ORONO, Me. — In a thrilling Hockey East clash, Maine overcame two deficits to defeat No. 3 Boston College in overtime 4-3.
Forward Matt Mangene scored the game-winner with just over a minute remaining in the extra session. Forward Adam Shemansky added two goals for the Black Bears.
BC forward Bill Arnold scored his 12th goal of the season and forward Barry Almeida grabbed his 11th of the season.
The Black Bears improve to 11-8-3 overall and 8-7-2 in Hockey East, while the Eagles fall to 14-9-1 and 10-6-1 in conference.
“Give credit to Maine, I thought they played a strong game tonight,” said BC coach Jerry York.
On the game-winner, forward Mark Anthoine brought the puck into the offensive zone and gave it to the oncoming Mangene who fired it past BC goalie Chris Venti for the win.
“It was just a counter play,” Mangene said. “Anthoine picked it up in the neutral zone and he laid it back to me and I saw the goalie’s glove down and ripped it over his glove.”
“I saw it late,” Venti said. “The center drive like that pushes you back into your net and when I tried to gain ground, he already took the shot.”
It was only the third game this season that the Black Bears have won without scoring from the top line of Brian Flynn, Spencer Abbott and Joey Diamond.
“That was a big plus,” Whitehead said. “If you would have said our top line wasn’t going to score and we would win, I’d be like, ‘Really?’ I thought our top line played well, their chances just didn’t go in.”
“It’d been a struggle lately, the [lack of] depth of scoring for our team, and it was important to chip in,” Shemansky said. “It’s about time, really. I know we expect more out of ourselves.”
Both BC and Maine brought the physical play early on, but things settled down after Maine defender Mark Nemec and BC forward Chris Kreider were both sent to the penalty box for hitting after the whistle.
During the four-on-four session of play, Maine was booked for a too many men on the ice call, which proved costly. Less than a minute into the four-on-three play, BC center Kevin Hayes found Arnold for an easy one-timer past Maine goalie Dan Sullivan.
It looked as if the Eagles capitalized on another scoring opportunity after Kreider redirected the puck into the net, but after a lengthy review, the goal was waved off.
“It was clearly the right call,” York said. “It went off Chris’ skate — he redirected it.”
The reversed call was the fulcrum of the first period, as the Black Bears turned around and tied the game up with 11 minutes remaining. Shemansky was skating along the left faceoff circle when he corralled the puck and fired it past a sprawling Venti.
“I just saw the goalie wasn’t set and I just wanted to put it at the net because you never know what’ll happen and I was lucky to squeak it in,” Shemansky said.
Venti got his second start of the season for the Eagles, making 29 saves on 33 shots.
“I thought [Venti] played well against Northeastern and we always try to roll a hot goaltender,” York said. “I thought he played well, I’m sure he wants the first one back.”
The Eagles frustrated the Black Bears through the second half of the first period, making it difficult for Maine to escape from its defensive zone.
The second period was similar to the first for the fact that each side added a goal, but it was the Black Bears that struck first. After gaining possession of the puck in the neutral zone, Kyle Beattie maneuvered around a BC defender before beating Venti on his glove side.
The Black Bears were able to sustain the lead for most of the period, despite battling through a few penalties. Their luck ran thin in the last five minutes of the period, as BC was able to tie the game with a power-play goal. After stopping a barrage of shots, the puck poked out in front of Sullivan where Almeida was able to collect the puck and beat Sullivan, knotting up the score at two.
Just 16 seconds after the power-play goal, the Black Bears were able to fend off another penalty after defender Ryan Hegarty was called for cross-checking.
BC came out firing in the third period, eventually taking the lead for the second time on the night with defender Brian Dumoulin’s fourth goal of the season.
The Eagles were able to control the play for most of the period until two penalties back-to-back proved costly. Fifteen seconds after forward Steven Whitney was booked for hitting from behind, defender Patrick Wey followed him to the penalty box for cross-checking.
“The two penalties weren’t necessary penalties,” York said. “That was certainly a turning point of the game.”
“It was definitely a game-changer,” Venti said of the five-on-three. “Things like that are going to happen in a game. It goes back to discipline.”
After a Black Bears timeout, Shemansky was able to even the score after putting in a rebound from Flynn’s shot. Defender Will O’Neill also assisted on the play.
After 60 minutes, the game couldn’t determine a winner, so the five-minute overtime period was summoned.
Early in the extra period, Flynn rattled the post, just missing a chance to win the game.
However, with just over a minute remaining, Mangene gave the Black Bears the victory and two big Hockey East points.
The two teams hit the ice tomorrow at 4 p.m.