Friday, May 24, 2013
By Rachel Lenzi email@example.com
BOSTON - The University of Maine men's hockey team was less than 90 seconds away from what seemed like a sure thing.
But there are few guarantees, even with that kind of time left in regulation, and Charlie Coyle reminded the Black Bears of that.
Coyle's goal with 1:21 left in the third period helped Boston University salvage a 2-2 tie with the Black Bears in a matchup of nationally ranked teams Saturday night at Agganis Arena.
Still, the Black Bears, ranked seventh in two national polls, weren't about to dwell on a gaffe late in regulation.
"It was kind of a new game," said defenseman Jeff Dimmen, who gave Maine a 2-1 lead at 6:12 of the third. "We had the next five minutes (of overtime) and it was pretty much 0-0 and anything could happen.
"We just needed to get back to our game that we hadn't really been executing well in the last 5 to 10 minutes of the game. We just tried to get back to that and clean the slate."
Playing in its second overtime game in a week, and without captain and first-line center Tanner House, the Black Bears (4-1-3, 2-0-1 Hockey East) still outshot BU 23-13 in the first two periods and rallied from a one-goal deficit in the third.
"I thought Maine played extremely well," BU Coach Jack Parker said. "They did a good job in front of the net, they were really good with the puck and I think their defense, as a group, is underrated.
"We didn't dominate them like we dominated some other teams. Once we got the puck in the zone, they defended real well."
But with defenseman Will O'Neill out because of a lower-body injury early in the game, the Black Bears were unable to convert on the power play, squandering a five-on-three chance early in the first period and another early in the second.
"We had our chances to score," said Maine Coach Tim Whitehead, whose team finished 0 for 6 on the power play. "We're just missing a little sharpness with different guys on different units, juggling within the game, but I thought we had our looks."
The Terriers (6-0-2, 4-0-2) took a 1-0 lead with 4:09 left in the second on Chris Connolly's power-play goal. Connolly took a pass from Alex Chiasson in the slot and beat Dan Sullivan high.
That goal came about six minutes after Robby Dee's shot from the right circle banked off the crossbar above BU goalie Kieran Millan, who made 34 saves.
"They really stepped it up," Dimmen said. "They were flying around, getting the puck in deep and putting a lot of pressure on us. We just tried to chip the puck out and get it back in their end and get it in deep on their (defense) and put some pressure on them, but they really came hard."
Gustav Nyquist tied the game a little more than two minutes into the third on a wrist shot from the left circle. Four minutes later, Dimmen gave Maine it's first lead when he intercepted a clearing pass and beat Millan from the top of the slot.
Late in the third, Coyle picked up a rebound to Sullivan's left side and scored to force overtime.
"We battled all night and sometimes the bounces just don't go for you," said Dimmen, whose team outshot BU 4-2 in overtime. "I think we need to sharpen the (defensive) zone a little bit and that cost us, but overall I think we played a really good game and battled hard tonight. I think it could have gone either way."
Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at: