ORONO, Maine — Sophomore goalie Victor Ostman made 32 saves and senior left wing Grant Hebert scored a crucial goal with 5:50 left and then added an empty-netter as the University of Maine beat Boston College 4-1 at Alfond Arena Friday night.
UMaine improved to 4-14-4 overall, 2-10-2 in Hockey East, while BC fell to 10-11-4 and 5-8-3.
BC is now 0-6-1 in its last seven games.
First-period goals by Jakub Sirota and Adam Dawe, their fourth goals of the season, staked UMaine to a 2-0 lead in the first period but U.S. Olympian Marc McLaughlin scored his 18th in the second period to make it 2-1.
Hebert gave UMaine some valuable breathing room when he swept the puck past Eric Dop (33 saves) after David Breazeale’s shot came to him off the boards behind the net.
“I thought we pinned them in [their zone] all night and that was one of those plays where I got the bounce and capitalized on the open net,” said Hebert, who was parked to the right of Dop and swatted the puck into the short side before Dop could get across his crease.
UMaine’s Nolan Renwick had hit the crossbar twice earlier in the period but Robert Morris University transfer Hebert finally gave them the insurance goal.
“Mentally, we seemed ready to win the game,” said UMaine first-year head coach Ben Barr. “I’ve got to give the guys credit. Earlier this year, we would have found a way to lose that game.
“BC had chances, Victor made some saves. That was good to see. And then we got the third goal. That was a big-time effort,” Barr added. “Every aspect of our game was pretty good. I don’t know if it was our best game performance of the year but it was definitely the best composure we’ve had.”
“We proved to ourselves and the rest of the league that we can play with any team,” Hebert said. “We felt on the bench that we were going to win that game. And Victor was very good. It definitely helps having a good goalie in net.”
“It was fun to get a win,” said Ostman, who made a terrific point-blank left pad save off Matt Argentina off a Colby Ambrosio pass with four seconds left in the second period. “We played really well today. Everyone chipped in. We played a hard, simple game. We beat them down with our structure and work ethic.”
Ostman was satisfied with his outing.
“I thought I gave up a couple of rebounds I should have held but, other than that, it was pretty good,” Ostman said.
Sirota opened the scoring 6:39 into the game off an Hebert pass from behind the net.
Hebert had taken a pass from Breazeale and busted down the right wing. He shoveled a weak shot toward Dop, the puck came back to him, and he carried it around the net before sliding the puck into the middle of the slot.
Sirota kicked it to his stick and beat Dop with a screened wrist shot into the far corner past Dop’s blocker.
BC nearly equalized minutes later when Marshall Warren passed it back to an open Eamon Powell in the middle of the slot but Powell rattled his shot off the post to Ostman’s right.
Sirota’s goal snapped his 12-game goalless drought.
Dawe scored his second goal in his last three games off a Keenan Suthers assist.
Dawe, who went 10 games without a point before scoring in the 6-2 loss to Alaska on Jan. 7, wound up with the puck after it glanced at him off a BC stick high in the slot.
Dawe stopped abruptly and had a lot of open ice, so he took a few strides and snapped a wrist shot past Dop’s blocker from the middle of the slot.
McLaughlin cut the lead in half in a free-flowing second period that saw two teams combine for 32 shots on goal, 17 by the Black Bears.
Cade Alami and Nikita Nesterenko earned assists.
A shot from the top of the slot found its way through a maze of players onto Ostman’s body, then it bounced off his chest and rolled behind him.
A Black Bear tried to clear it out of the crease but didn’t get much on it and it landed on the stick of McLaughlin, who flipped it into the open net.
“Maine played well. It’s obviously a tough building to play in,” said BC assistant coach Mike Ayers, who was filling in for head coach Jerry York (COVID-19 protocols).
“Both goalies played well. Our start wasn’t great. But give them credit. They came out and took it to us early on. We responded well as the game went on but when you dig holes for yourself in this league it’s tough to get out,” Ayers added.
UMaine will visit Boston University and Merrimack next Friday and Saturday nights.
BC, which was without leading scorer Jack McBain (Canadian Olympic team), hosts Harvard on Tuesday.