ORONO, Me. — After losing 3-2 in overtime on Saturday, Maine finished its homecoming weekend series with a 3-2 win of its own over Connecticut behind junior forward Brianne Kilgour’s three points.
The Black Bears’ first win improves their record to 1-3-0 on the season, while the Huskies drop to 1-5-1.
Maine scored all three of its goals during a five-minute span in the first period, something both coaches thought had a real impact on the game’s outcome.
“Obviously, when you give up three goals in five minutes, it gets you back on your heels,” Connecticut coach Heather Linstad said. “We didn’t recapture our energy really until the third period when we played a little better.”
“It allowed us to calm down a bit and just play,” said Maine coach Maria Lewis. “I think as the game went on, we had a lot of opportunities. We started to see some seams open up and started moving our feet to the puck more, which is really important.”
UConn got the scoring going on the power play after Black Bears’ forward Tori Pasquariello was sent to the box for checking at the 8:43 mark. Sophomore defender Caitlin Hewes wired a slap shot from the point that beat Maine goaltender Brittany Ott, giving the Huskies a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play, while Maine went 0-for-5 with the extra skater.
Kilgour got the Black Bears on the scoreboard three minutes later after her shot from the left slot beat UConn goaltender Sarah Moses high on the glove side. Sophomore forward Katy Massey was credited with the assist.
Moses had 34 saves on the night, while Ott finished with 25 for the Black Bears.
Maine then went ahead on Kilgour’s second goal with 1:45 remaining in the period. She was set up by senior forward Brittany Dougherty, whose initial shot was saved by Moses before Kilgour put home the rebound to make it 2-1.
Kilgour got the assist on Dougherty’s goal with 16.5 seconds left, giving the Black Bears a 3-1 edge heading into intermission.
“I think [Kilgour's] performance was huge,” Lewis said. “She was a role player for us last year and she’s stepping in now at a time when we need people to step up. To see her start to put points up like that, I think it’s a nice step forward in her progression and development as a player.”
Neither team scored in the second period with chances coming few and far between.
The physical play was highlighted by a scuffle around the 10:48 mark that resulted in two game misconduct penalties, one to Black Bears’ forward Jennifer More and the other to UConn defender Kiana Nauheim.
The game remained up and down throughout the third.
Moses was pulled to give the Huskies an extra attacker in the final minutes.
Both teams called timeout with 1:12 left in the contest, but it was Connecticut who capitalized.
Freshman forward Michela Cava’s fourth goal of the season cut Maine’s lead to 3-2 with 1:05 left as she slammed home a rebound after senior forward Kelly Horan’s shot was initially stopped by Ott.
Despite the loss, Linstad liked her team’s effort in the final period.
“Truthfully, I thought we played really well besides the five minutes at the end of the first and the second period,” she said. “There was no real quit in the third, but we have to be better for the full 60 minutes, not just 35 minutes.”
Kilgour thought the win was just what her team needed moving forward.
“It’s our first Hockey East win, so that’s huge for us,” she said. “Winning feels good. We’ll remember this and take it into practice this week and try and do it again next weekend.”