The University of Maine men’s hockey team was looking for its third straight victory on Saturday night at Providence College.
But the 16th-ranked Friars dominated the third period and scored two goals in a span of 4 minutes, 11 seconds, to earn a 3-2 Hockey East victory at Schneider Arena.
Providence (5-5-2) outshot UMaine 15-3 in the final period, getting goals from Craig Needham and Albin Nilsson. The Friars bounced back after the Black Bears (2-5-1) on Friday snapped a 14-game losing streak at Schneider Arena with a 4-3 win.
“We played more good hockey over this weekend than any other weekend this season,” UMaine head coach Red Gendron said.
“We were right there both nights. We were much better defensively than we’ve been. We broke the puck out of our own end well. We played much better in terms of discipline. We did a lot of good things but we have to keep going and keep getting better,” he said.
Sophomore left wing Needham broke a 1-1 tie 7:41 into the third period. Chase Yoder got to the net front and pushed the puck across to Needham, who jammed it home from point-blank range.
Nilsson, a sophomore center, extended the lead two seconds after a Friar power play elapsed. Max Crozier raced into the offensive zone on a line change and wristed a Jason O’Neill pass to the net.
The puck hit a Friar and squirted over to Nilsson, who deposited it into the net before UMaine goalie Victor Ostman could scramble across.
Senior right wing Eduards Tralmaks scored his second goal of the game with 1:06 remaining after Ostman was pulled in favor of the extra attacker. He converted with a well-placed wrist shot off a cross-ice pass from Lynden Breen.
But the Black Bears couldn’t get the equalizer.
“Ed [Tralmaks] has played his tail off every game this season. He got rewarded today. He scored a couple of real good goals,” Gendron said. “Victor made a lot of great saves. He gave us a chance to win.”
Ostman made 30 saves.
Sophomore defenseman Cam McDonald scored a first-period goal to stake Providence to a 1-0 lead at the 6:54 mark. Parker Ford hustled out of the offensive zone and chased down the puck in the neutral zone.
He was knocked to the ice, but bounced up and made a one-handed pass to McDonald, who skated down the left wing. He took a seemingly harmless wrist shot that handcuffed Ostman and squeezed through his blocker-side arm.
Tralmaks equalized with his fourth goal of the season with 4:56 left in the second period. His second shorthanded goal came amid a 2-on-1 with Adam Dawe.
Tralmaks tracked down a J.D. Greenway clearout, broke down the right wing and snapped a rising wrist shot over Jaxson Stauber’s glove. Stauber finished with 21 saves.
The Black Bear power play, which entered the series with the second best percentage in the country (32.1 percent), was held scoreless for the second straight game. It went 0-for-4 in the series.
Providence went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
UMaine, which has yet to play a home game due to state COVID-19 restrictions, visits Boston University on Jan. 22 and 23.