Ty Amonte buried an unassisted game-winner in overtime to lift No. 8 UConn men’s hockey past the Maine Black Bears, 3-2. The graduate forward stole the puck in the neutral zone, carried it into the zone and sent a rip past Maine goalie Victor Ostman for the sudden-death score.
With the win, the Huskies remain undefeated in 3-on-3 overtime (3-0-1) and improve to 8-1-1 on the season and 5-1-1 in Hockey East play. They claim two of the three possible points towards the Hockey East standings.
Maine struck first in the opening period but UConn responded with a pair of goals from Chase Bradley and Tabor Heaslip in the second period to take the lead. The Black Bears responded late in the period to tie the game at 2-2 — a score that held through the end of regulation and into overtime until Amonte won it.
In goal, Logan Terness got the start, marking the first time the Huskies have started the same goaltender in back-to-back games. He stopped 19 of the 21 shots that came his way, including eight in the third period.
Before one minute even came off the clock, UConn found itself on the penalty kill when Nick Capone went to the box for roughing but it survived the two minutes without much issue. The early advantage did give Maine the upper hand with better offensive chances early on and a stout defense. The visitors broke through first when Jakub Sirota fired a shot from just inside the blue line through traffic and into the back of the net to give the Black Bears a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies got a chance to tie the game on a power play just minutes later but struggled to possess the puck and didn’t manage a single shot on goal during the advantage. They started to find some offense late in the period — Capone had a breakaway denied while Matthew Wood just missed a back-door pass — but went into the first intermission trailing by one.
Just 33 seconds after play resumed on the second period, Bradley buried a rebound off a shot from Harrison Rees to tie the game at one goal apiece. UConn kept the pressure on and tilted the ice in its favor for much of the middle period. Eventually, the cracks in Maine’s defense broke. Jake Veilleux misfired a shot from the circle but it ended up in front of goal, bounced off a Black Bear defenseman’s skate and ended up in the net — with Heaslip getting the credit.
Maine quickly answered back, though. Off a face-off in UConn’s zone, Brandon Chabrier found Justin Michaelian for a one-timer from the circle that went off the post and in, tying the game at 2-2.
The Huskies had a golden chance to re-take the lead courtesy of a 1:27-long 5-on-3 power play but struggled to get the puck through Maine’s skaters despite controlling the puck.
The two sides went into the last intermission knotted at 2-2 and it stayed that way through the final 20 minutes. Once overtime began, Ryan Tverberg had a breakaway chance but had his shot turned away by Ostman. Just moments later, Amonte grabbed the puck in the neutral zone, skated in free and tucked it in the far post for the win.
UConn will go for the sweep on Saturday in the second game of the series with Maine at the XL Center. Puck drop is set for 4:05 p.m. ET on ESPN+.