It was the UMaine hockey team’s first sweep of a Hockey East road series since late January 2020.
University of Maine hockey won 5-1 Saturday night against the University of Vermont. This file photo shows another 5-1 win from Nov. 26 when the team overtook American International University. Credit: Courtesy of UMaine athletics

The University of Maine’s hockey team had a pair of goals from senior left wing Ben Poisson and 18 saves from junior goaltender Victor Ostman to complete a sweep of the University of Vermont with a 5-1 victory on Saturday night at the Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, Vermont.

UMaine won Friday night’s game 3-1.

It was UMaine’s first sweep of a Hockey East road series since late January 2020, when it posted a pair of overtime wins at Boston College.

UMaine had gone 5-23-2 in the 15 road series since then.

Now 5-8-1 overall, UMaine is 2-5-1 in Hockey East and has won three games in a row.

Vermont fell to 5-11-1 and 2-10.

Freshman defenseman Grayson Arnott scored his first collegiate goal in the first period on a shot from the point as UMaine took a 1-0 lead into the intermission. Sam Duerr and Didrik Henbrant picked up assists.

Donavan Houle extended his goal-scoring streak to three games at the 4:12 mark of the second period with a shot from the right faceoff circle past Vermont goalie Gabe Carriere. Linemates Killian Kiecker-Olson and Mike Mancinelli had the assists on Houle’s fifth goal of the season.

Carter Long cut the lead in half 1:54 later when he flipped the puck on net from outside the blue line and it took a crazy bounce past UMaine goalie Victor Ostman.

Phillip Tornqvist and Isak Walther had assists. It was Long’s third goal of the season.

UMaine hockey player Ben Poisson played a critical role in the weekend sweep against the University of Vermont.
University of Maine men’s hockey player Ben Poisson. Credit: Courtesy of UMaine Athletics

But Poisson answered just 1:43 later when he tipped Jakub Sirota’s waist-high wrist shot from the point downward and past Carriere for his second of the season. Lyden Breen and Sirota had assists.

“That was a big goal,” said UMaine head coach Ben Barr, who pointed out that instead of allowing Vermont’s fluke goal to derail them like it may have in previous years, his Black Bears “kept playing the right way” and were rewarded for it.

“Our culture took a step forward,” he added.

Poisson scored UMaine’s first power play goal in eight games 4:11 later.

UMaine had gone 0-for-19 with the man advantage in the previous seven games.

Sirota took a shot from the right point and the rebound wound up at the bottom of the left faceoff circle. Nolan Renwick’s pass deflected off a Catamount to Poisson who snapped the puck into the top short side corner.

Sirota added an insurance goal in the third period when his slap shot from the point beat Oskar Autio, who had replaced Carriere in the second period.

Felix Trudeau and Breen notched assists on Sirota’s goal, his second of the year.

Carriere had 12 saves on 16 shots and Autio made 14 on 15 shots.

“It’s not easy to win on the road. This was a gutsy road win,” Barr said. “Vermont played better tonight. There wasn’t as much open ice and we didn’t have the puck as much as we did [Friday] night although we still had it a good amount.

“We had some guys make some plays and we were able to score some goals,” he added. “Our leaders played really well this weekend.”

He was referring to captain Sirota and assistant captains Breen, Poisson and defenseman David Breazeale. Sirota had a goal and two assists on Saturday, Poisson had his two goals, Breen had two assists and Breazeale was outstanding defensively.

“We haven’t been good on the road for a few years. But we’re going in the right direction. Now we have to finish off the first half with a great effort against Canisius next Saturday,” Barr said, referring to the 2 p.m. game with the Atlantic Hockey League team at Alfond Arena in Orono.