Sullivan stops 28 to lead Maine past Boston University


The power was lacking in more ways than one for No. 2 Boston University Friday night.

After playing the first half of the game with the dim bulbs on in terms of energy, the Terriers had to wait out a partial power outage halfway through the second period. The unexpected break helped them recharge their batteries long enough to tie up the game 2-2, but the energy crisis resumed in the third period.

The upshot was that No. 20 Maine bounced back from two deficits to pull out a 4-2 road win against a BU team that had yet to lose in 2012. Goalie Dan Sullivan stopped 28 of 30 shots for the win, and Mark Anthoine notched a goal and an assist. Alex Chiasson and Ross Gaudet scored for the Terriers.

The game’s low energy came as a surprise, given how well both teams have been playing.

“Overall, I thought it was somewhat of a boring game for a game that was so close,” BU coach Jack Parker said. “It didn’t feel like there was a lot of enthusiasm or bumping. I thought the game was slowed down a little bit. They did a good job of bottling us up at center ice.

“The only time I thought we played real well after the lights went out for the last 10 minutes of the second period. But after we made it 2-2, we played in the third period like it was 5-2, us. We didn’t get anywhere near the effort we needed.”

Maine coach Tim Whitehead had no complaints.

“We’re obviously pleased. Any time you can get any points coming out of BU, it’s a good night. So to get both points feels even better. It’s a fine line, and it could’ve gone either way, but we’re real pleased to get that last bounce.”

A largely uneventful first period finally culminated in a power-play goal in the last few minutes when Wade Megan made a nice pass from the behind the goal line to tee up an Alex Chiasson one-timer in the slot to make it 1-0.

That turned out to be BU’s first and last power play of the game.

“We only got one power play because we didn’t play hard enough to make them have to defend us,” Parker said. “It had nothing to do with the refereeing.”

Maine tied it five minutes into the second period late in a power play. Adam Shemansky buried a high wrist shot from the left-wing circle.

Seconds later, BU had a great chance to take the lead when Adam Clendening stole the puck for a clear short-handed breakaway. His shot was ticketed for the net, but Sullivan snared it with his glove.

“He was very good last week, and even better tonight,” Whitehead said. “Any breakaway save is big, but that one in particular because it was a great shot. It wasn’t a lucky save. And he had a few real gems later.”

Maine took the lead roughly three minutes later when freshman John Parker — no relation to Jack — slipped in on the left-wing side and looped a backhanded shot past Millan on the stick side.

Then the lights dimmed, and play was suspended for 10 to 15 minutes. BU came out strong afterward and tied it up a few minutes later when Ross Gaudet buried a rebound from an impossible angle after Ben Rosen set up Ryan Santana for a great bid.

“The rebound bounced toward the corner, where I was standing behind the goal line,” Gaudet said. “The goalie was out pretty far, so I had a pretty good angle to bank it off his body.”

Freshman Cason Hohmann had a pair of fantastic chances in the last minute of the period, especially when Sullivan was flat on the ice and buried under a few players. Somehow though, the goalie managed to stop the shot with most of the net open.

Maine went ahead for the first time halfway through the third period when Anthoine redirected Spencer Abbott’s shot from the left-wing circle. Then Abbott sealed it shortly after BU pulled the goalie. Abbott blocked Clendening’s shot and then raced off to fire in the empty netter.

“They’re one of the hottest teams in the country for reason, and we didn’t bring the level of intensity we needed to compete with them tonight,” Gaudet said.

The teams will see if they can muster a little more energy on Saturday night, when BU (15-7-1, 12-5-1 Hockey East) will once again battle Maine (13-8-3, 10-7-2) to see who will claim the season series.