A highlight-reel save by junior goalie Victor Ostman with 1.8 seconds left in regulation earned the University of Maine’s hockey team a 1-1 Hockey East tie with 17th-ranked UMass Lowell at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass. on Sunday afternoon.
After a scoreless five-minute overtime, highlighted by a brilliant save by UMass Lowell junior goalie Henry Welsch with five seconds remaining, UMass Lowell won the shootout 2-0 to earn an extra point in the Hockey East standings.
The game goes into the books as a tie but UMass Lowell receives two points in the Hockey East standings and UMaine gets one point.
Teams earn three points for a regulation win and two for an overtime or shootout win. An overtime or shootout loss is worth one point.
UMass Lowell is now 16-10-3 overall and 9-6-3 in Hockey East while UMaine is 13-13-3 and 7-9-2, respectively.
UMaine earned four points on the road this weekend as the Black Bears beat Boston College 3-1 on Friday night.
In the waning seconds of the three-on-three overtime, UMaine’s Jakub Sirota and Donavan Houle broke in alone on Welsch.
Sirota carried the puck down the left wing side and slid the puck over to Houle, who tried to direct it inside the far post from point-blank range only to have Welsch extend his stick along the ice to stop it.
In the final seconds of regulation, UMass Lowell’s Isac Jonsson had a shot blocked by UMaine defenseman Grayson Arnott.
Jon McDonald pounced on the loose puck and appeared to have an open net when he tried a wraparound shot to Ostman’s left.
Ostman pushed off the far post and extended his glove across the goalmouth to make a spectacular save and force the overtime.
“That was a big-time effort Victor. That was a game-saver,” UMaine head coach Ben Barr said. “That is the best work ethic we’ve had in a game in the second half of the season. Everyone played the right way.”
Sophomore Owen Cole opened the scoring just 3:27 into the game with his third goal of the season.
The River Hawks had an effective forecheck and Marek Korencik fired a shot from the high slot that Ostman saved.
But Cole swept home the rebound from the middle of the slot.
UMaine junior center Lynden Breen tied it just 3:08 later with his team-leading 16th of the year.
It also extended his goal-scoring streak to seven games and his points streak to nine games.
Thomas Freel sliced across the crease and had his point-blank shot saved by Welsch.
But the puck squirted free and Breen jammed it under Welsch.
Those were the only goals allowed by Ostman and Welsch.
Ostman finished with 23 saves while Welsch stopped 29 shots.
Both teams went 0-for-3 on the power play.
UMaine had to kill all three UML power plays in the third period.
“Our penalty killers gave us momentum,” said Barr.
In the shootout, Carl Bergland and Scout Truman scored for the River Hawks while Welsch save attempts by Breen and Houle.
Up next: Both teams will hit the road on Friday night. UMaine will visit arch-rival New Hampshire while UML invades Providence. Both games start at 7.