ORONO — From out of nowhere, the University of Maine men’s ice hockey team escaped with a four-point weekend.

The Black Bears scored two goals in a span of 3:01 overlapping the third period and overtime Saturday night, stunning the rival University of New Hampshire with a 2-1 win before a crowd of 5,012 at Alfond Arena. Senior Patrick Shea lifted home Ryan Smith’s feed out of the left wing corner 2:11 into the extra period to secure a two-game sweep of the Wildcats in a Hockey East series.

“That’s probably the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of, to be honest,” said Maine senior Tim Doherty, whose power-play goal in the final minute of regulation forced overtime. “It’s the best weekend of the year — UNH — and what a way to do it. A sweep at home, you can’t really write it up any better.”

Maine won its second game in a row to improve to 7-3-2 (4-2-2 HEA). New Hampshire, which had won three in a row heading into the weekend, dropped to 5-4-1 (3-3-0 HEA).

It was a gut-punch of a loss for the Wildcats, who were less than 51 seconds from salvaging a weekend split. It was UNH’s sixth overtime game already this season.

“I feel for our kids,” said UNH coach Mike Souza, who was without leading scorer Jackson Pierson after Pierson was injured in the third period of Friday night’s series opener. “They made one more play than us. That’s what it comes down to.”

In transition during overtime, Maine’s MItchell Fossier gained control of the puck at center ice and made a good play to chip it in deep for Smith to track down. From there, Shea — who missed nearly all of October due to injury — took over with his first goal of the season.

“We had just hopped on the ice,” Shea said. “I was kind of hoping he’d see me and throw it over, and he sure enough saw me and gunned it over there and just missed the (defenseman’s) stick. I made sure I got it up there (under the crossbar).”

Black Bear junior goalie Jeremy Swayman made 32 saves to counter a stellar 34-save effort from UNH’s Mike Robinson at the other end of the rink.

“It was definitely a frustrating couple periods there — well, three really, because we scored in the final minute,” Shea said. “I thought we were going, outplaying them the whole night. We just couldn’t score. We were getting shots, the goalie was playing well, and finally it just cracked in the end.”

“I’ve been saying all along how good our leadership is on the team and how the team has jelled together,” Maine coach Red Gendron said. “I think it showed tonight. We stuck together. It was hard … but we kept battling. Full marks to UNH, they played their tails off.”

An ill-timed roughing penalty to UNH defenseman Anthony Wyse for a high hit on Black Bear Eduards Tralmaks put Maine on the power play late to set the stage for Doherty’s equalizer. Gendron pulled Swayman to set up the last-gasp, 6-on-4 advantage, and Doherty one-timed a feed from Adam Dawe with 50.9 seconds remaining in the third period to tie the game at 1-1.

The goal finally ignited a near sellout crowd which had been kept quiet through most of the night.

“The Alfond was absolutely electric when we scored the game-tying goal and the game-winning goal,” Gendron said. “It was deafening. It was deafening. In fact, it was so loud I couldn’t hear the band. I couldn’t distinguish the music from the rest of the noise. That’s not easy to do. It was loud.”

One of the nation’s best power plays finally got on the board after going 0 for its first 6 attempts to begin the weekend, giving UNH the 1-0 lead midway through the second period.

Angus Crookshank drove the net to tip home Kalle Eriksson’s shot from the left point for his fifth goal of the season.

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