The University of Maine men's ice hockey team battled back from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead in the third period, but in the end, skated to a 3-3 draw at Northeastern on Saturday night. Maine moves to 11-6-5 on the season and 8-4-3 in Hockey East play. Northeastern moves to 7-10-5 overall and 6-7-4 in conference play. Maine was led by senior captain Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta) who had a pair of goals in the game.
Maine and Northeastern battled through a scoreless first period. The Black Bears finished the period with a 9-5 edge in shots on goal.
Northeastern took a 1-0 lead just 54 second into the second period with a power play goal. Wade MacLeod had a shot from the right face-off circle that Maine goalie Shawn Sirman (Blezard Valley, Ontario) stopped, but the rebound lay in the crease before Anthony Bitetto fired it into the goal. For Bitetto, it was his second goal of the season. Tyler McNeely also assisted on the goal. The Huskies added to their lead less than two minutes later. Rob Dongara left a drop pass for Mike McLaughlin.
McLaughlin rifled a shot past Sirman from the right face-off circle, extending Northeastern's lead to 2-0. Brodie Reid also picked up an assist on the goal.
Maine pulled to within one goal at 16:15 of the second period when Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) tipped a Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) shot past Northeastern goalie Chris Rawlings on the power play. Robby Dee (Plymouth, Minn.) began the play with the initial shot on goal. It did not take Maine long to tie up the game when Tanner House tipped a Spencer Abbott (Hamilton, Ontario) shot from the blueline past Rawlings at 17:10. For House, it was his seventh goal of the season.
The Black Bears took their first lead of the game when House scored his second of the game. Two players collided in the neutral zone, leaving the puck up for grabs. A Northeastern player and House both rushed the puck. House was able to gain control of it and one-time a shot past Rawlings, giving Maine a 3-2 lead. For House, it was his eighth goal of the season.
Wade MacLeod tied the game at 3-3 for Northeastern with just 2:36 remaining in regulation when he beat Sirman. Bitetto also assisted in the goal.
Maine goalie Sirman made 19 saves in the game. He moves to 3-0-3 on the season. Rawlings stopped 34 shots in goal for the Huskies. He moves to 6-8-5.
Maine finished the game with a 37-22 edge in shots on goal. The Black Bears were 2-for-5 on the power play, while Northeastern was 2-for-7.
The Black Bears return to action on Friday, Jan. 28 when they host Boston University in the first of a two-game series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM. Tickets are available by calling the Maine ticket office at 207-581-BEAR or 1-800-756-TEAM.