In a game in which neither goalie deserved to lose, neither one did.
University of Maine junior goalie Jeremy Swayman made 41 saves for the second straight game and Omaha freshman Austin Roden stopped 46 shots as the teams battled to a 2-2 overtime tie on Friday night at Alfond Arena in Orono.
Swayman, who leads Division I goaltenders with 694 saves, finished with 29 high-percentage stops among his 41 and Roden had 18 Grade-A rejections among his 46.
Swayman improved his save percentage to .935 which is ninth-best among 60 teams in the country.
Omaha had scored 16 goals in its previous three games.
“Both goalies were excellent,” said Omaha head coach Mike Gabinet. “They can take a lot of credit for the score being [just] 2-2. Roden made some timely saves for us.”
Roden was starting in place of Isaiah Saville, who was with Team USA at the World Junior championships in the Czech Republic.
“They both played great,” UMaine coach Red Gendron said.
Senior center Tim Doherty scored two goals to erase a pair of one-goal deficits for UMaine (9-8-4), which plays Omaha (8-8-3) again at noon Saturday at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.
The Black Bears extended their unbeaten streak at Alfond Arena to 12 games [10-0-2] dating back to a 1-0 loss to Providence on Feb. 8, 2019. UMaine is 6-0-2 at home this season.
“It was a great college hockey game,” Gendron added. “At the end of the day, both teams battled hard. Both [generated] scoring chances. There was a high compete level.”
Kevin Conley gave Omaha a 1-0 lead with the only goal of the first period, then the teams swapped power-play goals in the second period. Doherty tied it at the 8:36 mark before freshman Ryan Brushett, who entered the game with 11 assists, scored his first career goal.
Doherty tied it 4:13 into the third period with his ninth goal of the season.
He broke into the zone and took a 40-foot wrist shot that deflected off a defender’s stick and fooled Roden, beating him to the glove side.
Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup and Adrien Bisson were credited with assists.
“We talked to the team about shooting the puck [often],” Gendron said.
Both teams had glorious chances to win it.
Swayman made an excellent save in the third period when he gloved a nifty redirection by Joey Abate in the middle of the slot.
Roden robbed A.J. Drobot in overtime by making a pad stop on his one-timer from the high slot off a Patrick Shea feed.
Conley’s eighth goal of the season, coming with 7:44 left in the first period, staked the Mavericks to a well-deserved lead.
Omaha stormed the UMaine over the first 20 minutes, creating the first 11 shots on goal and finishing with a 19-5 edge for the period.
The only thing that kept UMaine within striking distance was Swayman, who made 11 high-percentage stops among 18 in the period.
Conley’s goal came off a 3-on-2. Taylor Ward fired a shot from the top of the right circle that spilled off Swayman’s glove across to the far post where Conley flipped it home. Joey Abate provided an assist.
A five-minute contact-to-the-head major and game misconduct on Omaha goal-scoring leader Ward (10 goals) 4:36 into the second period gave the Black Bears some life and Doherty capitalized with 1:01 left in the penalty.
“The five-minute major enabled [UMaine] to get their momentum going,” Gabinet said. “That gave them a chance to get back into the game and you have to give Maine credit. They did a great job on the power play.”
Moments after Doherty had been rejected by Roden on a 2-on-0 break with Mitch Fossier, he capitalized by converting a cross-ice pass from Levi Kleiboer.
Doherty took a stride after receiving Kleiboer’s pass and snapped a 30-foot wrister through a maze of players into the far corner past Roden’s stick.
Adam Dawe earned an assist as well as Kleiboer.
The Mavericks went on the power play midway through the period and scored just 11 seconds later when Tyler Weiss fed Brushett at the edge of the crease.
Brushett tried to make a pass across to the far post but it hit UMaine defenseman Simon Butala’s skate, deflected back to him and he swatted it past Swayman.
Brandon Scanlin also earned an assist.
Gendron felt his team turned in a gritty performance.
“We watched them skate in the first period,” Gendron said. “But we picked ourselves up and played pretty well over the last two periods. We need to clean up some of our decisions with the puck.”
UMaine outshot Omaha 43-24 after the first period.