ORONO – The prospect of another overtime wasn’t exactly appealing to the University of Maine hockey team Friday.

Particularly for Joey Diamond, who scored the go-ahead goal in the Black Bears’ 4-2 win over Northeastern at Alfond Arena.

Diamond’s goal, assisted by Adam Shemansky from behind the net, helped Maine avoid a third consecutive overtime game and extended the team’s unbeaten streak to five.

“We don’t enjoy (tie games) but we’d rather have a tie than a loss,” said Diamond. “But we have to work hard and do anything to get better.”

The Black Bears, ranked fifth in both national polls, rallied from one-goal deficits twice in the first two periods.

The game was tied 2-2 in the third before Diamond’s goal at 9:51.

After that, Maine (5-1-3, 3-0-1 Hockey East) killed off a tripping penalty to Josh Van Dyk, assessed with 8:17 left — a significant two-minute stretch for the Black Bears.

“We did a great job on the kill a little bit later in the game,” said Maine goalie Dan Sullivan, who made four of his 17 saves on the Black Bears’ final penalty kill. “I think we got back to the basics, where we were at the beginning of the season, and it really helps me out. The guys are working hard, blocking shots, sticks in lanes, and just doing the basics.”

Diamond agreed.

“That was huge for us. Their power play was deadly,” the sophomore right wing said. “They had two power-play goals and we knew if we could kill that one off late in the game, the momentum was going to shift towards our side.”

Northeastern (1-6-2, 1-3-1) entered Friday’s game 5 for 52 on the power play, second worst in Hockey East, but Rob Dongara gave Northeastern a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal with less than three minutes left in the first. Sullivan fell in front of the goal and as he was trying to get back into position, Dongara deflected the puck over Sullivan’s left shoulder.

“We had to come in and execute our game plan, and the first thing we wanted to do was jump all over them,” Northeastern goalie Chris Rawlings said. “And we did that. We were right in it.”

Less than two minutes into the second, Maine’s Jeff Dimmen tied the game at 1-1 on a power-play goal, beating Rawlings (30 saves) on a shot from the right circle.

With one second left in a high-sticking penalty to Mark Nemec, Mike McLaughlin gave Northeastern a 2-1 lead at 13:12 of the second, but Abbott tied the game a minute and a half later on a shot from the left circle.

Diamond gave Maine its first lead with 10:09 left in regulation and Gustav Nyquist added an empty-net goal for the Black Bears.

“He put it right on my tape,” Diamond said of Shemansky’s pass. “It was a little tap-in goal from there, and it was a great play by him.”

 

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at: [email protected]