For the second night in a row on Friday, the University of Maine’s hockey team spotted the Boston College Eagles a goal in the first two minutes of their Hockey East game at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
But unlike Thursday night’s 6-2 loss, the Black Bears battled back and earned a 2-2 overtime tie before picking up an extra point in the league standings with a 2-1 win in the shootout.
A team earns three points for a regulation win in Hockey East; two points for an overtime or shootout victory and one point for an overtime or shootout loss.
In the eyes of the NCAA, any game that is tied after overtime is considered a tie regardless of the outcome of a shootout.
UMaine is now 1-9-2 overall and 1-6-1 in Hockey East while the No. 19 Eagles are 7-5-2 and 5-3-1.
BC’s Jack St. Ivany opened the scoring just 1:20 into the game when Patrick Giles fed him in the slot and he beat UMaine goalie Victor Ostman for his second goal of the season.
But instead of surrendering two more first-period goals to dig themselves a 3-0 hole like they did on Thursday night, the Black Bears responded with a solid first-period effort before taking a 2-1 lead on a second-period goal by Lynden Breen, his second of the season, and an early third-period goal by Donavan Houle (4th).
Giles tied it up with 8:21 remaining when he converted a breakaway for his sixth.
Both teams had glittering chances to win the game in the five-minute, three-on-three overtime but Ostman and BC goalie Eric Dop came up with some great stops to force the shootout.
BC’s Eamon Powell began the shootout by snapping the puck past Ostman but Brad Morrissey answered by converting his chance.
Ostman stopped Casey Carreau and Dop saved off Breen before BC’s Jack McBain hit the post which opened the door for Houle to decide it as he beat Dop to supply the Black Bears with the extra point.
Breen had tied the game at the 11:45 mark of the second period when he skated on to a Dawson Bruneski drop pass and wristed a shot from the circle past Dop.
Houle gave UMaine its first lead of the weekend 3:41 into the third period when he capitalized on a Breen pass. It was his fourth goal in his last five games.
Powell and Aidan Hreschuk set up Giles on his breakaway as a long pass from the BC zone sent him in alone.
“The guys played real hard. This was our first signs of life in a while,” said UMaine first-year head coach Ben Barr. “So much of the game at this level is about effort, attitude and compete level and we had it from everybody tonight.”
UMaine was without six forwards for the game and used two defensemen, freshman Tim Gould and sophomore Kabore Dunn, on the fourth line with Edward Lindelow.
Gould was making his UMaine debut.
“Those guys did a great job. That line gave us a lot of energy. That’s what we’ve been looking for, even from our top guys. It goes to show what a little bit of energy and effort can give you,” said Barr.
Barr also said linemates Houle and Breen played “pretty well all weekend” with Grant Hebert on their line on Thursday and Tristant Poissant with them on Friday.
Hebert received a one-game suspension for a contact to the head hit late in Thursday night’s game and missed Friday’s game.
“Their line was our most dangerous line all weekend,” said Barr.
Hebert and Houle had scored on Thursday.
The Black Bears will return to action next Saturday when they take on UMass Lowell at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Faceoff is at 5 p.m.