BOSTON, Mass.—University of Southern Maine sophomore Cody Braga lifted a backhand through traffic with under a minute to go in overtime, to lift the Huskies past #6/8 UMass Boston men's hockey 3-2.
University of Southern Maine 3, #6/8 UMass Boston 2
(UMass Boston 13-5, NEHC 8-3)
(Southern Maine 3-9-4, NEHC 3-5-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Huskies used a two-goal, second period to take control of the game, and then held on for dear life for most of the third-to force overtime.
After killing off a Beacons power play, the Huskies skated the other way with a 4-on-2 advantage. Maverick Lynes initial shot was wide of the net, but Braga collected the rebound behind the goal line, skated towards the slot and snuck a backhand inside the near post that UMass Boston goalie Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.) never saw.
In net, MacBurnie suffered his third loss of the year, after making 30 saves on 33 shots.
Jerome Witkowski, Brett Norman and Braga all scored for the visitors, who improved to 2-1-1 in the month of January.
Freshman goalie Anthony D'Aloisio improved to 3-6-4 on the year by making 36 saves on 38 shots.
Southern Maine took a physical approach against the second-leading scoring offense in the country and it paid off. The Beacons were held to their fewest shots of the season at home and were held to two goals or fewer for just the third time this year (all losses).
UMass Boston looked like they had a chance to put the game away early. The Beacons drew a power play 3:54 into the game and the Beacons top power-play unit made the Huskies pay 1:09 later.
With the puck just inside the blue line, Bross sent a blind backhand pass to Larkin who was racing into the zone. The Beacons captain took two strides, made one deke and then ripped a shot top-shelf for a 1-0 advantage at 5:03.
The Beacons stunted their own momentum though, as they took two penalties in the middle of the period to allow the Huskies to get into the flow of the game.
Southern Maine tied the game 8:38 into the second period. Witkowski raced down along the near boards and cut back towards the net. His initial shot was denied by MacBurnie, but he tipped in the rebound as he was pushed into the Beacons' netminder.
The Huskies stunned the Beacons with a second goal at 11:36. Patrick Magliano won the face-off back to Johnny Kyte who sent a hard slap shot off MacBurnie's pads. The rebound fell just short of the near circle and Norman raced after the puck and sent a shot just off the inside of the post and in for a 2-1 lead.
After struggling to generate chances in the second, UMass Boston evened the game 4:50 into the third. UMass Boston used a face-off play of their own to tie the game. Nachbaur won a face-off back to the blue line for Bonno and the defenseman's shot deflected off a player in front and in for a 2-2 game.
UMass Boston would continue to pressure the Huskies but the Beacons couldn't find a late goal.
In the overtime session, UMass Boston had more puck control but were outshot 4-1. The Huskies had the best chance early in the extra session. Just after the Beacons went on the power play, Connor Ferrera slipped behind the Beacons defense and went in one-on-one with MacBurnie. The Huskies forward created some open space, but MacBurnie denied him with a huge toe save.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston outshot the Huskies 38-33 and held a 45-32 edge in face-offs.
- The Beacons went 1-4 on the power play, while the Huskies finished 0-5.
- With the win, Southern Maine improved to 19-16-1 all-time against the Beacons and earned their second-straight win in Boston.
- Larkin moved within one power-play goal of Travis Daniel ('14) for the all-time program record for career power-play goals. Daniel recorded a record 20 power-play goals as a Beacon.
- UMass Boston has now lost back-to-back home games, after starting the year 6-2 at home.
- After a 1-6-1 start to the season, Southern Maine is 2-3-3 in their last eight games. Each of their last eight games have been ties or one-goal games.
UMass Boston will host New England College on Saturday at 4 p.m. as part of Alumni Day.