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Final: UConn Men’s Hockey Falls to Maine in Overtime, 4-3

The Huskies battle the Black Bears in their season opener.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn Men’s Hockey is back! The Huskies open up their season against the Maine Black Bears on Friday night.

Live Updates:

Period 1:

0:00- and the game is on! Adam Huska is in net, with David Drake and Johnny Austin in front of him. Karl El-Mir, Maxim Letunov and Alexander Payusov are the forwards.

5:05- Tim Doherty was part of a 2-on-1 in the offensive zone and made a nice move to beat Adam Huska to the short side. Maine up 1-0.

6:31- Chase Pearson called for high-sticking and UConn heads to the power play. Maine 1-0 lead.

8:03- Brady Keeper guilty of a hook. 28 seconds of five-on-three for UConn.

8:17- ping! Philip Nyberg almost scores but he just hits the post.

10:12- right after the end of the power play, Kasperi Ojantakanen tips in a Johnny Austin shot.

10:36- Justin Howell goes for hooking. Maine gets their first power play of the season.

11:30- Veli-Matti Tiuraniemi gets called for interference and we’ll have four-on-four.

12:53- now Maxim Letunov off for tripping.

14:21- Rob Michel got the puck at the top of the right circle and just waited the UConn penalty kill out. His shot was over Huska’s stick side and it’s 2-1 Maine.

15:18- Nyberg is down and needs attention from the training staff. He is putting no weight on his left leg and going down the Maine tunnel.

“He could be out for awhile,” Cavanaugh said.

16:22- Brady Keeper off for interference, giving UConn a power play. Maine up 2-1.

20:00- not a horrible period from the Huskies, as they sit with a 2-1 deficit after 20 minutes. Philip Nyberg’s injury could loom large for the Huskies and so could the lack of finishing on the power play, as they went 0-for-3 in the first stanza. However, scoring should come and Huska played well in addition, so there as positives to be taken from the first period of the season.

Second Period:

0:00- the second period is on, with the starters on the ice.

1:15- Spencer Naas had the puck behind the net and found Freeman below the right circle and he knows what to do with it. 2-2 tie in Orono. Naas and Freeman both have a goal and an assist.

“I thought they played great. I thought they played really well,” Cavanaugh said.

7:31- Max Kalter is guilty of a trip. Maine is 1-for-2 on the power play so far and it’s a 2-2 game.

12:53- Peter Housakas gets a goal after it squirts under Huska and it’s a 3-2 game now.

13:27- Kasperi Ojantakanen appears to have scored, but it is under review for goaltender interference.

No goal.

“They told me that he interfered with the goalie before the puck went in,” Cavanaugh said.

13:49- four-a-side hockey for two minutes. Mitchel Fossier and David Drake off on incidental penalties.

17:53- Alexis Binner commits an elbowing penalty and UConn will have a power play to essentially end the period.

20:00- The Huskies emerge still down one goal, but that period was a bit of a step back. It started off strong, with Benjamin Freeman scoring a nice goal on a good feed from Spencer Naas, but it went down from there. They weathered a two-minute onslaught by the Black Bears in which they had upwards of five solid chances and did not allow a goal, but the one Maine did score was a save Huska probably should have made.

“In every Hockey East game you’re going to have to weather storms,” Cavanaugh said.

Third Period:

0:00- the period is on, with the Huskies looking to erase a one-goal deficit.

7:53- Joseph Masonius off for elbowing. Maine gets their fourth power play tonight (1-for-3).

14:28- Masonius called for elbowing again. 1-for-4 on the night for the Black Bears.

18:03- too many men for Maine.

19:00- Huska out.

19:46- Jeff Wight! The senior, in his first game after missing all of last year with a shoulder injury, puts Karl El-Mir’s shot home!

“I thought we competed. We took it to them even though we were down,” Wight said. “It was a good shot by Karl and I was there to put it in.”

20:00- The Huskies looked like they were going to down in regulation, but with a strong finish they were able to force the extra session. They outshot Maine 14-to-8 and were the better team for much of it. They had multiple close chances, but Rob McGovern couldn’t get to all of them.

“I thought we were deserving of tying the game up,” Cavanaugh said.

Overtime:

0:27- Nolan Vesey beats Adam Huska glove side on the rush. It was hard and it was quick. Maine gets the 4-3 win. Adam Huska had 29 saves but was beat cleanly a few times on the evening.

“It was a frustrating loss,” Cavanaugh said.