed to convert with a two-man advantage that spanned 1:37 in the second period.
Maine also held UVM without a power-play goal on the weekend as UVM went 0-for-4 each night..