The University of Maine men’s hockey team extended its streak of games with a power-play goal to three on Saturday night and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Senior center Tim Doherty’s fourth power-play goal of the season came with 4:57 left in the game and enabled UMaine to salvage a 1-1 overtime tie with St. Lawrence University at the Roos House Athletic Center rink on the SUNY Canton campus in New York.
Jacob Nielsen had staked St. Lawrence to a 1-0 lead at the 12:45 mark of the first period with his first goal of the season and the third of his 51-game career.
It was the sixth game for ECAC member St. Lawrence (3-11-2) at the Roos House rink and the first point it had earned after five losses. The Saints’ Appleton Arena is being renovated.
Through Friday, only seven of the 60 Division I teams had allowed more goals than the Saints (3.6 per game).
The Black Bears (8-5-3) from Hockey East had been struggling to score goals until erupting for five on Friday night. They had tallied only two goals in each of their three previous games.
UMaine head coach Red Gendron was frustrated about not picking up a win but was glad to rally for the tie.
“We made a big play when we needed it. The team showed tremendous grit,” Gendron said. “They stuck with it and got a point out of it. It was a hard-earned point. This team doesn’t quit.”
Freshman goalie Francis Boisvert, who came into the contest with a 4.33 goals-against average and an .878 save percentage, turned aside 36 shots — 28 over the final two periods and the five-minute overtime.
UMaine outshot the Saints 29-14 during that span after each team had eight shots on goal in the first period.
UMaine junior goalie Jeremy Swayman finished with 21 saves and held an opponent to one goal for the seventh time this season.
Doherty’s tying goal was set up by Mitch Fossier and Adam Dawe.
“[Fossier] had a shot blocked but it came right back to him,” Doherty said. “Their defenseman forgot about the guys in front, I got open at the far post and [Fossier] found me with a great pass.”
The goal was Doherty’s seventh of the campaign and the assist extended Fossier’s points streak to nine games (3 goals, 8 assists).
UMaine is 4-for-15 on the power play over the last three games and has scored a power-play goal in five of the last six games.
“Special teams are a huge part of the game. We struggled early in the season on the power play but we’re starting to find our stride,” Doherty said.
Nielsen’s goal was set up by Carson Dimoff, who made a nice back-handed, cross-ice pass to him. Bo Hanson also assisted on the goal.
The junior center lifted it over Swayman.
“We came out flat, the same as last night,” Doherty said. “If we had played the way we did beginning with the second half of the second period [until the end of the game] we would have scored more goals.
“We obviously wanted the win but we came back to tie it up and we had a lot of chances at the end of the game and in the overtime [to win it],” Doherty said. That will give us something to build off.”
The Black Bears, 4-4-2 in Hockey East, return to league play with a two-game set Friday and Saturday at the University of Massachusetts (9-4-1 overall, 4-3-1 HE).