Maine Hockey Journal

Flynn give Maine a big win in OT

Orono, ME – Brian Flynn scored less than a minute into overtime to give the University of Maine men’s ice hockey team a 4-3 victory over Providence College in front of 4,979 at Alfond Arena on Friday night.

It was the last of three meetings between Maine and Providence with the Black Bears holding a 1-0-1 record after letting a win slip by, allowing the Friars to sneak in to get the 3-3 tie with the following night, freshman goaltender Martin Ouellette earning his first colligate shutout by blanking the Friars, 5-0.

“I was proud of our guys,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead. “There were some bad bounces for us out there, and to bounce back and win in OT that showed a lot of courage.”

Maine has recently fallen in the polls to No. 13 after suffering a devastating loss, 7-1, against Merrimack College, setting up a pivotal game against the Friars if they want any shot to catch the Hockey East leaders.

The first period began without too much excitement until midway through when Joey Diamond was ejected from the game after being called for contact to the head and boarding.

With Diamond’s departure, the Black Bears were forced to kill off a seven minute penalty.

On the penalty kill, Maine played fierce defense by dumping the puck deep when they needed to, and breaking into the Friars’ zone when the right moments presented themselves.

On such a moment, the Black Bears’ freshman Jon Swaverly forced the puck into the Friars’ end with the help of teammate Theo Andersson. Swaverly received the puck in the right circle and sent a low wrist shot past the Friars’ goaltender Justin Gates to take the lead on a shorthanded goal.

This was Swaverly’s first career goal.

After the goal, Maine killed off the remaining two minutes to the Diamond penalty.

In the second, the Black Bears struck first with Brian Flynn first goal of the night, roofing the puck over Gates’ glove to elevate his team to a 2-0 lead at 10:46 of the period. Tanner House and Will O’Neil each picked up a point with their assists on the goal.

Five minutes later, the Friars would answer with a Kyle MacKinnon goal through the five-hole of Maine goalie Martin Ouellette at the 15:52 mark, bringing the Friars to within one.

With less than a minute to go in the second period, the Black Bears went on the power play.

Flynn took advantage and wrangled the puck, sending it to the waiting Spencer Abbott, who slapped it home over the glove of Gates to make the score 3-1 going into the locker room after 40 minutes.

In the third period, the Friars found life early with only 1:22 off the clock.

Jordan Kremyr racing down the ice and Ouellette coming out of the crease to challenge the shooter, the puck hit Ouellette and trickled by him into the net for a Friars’ goal. Jordan Kremyr picked up the unassisted goal to once again bring the Friars within one.

The third period began to swing in the Friars’ favor as Tim Schaller found a rebound and flipped the puck over Ouellette at the 16:16 mark to knot the game up at 3-3 as he felt responsible for the goals.

Martin Ouellette, freshman goaltender, commented, “I think I should have saved those two goals and the game would have been a little different for us,” said Ouellette

The Friars kept the pressure up on Maine throughout the final period of regulation.

“I was impressed with Providence’s determination,” said Whitehead. “They were down and out and just kept fighting back.”

Just 48 seconds into overtime, Flynn found a lost puck and backhanded it into the net for win, sending the Black Bear faithful into a mass frenzy over the 4-3 overtime win.

“I thought we were relentless,” said Flynn. “We played for the full 61 minutes. We worked hard even though they scored those two goals and no one would quit.”

“I was proud of our guys,” Whitehead said. “There were some bad bounces for us out there, and to bounce back and win in OT that showed a lot of courage.”

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