On Friday, Feb. 8, the University of Maine women’s ice hockey team skated to a 2-2 tie with the Providence College Friars.
The first period started off quickly, with both teams making drives into the opposing zone with little success. Both teams took a combined 25 shots in the first period before one finally found its mark. The Black Bears went into the Friars’ zone on a three-on-two rush, with the puck ending up on second-year forward Liga Miljone’s stick and she did the rest from there, besting second-year goaltender Sandra Abstreiter for the tally, her ninth of the season.
The Friars came soaring back into the Black Bears’ zone following the score, ripping off three shots and forcing two faceoffs in Maine’s zone, both of which they won. With less than two minutes left to play, fourth-year defender Avery Fransoo collected a deflected shot on goal from Miljone, taking off down the ice with the advantage to set up first-year forward Isabelle Hardy for the tying goal over fourth-year goaltender Carly Jackson’s stick-side shoulder.
With under 30 seconds left in the first period, Friars fourth-year forward Neve Van Pelt scored her sixth goal of the season and gave the Friars a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission. Maine leveled the game at 2-2 with just under four minutes left in the opening frame. Second-year forward Celine Tedenby scored her tenth goal of the season on a backhanded shot from the front of the goal, while Miljone and first-year defender Ella MacLean picked up the assists on the play. Maine had 18 shots on goal through the first two periods of play.
In the third period, neither team could find the back of the net, forcing an extra period, where intense defensive play and stellar performances from both goaltenders led to a tie. The Friars outshot the Black Bears in the overtime frame, 3-1. Jackson put on a clinic in the goal with a 33-save performance in the tie.
In the second game of the weekend series, the Black Bears picked up a 2-1 win.
The first period was tightly fought, as Maine scored one goal and held the lead into the first intermission. Third-year defender Taylor Leech scored the goal, as she collected the rebound off of a shot by fourth-year forward Tereza Vanisova, putting Maine up just six minutes into the game. Neither side could find the back of the cage in the second period, though Providence had two power-play opportunities to score on compared to Maine’s zero.
With seven minutes left in the second period, Leech was called for tripping against Fransoo, giving Fransoo a one-on-one opportunity against Jackson for the penalty goal. Maine’s stalwart stayed calm and stood her ground, blocking the shot and preserving the Black Bears’ slim lead.
In the third period, the Black Bears added an insurance goal just seven minutes in, as second-year forward Ali Beltz sniped a shot into the bottom left corner of the net from the right faceoff circle. The Friars finally found their first goal of the game late in the third period.
As the period went on, the Black Bears held their lead and won 2-1 over the Friars. Jackson finished with 43 saves on 44 shots while Maine only took 20 shots on goal. Maine’s record is now 12-12-7 and 8-10-6 in Hockey East play.
Maine will return home for their final regular-season match at Alfond Arena to take on the Boston College Eagles on Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15. Both games will begin at 2 p.m.