HARTFORD, Conn. – Seniors Ryan Tyson (Harleysville, Pa.) and Trevor Gerling (Seattle, Wash.) each scored in the second period to help UConn erase a 2-0 Maine lead on the way to a 2-2 tie Sunday afternoon in Hockey East action at the XL Center in Hartford. The Huskies finished the weekend taking three of four possible Hockey East points and are now 5-6-3 in the league.
UConn’s Rob Nichols (Dallas, Texas) and Maine’s Sean Romeo each finished the afternoon with 29 saves. The Huskies and Black Bears each went scoreless on the power play, UConn finishing 0-for-4 while Maine was 0-for-2 with the extra skater.
The Huskies came up empty on the first period’s only power play at 15:22 and appeared to be headed to the locker room scoreless before a late Maine goal. The Black Bears played the puck in deep and a pile up in front kept Nichols from finding the puck. Maine’s Conor Riley was able to pick the puck out of the scrum and Cam Brown was right there to put a wrister through traffic and past Nichols for a 1-0 lead.
Maine got their first power play chance of the afternoon at 15:46 but saw it last just eight seconds as Nolan Vesey was called for interference and Steven Swavely for hooking just 27 seconds apart to give UConn a 4-on-3 opportunity for 1:25. The Black Bears successfully killed it off and at the tail end of the Swavely penalty expiring picked-up their second goal.
Blaine Byron got free through the neutral zone for a break-away attempt but was denied by Nichols who made a sprawling pad save. Byron was able to collect the rebound behind the net and quickly feed Jake Rutt who was waiting in front to bury a one-time attempt for a 2-0 lead at 8:21.
The Huskies jumped right back into it with a pair of goals coming just 34 seconds apart. Tyson got his first goal of the season to put the Huskies on the board at 12:16. Sophomore defenseman Joona Kunnas (Vantaa, Finland) carried the puck deep in the zone and fed a centering pass to Tyson in front. Tyson got his stick on it and chipped it in before hitting the ice and goaltender Sean Romeo. The goal was reviewed for goaltender interference but stood cutting the Black Bear lead to 2-1. For Tyson, it was his first goal in 32 games dating back to a win at Providence last February.
Just 34 seconds later the Huskies struck again as Gerling ended a seven-game scoring drought with his eighth goal on the season. Junior Shawn Pauly (Bellingham, Wash.) got a shot on net with Romeo coming up with a pad save. The rebound came right out to Gerling in the slot and he buried it top-shelf to tie it 2-2.
UConn came out flying in the third period and got a great chance just over five minutes in on two-on-one break-out. Gerling carried up the right wing and just missed tucking the goal past an outstretched Romeo at the right post.
The Black Bears looked like they had pulled off a dramatic win with a late goal coming with 21.0 seconds left. Junior Devin Shore snuck a puck in at the right post but the goal was reviewed and waved off for goaltender interference.
In the overtime, each team generated just one shot with Nichols stopping a Rutt shot from the left circle to keep the game tied.
The Huskies remain at home and play host to the nationally ranked Providence Friars on Wednesday, February 4th. Opening face-off is scheduled for 7:05 pm at the XL Center.