University of Maine freshman goalie Victor Ostman made 56 saves on Saturday night.
But it wasn’t enough for the Black Bears to overcome top-ranked Boston College.
Patrick Giles’ second-period goal was more than enough as the Eagles beat UMaine 3-0 in a Hockey East game at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Alex Newhook and Colby Dambrosio scored in the third period for 15-3-1 Boston College to back the goaltending of Spencer Knight. The first-round draft pick of the Florida Panthers made 24 saves to post his eighth career shutout.
UMaine (2-9-1) has lost five straight.
The Eagles, who won Friday’s game 4-2, outshot the Black Bears 59-24. BC has won four in a row and is 10-1-1 in its last 12 games.
UMaine had a golden opportunity to break a scoreless tie in the second period when Harrison Roy was assessed a five-minute major for boarding and Nikita Nesterenko picked up a tripping penalty 45 seconds later.
That gave the Black Bears a full two-minute, two-man advantage.
But UMaine wasn’t able to capitalize as Knight made some important saves although few were high-percentage opportunities.
“That was a big point in the game,” UMaine head coach Red Gendron said. “We had an opportunity but we couldn’t take advantage of it. We still had chances after that but we couldn’t make it happen.”
UMaine was without team scoring co-leaders Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup and Eduards Tralmaks, who missed the series. Gendron would not disclose the reason for their absences.
“We were a step off against a very good team and you can’t be,” Gendron said. “We were in it for most of the game but we ran out of gas in the third period.”
Ostman stopped two breakaways and had a host of other Grade-A saves. It was the first time a UMaine goalie had made 50 or more saves in a game since Oct. 5, 2019, when Jeremy Swayman made 52 stops in a 7-0 loss to Providence.
“Victor was outstanding. He gave us a chance to win. It’s too bad we couldn’t find a way to make some plays to reward his effort,” Gendron said.
Giles, a junior right wing, scored what proved to be the game-winner at the 13:30 mark of the middle period. He was set up in the middle of the slot and fired a shot that Ostman saved.
Marc McLaughlin pounced on the rebound, only to have Ostman make another save. A wild scramble ensued and the puck squirted to Ostman’s left where Giles spotted it and swept it home from eight feet out.
UMaine defenseman Jakub Sirota made a desperate lunge to get across the crease while Ostman was on his back.
Newhook made it 2-0 on the power play with 9:09 left in regulation when he was set up by McLaughlin and Matt Boldy. He received the puck in the middle of the slot and sailed a snap shot past Ostman, who was screened by his own defenseman.
Thirty-three seconds later, Dambrosio scored off another scramble as he tucked the puck into the short-side corner from just outside the crease.
“We didn’t generate much after the second goal,” Gendron said.
He said his team was sloppy because of the players’ fatigue.
“When you’re tired, one of the things that goes is your decision-making,” Gendron said.
That also hampered their ability to establish their forecheck, he said.
Gendron said the goaltending of Matt Thiessen on Friday night and Ostman was a real bright spot.
“It’s a very good situation to be in. And we’re going to get healthier and healthier as the season goes on,” he said.
UMaine has four regular-season games remaining, but won’t know next weekend’s opponent until Hockey East releases the schedule on Tuesday.