Senior center Tim Doherty scored his second goal of the game at the 2:26 mark of overtime Friday night to lift the University of Maine a 4-3 Hockey East victory over fourth-ranked Boston College at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
The Black Bears (11-9-4 overall, 5-7-2 HE) overcame a 2-0 deficit and the frustration of giving up the tying goal with only 1:43 left in regulation.
The Eagles (15-6, 9-4 HE), who had won 13 of their previous 14 games, had a three-game winning streak snapped.
“It was a great team win,” UMaine coach Red Gendron said. “We got behind, we battled back, they got the equalizer but our kids continued to stick with it.”
UMaine ended a seven-game Hockey East road winless skein (0-6-1), including a six-game losing streak. It was UMaine’s fourth consecutive victory over the Eagles after sweeping three games last season.
The teams conclude their two-game set at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Junior goalie Jeremy Swayman finished with 37 saves for UMaine, including 18 in the third period. Freshman Spencer Knight, a first-round draft pick of the Florida Panthers (13th overall), wound up with 21 for the Eagles.
The game-winning goal was set up by junior right wing Eduards Tralmaks, who sustained a shoulder injury in a 3-2 loss against the University of Connecticut on Jan. 15 and was a question mark for Friday’s game.
Tralmaks dug the puck out in the corner, circled the net and slid it to Doherty, who lifted it over Knight.
“It was a big-time play [by Tralmaks],” Gendron said. “He won a 1-on-1 battle for the puck and then made the pass.”
“That play is kind of new in hockey, a little short-side sneak,” Doherty said. “The goalie was cheating over [to the far post], looking for a wraparound and [Tralmaks] made a cheeky little pass to me. I had a feeling he was going to do it so I stuck at the near post.
“I got it and, luckily, I put it in,” he said.
It was Doherty’s team-leading 12th goal of the season and fifth in his last four games.
BC had taken a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals 1:33 apart by two freshmen, left wing Mike Hardman and center Alex Newhook. Hardman scored his seventh of the season and Newhook netted his ninth, on the power play.
But the Black Bears rallied in a dominant second period to take a 3-2 lead on goals by Doherty, freshman center A.J. Drobot (3rd) and senior left wing Mitch Fossier (5th, power play).
The Black Bears outshot the Eagles 10-5 in the middle period.
Junior right wing Logan Hutsko forced the overtime with 1:43 remaining as he collected his 14th of the season while the Eagles were enjoying a 6-on-4 advantage courtesy of a power play and the extra attacker after goalie Knight was pulled.
Doherty scored just 27 seconds into the second period as he took a cross-ice feed from Fossier and beat Knight to cut the lead in half.
“That was huge. That gave us some momentum,” Doherty said.
Fossier was the provider again on the Drobot goal as he slid the puck across to him on a 2-on-1 break.
Fossier gave the Black Bears the lead as he sliced across the net front and re-directed an Adam Dawe pass past Knight.
The Black Bears had a golden opportunity to expand their lead in the third period when Zach Walker was assessed a five-minute major for a hit from behind on UMaine sophomore defenseman Simon Butala, who had to leave the game.
But the Eagles killed off the major and, after failing to convert on a power play that started with 4:27 left, they did capitalize five seconds after a cross-checking call on Cam Spicer.
Fossier’s goal and two assists gives him two goals and six assists in his last five games.