BOSTON – A 3-3 tie Saturday night at Northeastern guaranteed the University of Maine men’s hockey team one point.

But in the minutes after the tie, Maine’s fifth of the season, the Black Bears acknowledged that earning two points in the Hockey East standings would have been much more gratifying, especially after they squandered a one-goal lead late in regulation.

“That was a game we should have closed out,” said center Tanner House, who scored two goals.

Maine Coach Tim Whitehead rationalized the tie, especially considering Maine’s 2-4-4 record in road games this season.

“It was a point won,” Whitehead said. “In this league, if you get a point on the road, it’s a point won, especially considering we were down 2-0 in the game.

“We would have loved to get that winner in OT, but to get a point on the road in this league is very tough.”

The Black Bears rallied from a two-goal deficit to take a 3-2 lead early in the third period on House’s second goal. But with 2:36 left in regulation, Wade Mac-Leod tipped a shot from the left point past Maine goalie Shawn Sirman.

“I just saw them coming in, pinching in, so I tried to get hard to the net,” said MacLeod, who also had an assist. “It was a bit of an awkward slide, so I just tried to get in behind him and it ended up hitting off his skate or something.”

As for the point his team ultimately gained?

“At this point in the year, we need any point we can get to climb in the standings,” said MacLeod, whose team is sixth in Hockey East with 16 points, three behind No. 4 Maine.

However, surrendering late-game leads is turning into a habit for the Black Bears, one they’d rather break. In nine games this season, Maine has given up either a lead or a tie in the third period, including Saturday’s game.

“It’s happened to us three or four times this year where we’ve been up in the last five minutes and they either come back and tie us or beat us,” Maine left wing Spencer Abbott said. “It’s not healthy. We have to win those games. We need those points. We have to keep it simple when we’re up by a goal.”

After a scoreless first period in which Maine (11-6-5, 8-4-3 Hockey East) outshot Northeastern 9-5, the Huskies (7-10-5, 6-7-4) took a 1-0 lead on Anthony Bitetto’s power-play goal 54 seconds into the second, with Robby Dee penalized for cross-checking.

Sixty-five seconds later, Mike McLaughlin gave Northeastern a 2-0 lead and forced the Black Bears to start shooting.

“That really put our backs against the wall,” Whitehead said. “We definitely played with a lot of urgency from that point on.

“After they got those quick ones, I liked our urgency. I liked our compete level.”

Maine outshot Northeastern 15-8 in the second and capitalized on four minutes of man-advantage hockey in the final 5:38.

Brian Flynn tipped in Nyquist’s shot from the left circle to cut Northeastern’s lead to 2-1 with 3:45 left, and 55 seconds later, Maine tied the game on its second power-play goal as Abbott’s shot from the right point deflected off House and past Northeastern goalie Chris Rawlings, who made 34 saves.

MacLeod’s goal forced overtime, but with Steve Quailer penalized for boarding, Maine was unable to capitalize on a power play in the final 1:25 of overtime.

“Anytime you get a power play, it’s a good opportunity,” House said. “We had our chances but they did a good job.”

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at:

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