ORONO —  The University of Maine men’s ice hockey team scored a pair of goals in the first four minutes of the third period, taking control of an evenly played game on its way to a 4-2 victory over top-ranked Boston College in front of a sellout Alfond Arena crowd of 5,043 boisterous fans.

These teams will play again at 7 p.m. Saturday at Alfond Arena.

“It was good to see our guys got better as the game went along. We’re a grind team, and obviously we can make some plays and score some goals, too,” Maine Coach Ben Barr said. “We made it hard on them, and that’s what you have to do against a team with that much talent.”

Maine (6-1, 3-0 Hockey East), which entered the two-game weekend series against the Eagles (7-2, 2-1) ranked No. 13 in the USCHO.com poll, took a 2-1 lead on Donovan Villeneuve-Houle’s goal just 1:23 into the third period. Harrison Scott won a faceoff to Ben Poisson, who got the puck to an open Houle skating left to right between the circles for the shot over the glove of BC goalie Jacob Fowler.

Barr said the team has a number of set plays to run off a faceoff, and they choose which one to try. This time, they executed the choice perfectly. By winning the draw cleanly, Scott bought Villeneuve-Houle plenty of time to get off a good shot, Barr said.

“We work on the faceoff all the time,” Villeneuve-Houle said. “First period was so-so, the second as well. The third period, we kind of turned it up there.”


Two minutes later, at 3:23, Bradly Nadeau took a pass from Lynden Breen and fired a one-timer past Fowler for a 3-1 lead. Nadeau’s goal came on a play started by defenseman Grayson Arnott, who got off a pass to clear Maine’s zone as he took a hard check.

The Eagles cut Maine’s lead to 3-2 at 11:27 on a Ryan Leonard goal. Arnott’s empty-net goal at 18:58 sealed the win.

“They had more jump in the third. Overall, they were doing more things right than we were. Probably why they had better legs in the third,” said BC Coach Greg Brown. “They outworked us, played smarter than we did. Both teams made some plays, but they were just together more than we were. They were able to cause a lot of turnovers in the neutral zone and our zone. They kept the pressure on us much more than we did on them.”

Victor Ostman made 26 saves for Maine. Fowler had 34 stops for the Eagles.

The Black Bears took a 1-0 lead 4:30 into the second period on Breen’s third goal of the season, with assists from Bradly Nadeau and Josh Nadeau. Just about a minute and a half later, the Eagles tied the game on the power play. With Liam Lesakowski off for roughing, Jack Malone took a pass from Gabe Perreault at the left post and buried it before Ostman could slide across his crease.

Maine had a chance to take the lead with eight and a half minutes to play in the second, when the puck squirted to Scott alone in front of the net, but Fowler got his pads to the ice to make the save. With just over a minute left in the second, it appeared as if the Black Bears had a 2-1 lead on a Thomas Freel goal, but upon review the play was ruled offsides and the goal disallowed.


The teams played a scoreless, penalty-free first period, with each team putting 12 shots on goal. Maine’s Ostman was sharp in the game’s opening minutes. When the Eagles had a two-on-none opportunity three minutes into the game, Ostman made a right pad save on an Andre Gasseau shot.

“(Ostman) was really sharp. He definitely made some big saves for us. He was solid, composed,” Barr said.

Maine’s best chance to score in the first came with just over seven minutes left in the period. First, Bradly Nadeau’s shot was turned away by Fowler, who slid over to his right post to make the stop. Seconds later, Fowler saved Josh Nadeau’s shot, keeping the game scoreless. At 15:40, Maine captain David Breazeale had a shot from the top of the right circle deflected by Fowler into the crowd.

Now, the Black Bears need to quickly move on from a win over the top-ranked Eagles and focus on playing them again.

“For us, it’s a huge Hockey East game. We’ve got to go again tomorrow,” Villeneuve-Houle said. “Enjoy tonight, but tomorrow’s a new day.”

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