The University of Maine men’s hockey team killed off six University of Connecticut power plays during their weekend Hockey East series at the Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs, Connecticut.
But the Huskies finally converted and it couldn’t have come at a better time. UConn snapped a 2-2 tie with 2:16 remaining in regulation to grab a 4-2 victory and a split of the series.
UMaine won Friday’s game 6-4.
“I thought we played a pretty good game overall,” UMaine head coach Red Gendron said. “We got down 2-0 but clawed our way back with some clutch power-play goals in the second period. And we had our fair share of chances to get more.”
Freshman right wing Ryan Tverberg scored the game-winner. He was parked unattended to the left of freshman goalie Victor Ostman and redirected Hudson Schandor’s shot from the right point into the goal.
Marc Gatcomb added an empty-net goal with one second left to ice it.
Carter Berger’s first goal of the season staked UConn (9-10-2), which snapped a four-game losing streak, to a 1-0 lead at the 14:43 mark of the first period. His wrister from the left wing boards found its way through a maze of players and beat Ostman.
It was the eighth consecutive game in which UMaine (3-10-1) has conceded the first goal.
Adam Karashik’s second-period goal expanded the lead to 2-0 as his snap shot from the point off a Yan Kuznetsov pass appeared to deflect off someone in front.
But UMaine junior left wing Adam Dawe scored two power-play goals in the final 2 minutes, 37 seconds of the middle period to tie it. He now has five goals this season.
Dawe capitalized on a 5-on-3 as he wheeled across the slot and sailed a wrist shot past Tomas Vomacka’s blocker.
He tied it during a 5-on-4 with one second left in the period. Jakub Sirota’s shot from the point hit the post and Lynden Breen tried to tuck the rebound inside the near post. It hit the outside of the post and Breen chased it down behind the net and fed it to Dawe.
The net was dislodged by Karashik before Dawe flipped it in, but the goal was upheld upon review.
Breen and Sirota assisted on both goals.
“We played a stronger game than last night,” Gendron said. “It’s tight in Hockey East.”
Ostman finished with 43 saves and has now made 139 saves on 148 shots over his last three games. He left Friday’s game late in the third period with leg cramps.
UMaine went 2-for-3 on the power play and was 3-for-5 on the weekend. The Black Bears had been mired in a 2-for-27 drought with the man advantage. The Black Bears killed seven of eight UConn power plays.
Just after Gatcomb’s empty-netter, a celebratory Vomacka (23 saves) skated over to Dawe and appeared to be yapping at him. Dawe crosschecked him in the neck area and was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
The league will review it and could suspend Dawe for a game.
UMaine was again without second-leading scorers Eduards Tralmaks and Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup, who are sidelined for undisclosed reasons. Freshman right wing Brad Morrissey, who got injured Friday, also did not play on Saturday.
UMaine is scheduled to finish regular-season play next weekend before the single-elimination playoffs begin.
The Black Bears will travel to play either Merrimack or Northeastern. The opponent will be announced on Tuesday.