ORONO, Maine — Call it a lesson learned for the Maine Black Bears.
Last Saturday, Maine went into the third period tied 1-1 with New Hampshire at the Whittemore Center. UNH blew Maine away in the third, on its way to a 4-1 victory.
This time, the Black Bears were the team doing the blowing out in the third. Michael Schutte’s goal only 1:39 into the period gave Maine a two-goal lead and all the momentum the Black Bears would need to carry them to a 5-2 win over the Boston College Eagles at Alfond Arena.
“We were really pleased with the third period,” said Maine interim head coach Tim Whitehead. “We knew [the first goal of the period] would be huge. I like how we attacked that period. The guys played hard.”
The game-winner came as an Andrew Alberts penalty expired. Maine was buzzing around Matti Kaltianen’s net and Colin Shields, already with two first-period goals, ripped a slapshot from the left circle that was stopped. The rebound kicked out to Peter Metcalf at the point, who found Martin Kariya wide open at the top of the left circle. Kaltianen knocked his shot to the right slot, where Michael Schutte got to it and stuffed it inside the short-side post, putting Maine up 3-1.
“The turning point was their goal early in the third period,” said Boston College coach Jerry York. “They put real good pressure on us, and that got them to a two-goal lead.”
The Eagles did get to within one again in the third on a power play. A delayed penalty against Maine allowed BC to pull Kaltianen for an extra attacker. The Eagles used it to their advantage and scored.
Dave Spina got the puck to Ben Eaves at the point. Eaves threw it toward the net, to a waiting a Tony Voce on the doorstep.
“Benny made a pass that deflected and ended up right on my stick,” said Voce. “I just put it in the net. It was a tap-in goal.” The goal came at 5:41 of the third.
Niko Dimitrakos put the Bears back up by two with a goal for the highlight reels at 8:01.
Dimitrakos had a shot from middle of the slot deflect off of traffic in front and come back to him. He skated around to the left and waited until he almost reached the goal line to make a move. He faked Kaltianen to the ice and then shot it over him, deflecting the odd-angle backhand shot off the far post and into the net.
“I said to myself, ‘I’ve gotta score this goal,’” Dimitrakos said. “It didn’t see [Robert] Liscak until the last second. He could have scored it easily.
“Their goalie was playing [to get the puck] so I went to the backhand, and he went down.”
Ben Murphy’s third goal of the season iced the game for Maine at 11:48. He found a loose puck in front that had deflected off the back of the goal. That took Kaltianen by surprise, allowing Murphy to jam it five-hole.
Perhaps the biggest factor in the game for Maine was the play of senior goalie Mike Morrison. He made 21 stops to improve his record to 5-1-1 on the year. Many of his stops were important, coming from point-blank range with the game still in doubt in the second and early third periods.
“We knew that BC has a lot of guys that like to hang by the side of the net,” Morrison said. “More than usual, I was trying to maintain awareness of not only where the shot was coming from, but off to my sides, so I knew where to leave rebounds.”
“I thought he was very solid,” Whitehead said of Morrison. “He was focused, and kept his composure. He had to face many different situations, screens, odd-man rushes. He played a very good game.”
“I was really trying not to focus on the score,” Morrison said. “I found that it helped, because I didn’t get nervous, or think more about the shots.”
Colin Shields’ two first-period goals extended his goal-scoring streak to five games and gave him the national lead in goals. His 14th of the year came only 1:20 into the game. An Ales Dolinar power-play goal tied it at 7:09, but Shields put Maine back up off an offensive zone faceoff at 13:20 with his 15th.
“There was a big scramble. The puck was just there and no one was coming to me. I saw there was a screen and that the goalie wasn’t ready, so I took a shot,” Shields said.
Shields says that the number of shots he takes help him score goals.
“When you shoot the puck, anything can happen,” he said. “To score, you’ve got to put a lot of shots on goal, so that’s been my tactics over the last few years of junior, and now at college.”
“I thought that there was about a 10 minute stretch in the second period where we played really well,” said York, “but, for the most part, Maine beat us. They were good tonight. They got good goaltending from Morrison, and they had a lot of jump.”
“It’s a good win,” said Whitehead. “I thought they outworked us in the second period, but we played great in the third. But it’s a different game tomorrow night.”
“We’ll need to play better in all facets tomorrow,” York said. “Maine is a good opponent and they’ve got a great home-ice advantage here. We’ll need to play better for 60 minutes tomorrow.”
Maine (8-5-2, 4-2-0 HEA) will take on Boston College (8-6-1, 4-4-0 HEA) in the finale of the two-game series tomorrow night at Alfond Arena. Faceoff is at 7 p.m.