The University of Maine hockey team’s season came to a crashing conclusion on Wednesday night.

The 11th-seeded University of Vermont’s Catamounts overcame a pair of one-goal deficits and scored a weird game-winning power play goal by sophomore right wing Isak Walther with 6:05 remaining to oust the sixth-seeded Black Bears 4-2 at Alfond Arena Wednesday night.

William Lemay scored an empty-net shorthanded goal to ice it.

The Catamounts thoroughly earned their impressive road win, outshooting the out-of-sync and lethargic Black Bears 26-14 over the final two periods after UMaine had a 16-4 edge over the first 20 minutes.

Gabe Carriere made 28 saves for UVM while Victor Ostman had 26 for UMaine.

UVM has a 5-1 record against UMaine in first-round playoff games.

“We flat-out got beat,” said somber UMaine head coach Ben Barr. 

“Right from the start of the game, we looked a little overwhelmed by the moment, for whatever reason,” the second-year coach said. “A big part of that is on me. Maybe my messaging was wrong.”

Barr added that aside from Breen, it didn’t seem as if any players brought their A-game to Wednesday’s game.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow. We have to take that with us for a long offseason. We have to learn from it,” he said.  

Junior Breen gave the Black Bears a pair of one-goal leads but the Catamounts received equalizers from sophomore left wing Timofei Spitserov in the second period and sophomore right winger Andrei Buyalsky (power play) in the third period.

Breen’s first goal was a power play goal.

With 7:01 left in the third period, Parker Lindauer was called for a hooking minor and the Catamounts capitalized for the game-winner.

Walther made a cross ice pass to Jacques Bouquot and Ostman made a save on his shot from the left faceoff dot.

Ostman tried to reach out and corral the loose puck behind his net but couldn’t haul it in and Bouquot tapped it to Walther at the side of the net.

He tried to tuck it  in and it deflected off the stick of UMaine defenseman Dawson Bruneski and trickled over the goal line.

“Their goalie tried to grab it behind the net and it came to me and I tried to jam it in and I guess it went through their goalie and their defenseman [deflected it in],” Walther said. “I didn’t see

 what happened but it was kind of a lucky goal.”

It was his team-leading ninth of the season. 

Vermont is now 11-19-5 and will take on top seed Boston University on Saturday in the quarterfinals.

UMaine, picked last in the preseason coaches poll, wound up 15-16-5 and ended the season on a three-game losing streak after putting together a seven-game unbeaten streak (4-0-3). 

Breen became the Black Bears’ first 20-goal scorer since the 2011-12 season when he converted on the power play with 5:59 left in the initial period.

A Luke Antonacci shot was blocked and David Breazeale pushed the puck into the corner where Thomas Freel, who had been knocked down, was able to swat the puck along the ice to Breen.

Breen took a couple of strides to the top of the crease and tucked a backhander between Carriere’s pads.

UMaine had some chances to expand the lead as it outshot UVM 16-4 in the first period but Carriere came with some good saves and his veteran defense corps did an effective job limiting the Black Bears’ second-chance opportunities.

He made an important stop on Didrik Henbrant’s break-in down the left wing as he cut across the top of the crease. Henbrant tried to shovel home the rebound from a difficult angle but Carriere was able to grab the slow roller.

Spitsereov tied it at the 6:40 mark of the second period with his fourth of the season.

Will Zapernick was able to put a wrist shot on net from the top of the circle and Ostman made the pad save.

But the rebound spilled over the far circle and Spitserov fired the rebound past Ostman.

UVM was energized by the goal and played a much better second period, outshooting UMaine 12-8.

Ostman was called on to make a series of saves during a wild flurry during a delayed penalty situation with two minutes left in the period.

Breen swatted home a rebound early in the third period to make it 2-1 and Henbrant had a golden opportunity to expand the lead when he stole the puck and broke in alone on Carriere, who made the save.

“I got a piece of my blocker on it,” said Carriere.

Vermont coach Todd Woodcroft said if Henbrant had scored, “that probably would have put the game away. It’s a game of moments and momentum changes and that was one that was luckily in our favor.”

UVM tied it when Massimo Lombardi stole the puck from UMaine’s Aidan Carney and fed it to Buyalsky who roofed it from point-blank range.

Woodcroft was pleased with his team’s performance.

“It wasn’t something that I wouldn’t say we scripted,” said Woodcroft. “Our power play hasn’t been real effective lately and for us to get two power play goals at timely events in the game was fantastic.”

He credited Carriere’s outstanding performance.

“We got some lucky bounces. That wraparound [game-winner] at the end, that was one we were lucky,” Woodcroft said.

Woodcroft said after the first period, the adjustment they made was to “shoot every available puck” instead of stickhandling.

“We’re an effective team when we are direct and simple,” he said.