ORONO – Goaltending has played a decisive role in several University of Maine men’s hockey team’s wins this season.
But the skate was on the other foot Sunday.
Boston University junior goalie John Curry made 19 of his 37 saves in the third period as the Terriers beat the Black Bears 2-1 at Alfond Arena.
BU snapped Maine’s seven-game winning streak and 18-game unbeaten skein at Alfond Arena dating back to a 3-1 loss to Boston College on Nov. 5, 2004.
BU is now 3-2 overall and 3-1 in Hockey East while Maine fell to 8-2 and 3-1, respectively.
Greg Moore’s power-play goal staked Maine to a 1-0 lead in the first period but BU answered with second-period goals by Jason Lawrence and Brad Zancanaro and then survived a third-period onslaught thanks to Curry, who made eight of his 14 Grade-A [high-percentage] saves in the final period.
Maine attempted 37 shots in the third period to BU’s seven and had a 19-5 edge in shots on goal.
“This was definitely my best game of the year and it was right up there among the best of my career,” said Curry.
“I felt really good tonight as far as just being poised and seeing the puck really well,” added Curry, who credited his teammates with playing well in front of him.
BU senior defenseman Dan Spang bailed his goalie out five minutes into the third period when Billy Ryan faked the goalie out of position and circled the net for a wraparound attempt.
Ryan had an empty net staring at him but Spang got his stick on the shot.
“I tried to get to the [near- side] post as fast as I could and, luckily, I was able to get my stick on it,” said Spang.
Ryan said, “It just wasn’t my night. I had a lot of chances.”
Four minutes later, Curry made his best save of the game.
Maine’s Derek Damon was left completely unattended at the top of the crease and he received a perfect diagonal feed from Josh Soares, who had kept the puck in the offensive zone at the left point.
“I thought he was going to go down when I faked it to the backhand. So when I brought it back to the forehand, I figured he’d be down and out,” said Damon. “But he threw his right pad out and made a great save.”
Curry said, “I knew he couldn’t shoot if off the pass so I was able to be patient and wait for his first move. He deked (faked) a couple of times and I was able to get my pad on it.”
Damon said Curry “kept them in that game. We did everything but throw a couple of goals in there.”
Maine sophomore center Keenan Hopson, who saw Curry snare his point-blank backhander in the waning seconds, said Curry “always seems to play well against us. He’s a good goalie.”
Moore opened the scoring 9:31 into the game on the power play when he whacked home the rebound of a Bret Tyler point shot.
But freshman Lawrence’s first collegiate goal tied it 5:35 into the second period when he stickhandled around defenseman Steve Mullin and snapped home a quick 25-footer from the far side of the right circle.
“I saw a little opening on the short side and put it in. I had a little luck there,” said Lawrence.
Maine goalie Matt Lundin said, “I should have had it.”
The game-winner came 11:06 later off a two-on-two.
Senior left wing John Laliberte of Saco carried the puck down the right wing and threw it across the net front where it hit something and stopped.
“The puck was just laying there and all I had to do was hack it in,” said Zancanaro.
“It was under my pad and the guy slammed the net,” said Lundin, who finished with 18 saves including six Grade-A stops.
Maine coach Tim Whitehead was pleased with the effort if not the result.
“There were a lot of positives we can take from this game, most importantly the way we competed. We left everything out on the ice,” said Whitehead.
TERRIERS 2, BLACK BEARS 1
Boston Univ. (3-2) 0 2 0 – 2
Maine (8-2) 1 0 0 – 1
First period – 1. Maine, Moore 6 (Tyler), Hamilton), 9:31 (pp). Penalties: BU, Weston, hooking, 8:47; Maine, Damon, obstruction-tripping, 13:54; BU, Higgins, obstruction-interference, 16:21
Second period – 2. BU, Lawrence 1 (Kielt), 5:35; 3. BU, Zancanaro 1 (Laliberte, Yip), 16:41. Penalties: BU, MacArthur, slashing, 1:57; Maine, Hamilton, obstruction-hooking, 5:41; BU, Yip, tripping, 7:36; Maine, Damon, obstruction-interference, 9:21; BU, Yip, obstruction-hooking, 10:59
Third period – No scoring. Penalties: BU, Spang, holding, 11:21
Shots on goal: BU 8-7-5-20; Maine 10-9-19-38
Goaltenders: BU, Curry (38 shots-37 saves); Maine, Ma. Lundin (20-18)
Power-play opportunities: BU 0 of 3, Maine 1 of 6
High-percentage scoring chances: BU 4-2-3-9; Maine 6-4-10-20