The University of Maine men’s hockey team played host to the Boston University Terriers this past Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1 and 2, taking home a 4-2 win on Friday and 2-2 tie on Saturday.
On Friday night, second-year forward Jakub Sirota passed the puck to fellow second-year forward Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup on the power play, who dished it to an unmanned first-year forward Ben Poisson. Poisson made quick work of Terriers’ fourth-year goaltender Sam Tucker, giving Maine an early lead in the first period.
With just under five minutes left in the first, second-year defenseman Simon Butala intercepted a Terriers pass and dished the puck up the ice to fourth-year forwards Ryan Smith and Samuel Rennaker, who had the two-on-one against Boston’s defense. Smith led the breakaway, drew the defender close to him and passed the puck off to Rennaker for the one-on-one with Tucker. Rennaker laid up a beautiful wrist shot that went up and in on the tender’s glove side in the top corner.
Heading into the second, both teams traded offensive series to no avail through the first 10 minutes of action. Then, with both squads having a man riding the pine in the sin bin, the Terriers forced a turnover in the four-on-four, and second-year forward Matthew Quercia played the puck ahead to first-year forward Jamie Armstrong, who decked out Black Bears third-year goaltender Jeremy Swayman for the tally.
After heading into the intermission with a 2-1 lead, Schmidt-Svejstrup continued to lead the charge on offense for Maine, capitalizing on a breakaway halfway through the third period. Sirota started the breakaway with a pass to Poisson, who quickly sent it across the ice to Schmidt-Sverstrup, who buried the puck to make it 3-1.
Fourth-year forward Patrick Curry tried to rally the Terriers. Electing to pull goaltender Tucker, the Terriers sent in an extra attacker giving Boston an advantage, which resulted in their final goal of the game with two minutes left in the third period, cutting Maine’s lead to 3-2. Third-year forward Jack Quinlivan won the face-off, passing the puck to fourth-year forward Doherty, who put the game to rest for Maine, scoring an empty-net goal with just over a minute to play. Maine, with the 4-2 advantage, played defensively for the remainder of the contest and skated off the ice with their second conference victory of the season. Defensively, Swayman put in another impressive effort, stopping 39 of 41 shots, while Tucker stopped 31 of 34 for Boston.
In their follow up contest on Saturday, the Black Bears and Terriers played with intensity throughout the entire 60 minutes of action. Maine, following their model from the previous night, played a smart and opportunistic offense. Doherty pounced on a rebound, following a shot from third-year defenseman Veli-Matti Tiuraniemi, and immediately buried it behind Tucker. First-year Terriers forward Trevor Zegras leveled the score on a breakaway midway through the second period, firing a perfectly placed wrister from one knee over Swayman’s glove.
First-year defenseman Adrien Bisson scored his first career goal early in the third period for the Black Bears, sending a clapper from the blue line that somehow found its way past Tucker.
Holding a 2-1 lead with under three minutes remaining, Boston University rolled out their scheme from the previous night, pulling Tucker and sending in the extra attacker. This time, their scheme worked, and second-year forward Matthew Quercia tallied the game-tying score for the Terriers. In the extra minutes, neither team could crack the other’s net, with Tucker and Swayman acting as true stalwarts. Maine coasted out of the contest 1-0-1, improving to 2-1-1.
Maine will travel to take on the University of Massachusetts Lowell next weekend in a two-game series. The first puck drop is set for Nov. 8 at 7:15 pm, and the second is at the same time on Nov. 9.