University of Maine junior goalie Victor Ostman had a masterful performance Saturday night, turning aside 52 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as the Black Bears completed a weekend sweep of nationally ranked Providence College with a 3-0 triumph at lively Alfond Arena.
Junior center Lynden Breen and junior linemate Donavan Houle scored power play goals and senior left wing Didrik Henbrant added an empty-net goal.
UMaine had won Friday night’s game 3-2.
UMaine improved to 11-12-2 overall and 5-8-1 in Hockey East, while Providence fell to 12-9-6 and 7-5-5.
“Victor played great,” UMaine head coach Ben Barr said. “He didn’t leave a lot of rebounds and we did a decent job defending our net front.
“They took it to us pretty good but we never stopped working and that was a good sign,” Barr added. “We played a very good and desperate team.”
“I saw most of the shots,” Ostman said. “The guys did a good job letting me see the shots and they blocked shots as well.”
The Black Bears blocked 16 shots in front of Ostman.
He also caught a break in the third period when an ill-advised pass by Jakub Sirota landed on the stick of Providence leading scorer Patrick Ford alone in front of Ostman in the third period but Ford’s shot rang off the post.
“I got lucky there. You have to get some [lucky] bounces,” Ostman said.
“[Ostman] was the difference in the game and even last night, too,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said. “I loved our effort tonight. But you have to tip your hat to [Ostman].
“He will probably be the [Hockey East] goalie of the week but the problem is he will be like the fourth goalie of the week this season who earned it in a series against us. We’re struggling to [score],” Leaman said.
Ostman stopped 35 shots through the first two periods as the Friars completely dominated the play.
UMaine managed only nine shots on goal over the first 40 minutes.
He made a nifty glove save off Bennett Schimek in the first period when Schimek’s shot hit a stick and floated toward the upper corner. Ostman had to reach up for it.
A few minutes later, Patrick Moynihan was at the edge of the crease and Ostman extended his right leg pad to make back-to-back saves off him.
Breen’s goal was his 11th of the season and extended his goal-scoring streak to three games.
He has now scored a goal in four of his last five games.
It was UMaine’s fourth power play goal in its last eight chances.
The goal featured a beautiful passing sequence involving freshmen Luke Antonacci and Thomas Freel.
Antonacci skated into the zone down the left wing side and fired a diagonal pass to Freel in the right faceoff circle.
Freel slid a perfect pass over to Breen at the far post and he simply had to guide it into the empty net.
“It was a helluva’ pass from Thomas,” Breen said. “He put it right on my tape.”
Houle made it 2-0 9:19 into the third period when Freel got the puck to Breen, who snapped a pass to Houle in the right circle and his one-timer beat Philip Svedeback.
“We’ve played together for three years so I know where he is going to be,” said Breen.
“We have good chemistry. He made a great pass. I shot it off the heel of my stick a little bit,” said Houle, whose wrister snuck inside the far post.
Svedeback finished with 18 saves.
The two power play goals marked the second time in three games UMaine has scored two power plays in a game. It had done so just once in its previous 22 games.
“It keeps getting better. It’s great to see it moving forward,” Houle said.
Providence went 0-for-3 on the power play and was 0-for-9 on the weekend.
UMaine will host Boston University at 7 p.m. Friday and Merrimack at 2 p.m. Sunday. Providence will entertain the University of Massachusetts at 7 p.m. Friday and visit Vermont at 2 p.m. Sunday.