Junior center Lynden Breen extended his goal-scoring streak to six games, senior left wing Didrik Henbrant scored the University of Maine’s third shorthanded goal in two games, and junior goalie Victor Ostman made 31 saves as the Black Bears registered a 3-1 Hockey East win over Boston College at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, on Friday night.
Junior right wing Donavan Houle added an empty-net goal with 1:34 remaining as the Black Bears improved to 13-13-2 overall and leapfrogged the Eagles into seventh place in the Hockey East standings.
UMaine is 7-9-1 in Hockey East and 11-5-1 over its last 16 games.
It is the first time UMaine has been at the .500 mark since the 4-0 win over Quinnipiac on Oct. 22. That gave them a 2-2 record and the Black Bears have been below .500 ever since.
Boston College is 9-12-6 overall, 5-8-5 in Hockey East and had its winless streak extended to eight games (0-6-2).
Junior Trevor Kuntar scored his career-high 10th goal of the season for BC with 3:53 remaining to pull the Eagles within a goal before Houle sewed up the win.
Colgate University transfer Mitch Benson finished with 18 saves for the Eagles.
“Every win on the road is a good win,” said UMaine second-year head coach Ben Barr. “We were a little sloppy at times but the guys worked hard and made enough plays to win. Victor played great. He made some real big-time saves.”
The win gave UMaine a 4-9-1 road record this season. The four wins match the last two seasons combined, when UMaine went 4-23-3 away from home.
“We haven’t been a good road team for years. It’s hard to win on the road. This is a step in the right direction,” Barr said.
Breen opened the scoring 5:18 into the game with his 15th goal of the season and seventh over his last six games. He also extended his points streak to eight games (8 goals, 4 assists).
UMaine’s David Breazeale kept the puck in at the point and worked it down to Thomas Freel behind the net. Freel made a quick pass to Houle who snapped it across to the far side where Breen finished off the pretty passing play by firing the puck past Benson.
Henbrant made it 2-0 at the 14:00 mark of the first period when Nolan Renwick won a battle for the puck at the defensive blue line and passed it to the streaking Henbrant who had gotten behind the BC defense.
Alaska-Fairbanks transfer Henbrant broke in alone and beat Benson to the blocker side for his sixth of the season and fourth in his last six games.
“[Henbrant] works real hard and can really skate. He has been a real good player for us,” Barr said.
Kuntar closed the gap by taking a pass from Andre Gasseau and lifting a backhander past Ostman’s glove.
But Houle scored his eighth of the season while he was on one knee with Benson pulled in favor of the extra attacker.
UMaine will visit UMass Lowell for a 2 p.m. game on Sunday at Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Barr said his team will need a better performance to beat UMass Lowell.
“We turned way too many pucks over tonight and made mental errors. If we do that against a team that transitions like [UMass Lowell] does, that won’t be good,” Barr said.
Boston College will take on archrival Boston University in the Beanpot Tournament consolation game on Monday at 4:30 p.m. at TD Garden in Boston.