ORONO, Me. — Boston University continued its trek around New England, coming from behind to defeat the University of Maine two nights after doing the same to the University of New Hampshire.
After falling behind 1-0 in the second period, the Terriers responded with five unanswered goals to pick up their seventh win in eight games.
The Black Bears fall to 6-7-2 and 5-6-1 in Hockey East, while BU improves to 10-5-1 and 8-4-1 in conference.
“I thought we played extremely well from start to finish,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “It certainly wasn’t a 4-1 game — or whatever it was.”
Anthoine put the Black Bears ahead in the second period, but four straight goals by BU ended Maine’s hopes of the upset.
“I think they did a good job on the rush and getting opportunities off the rush,” said BU senior goalie Kieran Millan of Maine. “It’s something we’ve done a good job of defending. My teammates did a good job handling that. It was a lot closer than it seemed.”
The game was marred by two separate game misconducts in the second period, sending BU junior Justin Courtnall and Maine senior center Brian Flynn to the showers early.
“He’s a key guy,” Parker said of Flynn. “They got the worst of that deal. Flynn is a terrific player.”
The game started out with a fast-paced first period, with each team putting pressure on the game’s goalies.
Midway through the first period, it looked as though the Black Bears had their first chance on the power play after sophomore center Charlie Coyle was called for boarding, but Maine sophomore forward Mark Anthoine followed Coyle to the box for embellishment.
Nothing came from the four-on-four action, as the Black Bears’ got another opportunity with five minutes remaining in the period. After freshman forward Evan Rodrigues was called for interference, Flynn got a great look on net, only to have Millan sprawl with his pad and save the goal.
The second period didn’t differ much from the first, other than the addition of scoring and the subtraction of two key players.
Six minutes into the period, Courtnall was dismissed after a five-minute major for contact to the head and a game misconduct. Seconds after Maine junior forward Adam Shemansky was laid-out at the center of the ice, Courtnall decked junior defender Mike Cornell to earn the early shower.
Millan kept the game level seconds into the power play after Flynn had a nice look at net. The Edmonton native wasn’t able to keep the puck out for the penalty’s entirety, as Anthoine scored his fourth goal of the season after a nice centering pass by Beattie.
“It’s something me and [Beattie] work on in practice,” Anthoine said. “He’s spot on in his passes, and I’ve been pretty accurate on my shots. I tried to get it and get rid of it as soon as I can.”
Just seconds after the go-ahead goal, Flynn followed Courtnall to the locker rooms after a hitting from behind penalty. The Black Bears were able to fend off the five-minute major, but not before sophomore forward Sahir Gill rattled the post.
Maine coach Tim Whitehead was visibly frustrated after the game, quick to dismiss conversation of Flynn’s game misconduct.
“It’s a shame, isn’t it?” Whitehead said of the ejection of his captain.
With three minutes remaining in the period, the game went to four-on-four after O’Neill and junior center Ben Rosen were each booked for interference. Cornell followed O’Neill soon after for a high stick, and the Terriers took advantage of the four-on-three, scoring with a scrum in front of the net, bringing the score to 1-1 heading into the final period.
The third period opened with the Black Bears on the power play after freshman defender Alexx Privitera was called for cross checking.
Just over six minutes into the third period, sophomore defender Adam Clendening fired the puck toward Sullivan, only to have it tipped in by Gill.
“There was a battle in the corner, and the puck went back to Clendening, and he has great vision,” Gill said. “I tried to get to the net and he looked up and made eye contact and he hit my stick.”
BU extended its lead to 3-1 after Corey Trivino connected on his 12th goal of the season. Clendening picked up his third assist of the game.
“We’ve been focused on playing 60 minutes,” Gill said. “It was a process tonight, but it was a feel-good win for us.”
A fourth goal with just under six minutes remaining and an empty-netter late in the period sealed the win for the Terriers, who are winners of seven of their last eight.
“I’m not real pleased with how the game finished up, but no excuses,” Whitehead said. “I didn’t see that coming, didn’t anticipate that result in such an evenly-played game.”