ORONO — Positioned in front of the goal, Brian Flynn felt someone grab his stick as he reached for a pass. He didn’t give up on the play. Instead, the senior center wheeled around, reached back to pick up the loose puck and flung a shot on net after his knees hit the ice.
It was the last shot Friday night at Alfond Arena. Flynn’s goal with 2:10 left in overtime gave Maine a 5-4 Hockey East win over Providence.
“I think it deflected off one of their guys and Joey (Diamond) got it to me,” Flynn said. “It got caught in my feet and a guy grabbed my stick, and I couldn’t really make a play on it. Then I turned around, reached back and kind of … well, I really don’t know how that happened.”
Flynn’s goal ended a game that included two goals reviewed on video by referees and a stretch in which the teams nearly traded three goals in 46 seconds – a potential go-ahead goal by Maine was waved off with six minutes left in regulation.
Maine (2-2-1, 2-1 Hockey East) appeared to take a 5-4 lead when Spencer Abbott tucked in a loose puck at the crease. But officials congregated to review video and ruled that Maine’s forwards had impeded Providence goalie Alex Beaudry (24 saves).
“Each time we scored, it seemed like they came right back and scored a goal,” Flynn said. “On that one, I thought it was going to be a goal. We jumped back, stuck with it and worked hard, and it really paid off.”
In the final 2:12 of regulation, the Black Bears couldn’t convert a power-play opportunity. Then, after Providence took the first three shots in overtime against Black Bears goalie Martin Ouellette (24 saves), Flynn scored.
“We missed an empty net in overtime and they hit their empty net,” Providence Coach Nate Leaman said. “That’s kind of the way the game was going.
“It was a heck of a one-on-one battle that their player (Flynn) won.”
Chris Rooney gave Providence (2-2-1, 2-1) a 1-0 lead 3:09 into the game on a shot from the right side of the crease.
With 3:10 left in the period and the teams skating four-on-four, Maine’s Adam Shemansky won a faceoff and dropped the puck back to Mike Cornell, who beat Beaudry with a wrist shot from the top of the slot.
On a goal that stood after video review, Joey Diamond gave Maine a 2-1 lead at 8:07 of the second when he pushed a bouncing puck past Beaudry at the top of the crease. Rob Maloney then beat Ouellette to tie he game at 13:07, finishing a two-on-one rush.
Three minutes later, Diamond gave the Black Bears a 3-2. But Stefan Demopoulos tied the game at 10:06 of the third.
Maine’s Kyle Beattie and Providence’s Steven Shamanski traded goals shortly before Abbott’s disallowed goal.
“The big part of the game for us is that we kept our cool,” Maine Coach Tim Whitehead said. “We faced some adverse situations and we found a way to be one goal better.”
Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be contacted at 791-6415 or at: