ORONO, Maine — University of Maine captain Jakub Sirota scored his fourth goal of the season with 5:54 remaining in regulation and the Black Bears survived an overturned fourth goal and a last-minute power play to earn a 3-2 win over nationally ranked Providence College at the Alfond Arena on Friday night.
UMaine improved to 10-12-2 overall and 4-8-1 in Hockey East while Providence fell to 12-8-6 and 7-4-5, respectively.
Sirota one-timed a wrist shot from the left point through a crowded netfront past Providence freshman goalie Philip Svedeback.
“We kept pressuring them. Off that pressure, they got a puck up to me and I just shot it to the net and it redirected off one of their players,” said Sirota, who received a pass from Nolan Renwick. “I didn’t get many shots on net tonight and I’m just glad that one got through.”
It was his only shot on net.
UMaine’s Dawson Bruneski appeared to have extended the lead 1:50 later but it was overturned by a goaltender interference call.
In the last minute, UMaine goalie Victor Ostman preserved the win with a great glove save off Providence player Nick Poisson’s one-timer with 11 seconds left.
Providence had pulled Svedeback in favor of the extra attacker a minute earlier and then had a six-on-four advantage in the final minute after Donavan Houle received a hooking penalty with 56 seconds left in the game.
The teams will play again Saturday at 7 p.m.
Ostman finished with 29 saves and Svedeback made 32.
UMaine killed off six Providence power plays, including a five-minute major, and went 1-for-3 with the man-advantage.
The Black Bears took a 1-0 lead just 3:36 into the game on a goal by senior left wing Didrik Henbrant but Providence junior left wing Nick Poisson tied it up with 1:59 remaining in the period.
Nick Poisson is the younger brother of UMaine senior left wing Ben Poisson.
Ben Poisson received a five-minute major and game misconduct for boarding at the 18:09 mark of the first period.
UMaine killed off the five-minute major and a tripping minor on Ostman but 19 seconds after killing the Ostman penalty, Craig Needham supplied Providence with a 2-1 lead when Cam McDonald’s shot from the midpoint deflected off him past Ostman.
Lynden Breen equalized on the power play at the 12:52 mark of the second period.
UMaine came out fast and the Black Bears were rewarded when Henbrant swept the puck into an empty net after Svedeback had made saves off a Brandon Holt point shot and a follow-up shot from a tight angle by Renwick.
It was his fourth goal of the season.
Nick Poisson notched his ninth off a scramble in front.
Providence’s Brett Berard carried the puck around the net to the low slot and snapped a quick wrist shot that was saved by Ostman.
Poisson was battling with UMaine’s Brandon Chabrier and they bumped into Ostman, knocking the goalie’s stick and blocker out of his hands.
Ostman was laying on the ice when Poisson spotted the puck and wristed it into the net from 10 feet out.
The Friars took the lead in the second period when Jamie Englebert passed the puck out to Cam McDonald at the midpoint and his snap shot hit Needham and deflected past Ostman for his fourth of the season.
Breen tied it with his 10th as he shoveled home the rebound of a Holt wrist shot from the left point after he had initially tipped it.
UMaine head coach Ben Barr didn’t like that his team took 25 minutes of penalties but was pleased with the performance.
“We took a lot of bad, dumb penalties but the guys played incredibly hard tonight. We killed a ton of penalties, blocked a lot of shots,” said Barr, who was proud of the effort.
The Black Bears blocked 19 shots.
“The penalty-killers were fantastic and Victor played well,” he added. “We had some guys step up tonight.”
Providence College coach Nate Leaman was irritated by his team’s lack of production on the power play, especially the sequence at the end of the first period and early in the second period when the Friars had close to seven minutes with the man advantage.
“Our power play sucked,” Leaman said. “You get seven minutes straight of power play to start the second period and we didn’t get anything done with it. That’s on us. Credit their kill but if you are 0-for-6 on the power play on the road, you aren’t going to be successful.”