CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – There were enough loose pucks and wild scrambles to produce a bunch of goals in Friday night’s Hockey East game between the 12th-ranked University of Maine men and Boston College’s fifth-ranked Eagles.
But the teams wound up battling to a thrilling 1-1 overtime tie at Conte Forum as the teams swapped second-period goals and received superb goaltending.
Maine is now 4-2-1 overall and 2-0-1 in Hockey East. Maine had its four-game winning streak snapped but extended its unbeaten streak to five games.
BC is 3-1-3 and 2-0-1, respectively. BC extended its unbeaten streak to six games (3-0-3).
BC sophomore defenseman Carl Sneep opened the scoring at the 5:32 mark of the middle period with one second left on a power play. It was his first goal of the season and the second of his career.
But Maine senior left wing Billy Ryan equalized 4:10 later.
“With the number of good chances, you would have thought the score would have been higher than 1-1,” said BC coach Jerry York. “Maine has a pretty good club. We knew [goalie Ben] Bishop was going to be good.”
Bishop finished with 26 saves, including 15 of the Grade-A (high-percentage) variety.
BC freshman John Muse made 19 stops, including four Grade-As.
“John made some big saves for us,” said York.
One of his best saves came in the scoreless first period when Ryan set up Nolan Boike with a precise pass from the corner. Boike, from just beyond the top of the crease, one-timed a low 10-footer only to have Muse get his left skate on it.
Maine had a goal disallowed in the third period when it was ruled the puck was kicked into the net by senior center Wes Clark.
Clark nearly won it moments later when his one-timer from the low slot off a Chris Hahn pass trickled through the pads of Muse only to stop before it completely crossed the goal line.
BC opened the scoring when Kyle Kucharski’s close-in backhander was saved by Bishop and the rebound squirted to Sneep in the left circle. Bishop was laying on the ice after scrambling over to reject Kucharski’s bid, and Sneep calmly wristed it over him into the far corner.
Ryan tied it on a breakaway off a Boike pass.
Ryan made a few head fakes before sliding the puck between Muse’s pads.
“I got him moving side-to-side, and when he did, he opened up the five-hole,” said Ryan.
Maine appeared to take the lead with 14:09 left in the third period when Hahn’s centering pass from the corner deflected past Muse.
But referee Dave Hansen, who originally signaled a goal, conferred with his linesmen and ruled that the puck was kicked into the net by Clark.
Clark denied he purposely kicked it in.
“I was facing the corner,” said Clark.
Maine coach Tim Whitehead said he thought the officials were reviewing it on video replay.
“I was surprised that they waved it off after I found out there wasn’t video replay available,” said Whitehead.
Moments later, Hahn and Clark generated another glorious scoring chance only to see the puck sit on the line where alert defenseman Tim Filangieri tucked it under Muse.
The goal light went on, but it was waved off.
“We had two tough calls go against us, but that’s the way the game goes,” said Maine senior defenseman Bret Tyler, who was proud of his team’s performance including the goaltending of Bishop.
“We overcame some adversity and got a point against a very highly skilled team,” said Whitehead. “We aren’t satisfied, but I was pleased with how we competed.”
“We worked real hard,” said Clark. “It was a tough game. It was a good tie.”
BC had some glittering chances late in the third period, and the Bears dodged a bullet when the rebound of an Eagle shot deflected to Brian Gibbons cruising down the left wing.
But the freshman fired wide of the vacant net.
Both teams had chances in overtime but couldn’t convert.
“We played as a team and everybody came back and helped out in the defensive zone,” said Ryan.
“We played good team defense,” said Bishop.
BLACK BEARS 1, EAGLES 1 (OT)
Maine (4-2-1) 0 1 0 0 – 1
Boston College (3-1-3) 0 1 0 0 – 1
First period – No scoring. Penalties: BC, Orpik, hooking, 2:09; BC, Petrecki, roughing, 3:17; Maine, Hopson, tripping, 8:37; BC, Greene, interference, 18:20.
Second period – 1. BC, Sneep 1 (Kucharski, Gibbons), 5:32 (pp); 2. Maine, Ryan 1 (Boike, Danis-Pepin), 9:42. Penalties: Maine, Dimmen, interference, 3:33; Maine, Van Dyk, hooking, 11:08; BC, Whitney, tripping, 11:18; BC, Filangieri, hooking, 12:40.
Third period – No scoring. Penalties: BC, Filangieri, tripping, 3:36; BC, Filangieri, hooking, 6:20.
Overtime – No scoring. Penalties: none.
Shots on goal: Maine 7-5-7-1-20; BC 7-9-8-3-27
Goaltenders: Maine, Bishop (27 shots-26 saves); BC, Muse (20-19)
Power-play opportunities: Maine 0 of 7; BC 0 of 1
High-percentage scoring chances: Maine 3-3-5-0-11; BC 8-6-7-3-24