College Hockey:
Diamond’s late goal sends Maine into tie with Vermont

— After coming close to tying the game Friday night, Maine took the ice looking for a win against Vermont Saturday night in its last chance to win at home in 2012.

UVM goaltender Brody Hoffman made 36 saves, but Maine captain forward Joey Diamond scored on a power play in the third period to prevent the Black Bears from being swept at home as the teams settled for a 2-2 tie.

“They outshot us pretty bad, but I don’t think they outchanced us,” Hoffman said.

In a quiet first period, both teams did not give up many good opportunities for the opposition to score.

The best chance for Maine came 7:30 into the first period while the Black Bears were on a power play after UVM defenseman Michael Paliotta committed an interference penalty. Maine forward Steven Swavley received a pass and had an open shot, but missed wide left.

Referees called a delayed penalty on Maine forward Kyle Beattie, but while play was still going on, Black Bears’ defenseman Mike Cornell was also called for a penalty, making UVM’s only power play of the period a five-on-three.

Maine goaltender Martin Ouellette and the kept the puck out of their defensive zone and kept the score 0-0.

The Black Bears and Catamounts both picked up the pace on offense in the second period after just firing off six and three shots, respectively, in the first period.

UVM got on the board first when defenseman Nick Luukko and forward Brett Bruneteau assisted forward Matt White in scoring his second goal of the year 4:02 into the second period.

Maine had a prime opportunity to tie the game after Paliotta and forward Jacob Fallon were sent to the box 30 seconds apart from each other to give the Black Bears a five-on-three.

“You kill [the five-on-three power play] off, that’s huge,” said Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon. “It’s a downer to the power play and positive energy to the team that killed it off.”

Beattie missed an incoming pass and subsequently an open shot opportunity and Diamond misfired on another open shot opportunity as the Catamounts successfully killed the penalty.

With 11:48 played in the second period, the Black Bears made up for their power-play miscues when forward Ben Hutton fired a slap shot from the left side that found its way past Hoffman, tying the game at one goal apiece.

“The puck was dumped in and our forwards went out there and put the puck in the corner, passed it to [Mark] Anthoine at the top,” explained Hutton. “He took a shot and it got blocked, it came right to me, I shot it, it hit him right in the shoulder and it popped in.”

The final minute of the period proved to be exciting, as the Black Bears formed a three-on-two on their way to the Catamounts’ zone, but the shot was wide. Beattie also had an open shot for Maine, but it was saved by Hoffman.

With four seconds left, UVM took the lead when Fallon and forward Chris McCarthy assisted forward Tobias Nilsson-Roos to make the score 2-1 going into the second intermission.

The third period picked up where the previous period left off with Paliotta being called for high sticking 25 seconds in to give the Black Bears a power play right off the bat.

For the second consecutive game, Maine used a power play to score a goal when Diamond shot one past Hoffman unassisted 1:11 into the third period to tie the game 2-2.

“I needed to make a push to be in better position for the rebound,” Hoffman said. “I just stretched and couldn’t get in position for the rebound.”

“It was just a puck to the net and he didn’t get my rebound,” Diamond added.

The rest of the period was a physical, defensive struggle, with the referees letting the players play for the most part. With 48 seconds remaining in the game, UVM went on a power play one last time when Adam Shemansky was called for slashing.

UVM did not score in regulation, but kept the power play going into the extra period.

Ouellette and the defense stopped the Catamounts for the remainder of the power play in overtime and both teams stopped every chance that the other had for the rest of the period.

“Obviously, not the result we wanted, but there were a lot of positives we can build off of,” Maine coach Tim Whitehead said. “Our discipline was good with the exception of O’Connor’s [misconduct penalty]. I thought the penalty kill was strong, especially in overtime. I felt that this one was very good, we worked a lot harder to get points. We will work off the positives and continue to improve. There was a lot we could build off of tonight.”

“We thought we were definitely better than last night, we got better as the game went on and I thought we played hard,” said Diamond. “We didn’t really want to lose this game, getting swept on the weekend was not something that was going to happen again here, and we got a goal on the power play.”

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