The University of Maine and Cornell University men’s hockey teams battled to a 1-1 overtime tie in the championship game at the Florida College Classic in Estero, Fla., before Rodger Craig scored in the ninth round of the shootout to give Cornell the championship Sunday night.
Cornell goalie Andy Iles made eight saves in the shootout after Devin Shore had scored for Maine on the first one.
Patrick McCarron converted Cornell’s first shootout opportunity to answer Shore’s goal.
Cornell failed on its next seven attempts as Maine goalie Martin Ouellette made four saves and poke-checked two other attempts away. Another shot missed the net.
But Craig finally ended it.
“He came down the right wing a little bit and put it five-hole,” said Ouellette. “I got my stick on it but it wasn’t enough.”
The game will go into the books as a tie.
Maine is now 10-6-2 and had its unbeaten streak extended to five games (4-0-1). Cornell, the nation’s 15th-ranked team, is 8-4-3.
In regulation, Dustin Mowrey scored the equalizer for Cornell with 14:25 left in the third period after Shore had given Maine a 1-0 lead with 1:01 left in the middle period.
Ouellette came up with a pair of terrific saves in overtime to preserve the tie.
He stopped John Knisley’s wraparound early in the five-minute overtime before robbing Joel Lowry, who had a point-blank attempt with 15 seconds after he was set up at the top of the crease by Cole Bardreau.
“I saw (Lowry) there and just tried to make myself big,” said Ouellette. “I was able to get my shoulder on it, blocker-side.”
Big Red senior center Mowrey was credited with the tying goal although Shore said he actually put it in his own net while trying to clear the bouncing puck.
“It was a tough bounce. It was a bang-bang play. I’d like to have that one back,” said Shore. “(Ouellette) had an unbelievable tournament. The only goal he allowed was off my stick.”
“You can’t blame Devin for that one. He is playing so well right now,” said Ouellette who finished with 35 saves after making 33 in the 4-0 win over Princeton on Saturday.
Mowrey’s goal came just a few minutes after Iles had kept his team within one with a pair of back-to-back saves off Connor Leen and Dan Renouf while the Black Bears were shorthanded.
Iles lost his goal stick after making the save on Leen’s break-in but was able to scramble across and make a terrific stop on Renouf’s follow-up shot.
Sophomore center Shore had staked Maine to a 1-0 lead by finishing off a nice play involving linemates Leen and Steven Swavely.
“I didn’t have to do much,” said Shore. “Steven beat the defenseman and Connor made an unbelievable pass. I had the open net.”
Shore extended his points streak to nine games (7 goals, 10 assists).
Senior Iles finished with 32 saves for Cornell.
“He played very well. He’s small but he’s very quick and aggressive,” said Ouellette.
Shore and Ouellette said the team played well.
“It’s tough to lose in a shootout but we played real hard against two tough teams this weekend,” said Shore.
“We played well both games defensively,” said Ouellette.