Maine Hockey Journal

Maine, Alaska-Anchorage battle to a draw

Maine goalie Matt Morrison makes a save during Saturday's 3-3 tie against Univ. of Alaska-Anchorage (PHOTO: Alex Shehata)

Maine goalie Matt Morrison makes a save during Saturday’s 3-3 tie against Univ. of Alaska-Anchorage (PHOTO: Alex Shehata)

ORONO – The University of Maine (1-4-1) men’s hockey team wrapped up a weekend series against the University of Alaska-Anchorage (3-1-2) in thrilling fashion Saturday night, but sixty minutes plus a five-minute overtime period wasn’t enough to break a 3-3 tie.

The crowd of 4,010 witnessed a game that had everything: power-play goals, short-handed goals, several game-tying goals, a goal review, and even a penalty shot awarded to Maine in overtime, yet still neither team came out on top.

“I’ve seen a few series here through the years,” Maine head coach Red Gendron said post-game, “I’ve been on the home bench a bunch. I’ve been on the road bench a bunch. And that was as good a series as I’ve seen here. It was spectacular.”

The Black Bears capitalized on a 5-on-3 man-advantage in the first period after Seawolves’ defenseman Austin Coldwell took a hooking penalty with teammate Hudson Friesen already sitting in the penalty box for slashing.

Hutton took a pass from Devin Shore at the top of the slot and let go a wrist shot that found it’s way through traffic and past goaltender Olivier Mantha for a 1-0 Maine lead.

The goal would be the Black Bears only power-play tally of the period despite having four opportunities with the man-advantage and leading in shots 21-10 after twenty minutes.

Maine would have several cracks at the power-play in the second period starting with Alaska-Anchorage sophomore Tad Kozun’s slashing penalty.

Shore had a good look at a wide open net after Mantha’s diving attempt to cover the puck on the near post failed, and it leaked free to Brian Morgan in the corner.

Morgan’s pass to Shore at the top of the slot was deflected by a Seawolves stick, ruining any chance Maine had of taking a two-goal lead.

That missed opportunity would prove costly for the Black Bears as they would end up giving losing the lead on a short-handed goal at 15:07.

UAA’s Dylan Hubbs took advantage of a Maine turnover at the offensive blue line, picking up the loose puck and racing down the ice and eventually beating goaltender Matt Morris with a shot in close.

With the Black Bears stunned, the Seawolves pounced.

Austin Coldwell scored just 54 seconds later on a low-shot from the right face-off dot that found its way through Morris’ five-hole, giving Alaska-Anchorage a 2-1 lead at 16:13 of the second.

The Black Bears would claw their way back as the momentum swung back in Maine’s favor with seconds remaining in the period when freshman Malcolm Hayes was able to draw the Black Bears back even with the Seawolves after beating Mantha with a low wrist-shot from the far face-off dot.

Hayes’ game-tying goal with 49.5 seconds left in the period was the first of his collegiate career and Maine’s second power-play goal of the evening.

In an odd twist of fate, Blaine Byron gave Maine a 3-2 lead on an almost identical short-handed goal earlier in the game by UAA’s Hubbs.

Byron raced up the far boards after a turnover at the Seawolves blue line and raced in on a breakaway for a short-handed goal.

However, like any other lead in the game, it did not last long.

Seawolves senior co-captain Scott Allen tied the game at 3-3 with his third goal of the season within 30 seconds of the Black Bears taking an early third period lead.

Neither team would find the back of the net the rest of the night, including Blaine Byron who was awarded a penalty shot after UAA’s Brett Cameron was called for intentionally dislodging the net.

“It’s a veteran play by our guy,” Alaska-Anchorage head coach Matt Thompson said of Cameron’s penalty.

“The call’s the call. I think it was the right call. Our guy intentionally knocked the net off its moorings. It’s good we were able to escape that.”

Byron, who had scored earlier in the evening on a breakaway, came head on stick-handling towards Mantha and but lost control of the puck before he could get a shot off.

Maine is back in action next weekend as they being Hockey East play against the University of Massachusetts Minutemen at Alfond Arena in Orono on Friday and Saturday night.

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