UConn hockey scores in the last minute of overtime to defeat UMaine
The wait for the University of Maine hockey team for its first victory continues.
Junior defenseman Harrison Rees rebounded with 21.2 seconds left in overtime to give the University of Connecticut Huskies a 3-2 victory over the Black Bears on Saturday night.
It was Rees’ second goal of the game. It was only his fourth and fifth career goals in his 64th game.
Ryan Tverberg scored UConn’s other goal while second-year right-winger Donovan Houle scored both goals for the Black Bears.
UConn is now 6-3 overall and 4-1 in Hockey East, while UMaine is down to 0-7-1 and 0-4.
UMaine looked to be on the verge of winning at least a tie when they had a face-off in the UConn zone with 35.5 seconds left in the three-on-three five-minute overtime period.
UMaine first-year head coach Ben Barr has requested a time-out before the face-off.
But UConn won the face-off and the Huskies were able to carry the puck across the ice in the UMaine zone.
Hudson Schandor passed to Marc Gatcomb in the high lunge and he fired a shot that hit Victor Ostman’s glove and fell in front.
Rees beat UMaine’s Keenan Suthers on the puck and lifted her to the open short side corner.
“The [Gatcomb] punch. I had a hard time picking it up, ”Ostman said.
UConn senior center and captain Jachym Kondelik said it was special for Rees to score the winner.
“It was just awesome. The last time we were here we lost in overtime and he tripped and fell at the blue line and they scored. For him to have a game like this is amazing, ”said Kondelik.
“The individual breakdowns cost us on this last goal. That one hurt, ”Barr said. “We didn’t deserve to win the game. We didn’t run for the full 65 minutes.
Darion Hanson made 23 saves for UConn and Ostman finished with 41, including an overtime gem over Tverberg, who broke in the middle only to be blocked by Ostman.
Houle’s first two goals in his 24-game college career saw the Black Bears erase two one-goal deficits. He also hit the post with a projected shot in the third period.
Tverberg gave UConn a 1-0 lead with his third goal of the weekend series.
It came with a minute to go in the first half.
Houle tied the game at 1:27 in the second period, kicking off a three-goal streak in 2:36.
Rees didn’t respond until 2:03 later, but Houle equalized 33 seconds later.
Tverberg only scored a second after the end of a UConn power play.
UMaine captain Jack Quinlivan was about to clear the puck but got shot from behind.
The puck went to Schandor who quickly passed it to Tverberg at the top of the right circle.
Tverberg faked a slap shot to get around a black bear, then brandished a 25-foot wrist that got caught between Ostman’s pads.
Houle equalized when a pass from Johnny Mulera was directed to him by Suthers’ skate. Houle took a step and snapped a wrist in front of Hanson’s blocker.
Rees regained the advantage for the Huskies when he passed behind Gatcomb’s net in the high lunge and beat Ostman on the glove side with a 35-foot wrist.
Houle responded after taking a pass from Mulera in a similar position to his first goal on the right wing.
This time, instead of pulling quickly, he sliced through the low lunge and covered a backhand blocker side.
“We took a step back. [Houle] was really good. We had other guys who played well. Victor was solid, ”Barr said. “It’s just hard when you can’t find a way to get over the bump. It was hard. “
Schandor collected two assists for UConn while Suthers and Mulera had two each for UMaine on goals from teammate Houle.
UMaine will entertain Merrimack Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m.