BOSTON – The frustration continued and the University of Maine men’s aspirations to qualify for the Hockey East Tournament took yet another jolt Saturday night.
The Black Bears played an impressive defensive game but wasted another marvelous goaltending performance by junior Ben Bishop as freshman center Colin Wilson scored with 1:30 left in overtime to give the Boston University Terriers a second OT triumph over Maine in two nights, 1-0 at Agganis Arena.
BU won 2-1 Friday night.
The Terriers’ fourth straight win and fifth in their last six games improved their record to 12-14-4 overall, 10-8-3 in Hockey East. It was their fifth consecutive win over the Black Bears and extended their unbeaten streak against Maine to nine games (8-0-1).
Six of those victories were by one goal.
Maine’s longest losing streak since the 1985-86 season has now extended to seven games. The Bears fell to 8-17-3 overall, 4-13-3 in Hockey East. Maine is now 2-13-2 in its last 17 Hockey East games and is six points behind UMass in the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot with six games remaining.
UMass beat Northeastern 3-1 Saturday night.
Maine hosts UMass Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
It was the 12th time Maine has been held to one goal or less and it was the fifth time the Bears have been shut out.
Maine was without senior left wing Billy Ryan (hip injury) and sophomore LW Andrew Sweetland (back).
The Black Bears are now 1-15-2 against rivals Boston College, Boston University and New Hampshire over the past two seasons.
Bishop followed his 31-save performance against BU on Friday night with 37 stops on Saturday, including 20 on Grade-A (high-percentage) attempts.
BU sophomore goalie Brett Bennett made five Grade-A saves among his 17 while registering his first career shutout.
Wilson’s goal was his 24th point (9 goals, 15 assists) in his last 16 games and it was his faceoff win that led to it.
He drew it back to Brandon Yip in the middle of the high slot, then made his way to the front of the net.
Yip spun and fired a low wrist shot that was saved by Bishop.
“It went off my stick and it was [angled] toward the corner, but it went right onto Wilson’s stick,” said Bishop. “His shot hit my stick and went up under the crossbar.”
“The puck was on its side and I put it short side,” said Wilson, who was at a tight angle to Bishop’s right.
Wilson, who set up Luke Popko’s game-winner Friday, praised Bishop’s performance.
“He’s a great goalie. He doesn’t give you anything to shoot at,” said Wilson.
“He played unbelievable,” said BU senior left wing and captain Pete MacArthur, who combined with linemates Bryan Ewing and Chris Higgins to generate 15 of BU’s 38 shots on goal.
“I felt good out there,” said Bishop. “We played a great team game. We came so close to scoring a goal. We just aren’t getting the results we want.”
Bishop used his 6-foot-7 frame to full advantage by squaring up the shooters and minimizing his movement.
“We played real good team defense, and when we faltered, Ben bailed us out,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead.
Bishop’s teammates did a thorough job limiting BU’s second and third shots and confronting the Terriers in the neutral zone to reduce their time with the puck and their ability to generate speed.
Bennett came up with two game-saving gems, one in the second period and another in the third.
“That’s the best game he’s played,” said BU coach Jack Parker.
In the second period, Vince Laise and Wes Clark teamed up on a two-on-one while the Bears were shorthanded.
Laise threaded a perfect pass into the path of Clark, whose one-timer was kicked out by Bennett.
“I tried to go upstairs, but I didn’t get it up enough,” said Clark. “[Bennett] was pretty far out. I should have tried to go around him.”
TERRIERS 1, BLACK BEARS 0 (OT)
Maine (8-17-3) 0 0 0 0 – 0
Boston Univ. (12-14-4) 0 0 0 1 – 1
First period – No scoring. Penalties: BU, Lawrence, slashing, 10:46.
Second period – No scoring. Penalties: Maine, Ramsey, interference, 2:09; BU, Higgins, interference, 3:11; Maine, Boike, boarding, 6:01; BU, McGoff, interference, 8:58; Maine, Van Dyk, holding, 12:06; Maine, Tyler, holding, 17:49.
Third period – No scoring. Penalties: BU, Shattenkirk, roughing, 1:25; Maine, Clark, slashing, 11:52.
Overtime – 1. BU, Wilson 12 (Yip), 3:30. Penalties: none.
Shots on goal: Maine 9-2-5-1-17; BU 10-15-7-6-38
Goaltenders: Maine, Bishop (38 shots-37 saves); BU, Bennett (17-17)
Power-play opportunities: Maine 0 of 4, BU 0 of 5
High-percentage scoring chances: Maine 9-13-9-1-32; Maine 3-2-5-0-10