Just when you thought it was time to write Maine’s swan song, they responded with a vengeance.
The Black Bears, a week after one of their ugliest losses of the season, a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Merrimack, earned two home wins this weekend, eking out an overtime win over Providence on Friday before routing a white-hot Boston College team, 4-1, on Sunday night.
The four points propelled the Black Bears back to the right side of home ice, now tied for third place with 18 points. The two victories also gave Maine some breathing room over Merrimack (three points), which completed a non-league sweep of Alabama-Huntsville this weekend.
Maine also has a three-point lead over Northeastern, which split a weekend series with Vermont thanks to a 2-0 shutout in the second game of the series.
The Black Bears, with their upset win on Sunday, are now equal with Boston University, which itself earned a non-league win over Harvard in its only game this weekend.
The loss for BC on Sunday, its only game of the weekend, was a missed opportunity for the Eagles to jump ahead of New Hampshire in the Hockey East standings. The two clubs are tied for first place with 22 points, but after Sunday the Wildcats now have three games in hand over the Eagles.
Speaking of Wildcats, they were also the victim of an upset over the weekend. New Hampshire fell, 5-4, to Dartmouth in the annual in-state rivalry game played in Manchester. It adds to a string of tough losses for the Wildcats at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
On the bottom half of the standings, Massachusetts took care of business, sweeping sister school, Massachusetts-Lowell. Friday’s game was hardly a cakewalk as the Minutemen blew a three-goal lead and needed a fortuitous bounce in the closing seconds to get the game-winning goal. Saturday’s rematch was hardly as suspenseful as UMass jumped out to a 4-0 lead on Lowell en route to a 4-1 win.
The sweep snapped a five-game losing streak for the Minutemen but more importantly propelled them to seventh place, a point ahead of Providence and four points clear of ninth place Vermont, which failed to keep pace with its weekend split to Northeastern.