Eduards Tralmaks used a nifty move to score with less than a minute remaining in overtime Monday night, lifting the University of Maine to a 4-3 win over 15th-ranked Yale before an announced crowd of 4,308 at Cross Insurance Arena.

The victory was Maine’s first over a ranked opponent this season and its second straight victory in January after winning just once in their final seven games to close the calendar year.

“It’s been a long time since I put a puck in the net, so it felt good,” said Tralmaks, whose last goal came Dec. 1 at Vermont. “Doing it in overtime felt extra good.”

Chase Pearson and Rob Michel each had a goal and an assist for the Black Bears (7-9-2), and Michell Fossier had three assists in Maine’s final nonconference game of the season. Jeremy Swayman, who has started every game this season, made 32 saves.

Maine’s top line of Tralmaks, Pearson and Fossier had a hand in three goals.

“People say you want your best players to be your best players, and usually they are,” Maine Coach Red Gendron said. “Our team has played better than the record suggests, but at the same time the only stat that matters is how many goals you score versus how many your opponent scores.


“Pearson’s line was absolutely dominant tonight. They were dominant. They were relentless.”

Pearson won a draw in the right circle with just over a minute left in overtime and the Black Bears never let the puck out of their possession again. Tralmaks had it along the left boards, left his defender flat-footed at the top of the circle and fired a wrister that cleanly beat Sam Tucker (36 saves) of Yale (8-5-3).

“The biggest thing is that we’re a big line,” Pearson said. “We want to grind down low. We know we can be a dominant line in college hockey.”

The Black Bears opened a 3-1 lead early in the second period.

They outshot Yale 18-10 in the first, answering Evan Smith’s goal against the run of play with three straight. Pearson scored on a power play just past the midway point of the first, and Michel’s slap shot beat Tucker cleanly for a 2-1 lead at 15:22.

In the second, Emil Westerlund wrestled off Yale’s Tyler Welsh for a blocked shot in the bottom of the right circle and fired the loose puck home at 1:36.

But Yale found its way back. The Bulldogs got goals from Andrew Gaus at 5:29 and Mitchell Smith at 10:41.

Tied at 3-3, the best opportunity for either team in the third came during an abbreviated Maine power play with under two minutes remaining. Each team then hit a post in overtime.

“Obviously, with players and their confidence, winning a game against a ranked team in dramatic fashion, that helps,” Gendron said. “We played to our identity as a team with the things we want to bring every night.”

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