Similar to its upset of Boston College Friday night, the University of Maine streaked to a 3-0 lead and got another stellar performance from goaltender Martin Ouellette to post a 3-1 victory over the third-ranked Eagles Saturday night before 7,126 at Conte Forum and sweep the weekend series.
The last-place Black Bears (7-14-4, 3-9-4 Hockey East) enjoyed a redemptive weekend, stringing together victories for the first time since defeating 11th-ranked Cornell Dec. 29 and Mercyhurst Jan. 4.
“The biggest thing is that it gives us confidence,’’ said junior Jon Swavely, who beat BC netminder Brian Billett at 18:43 of the first period and at 13:44 of the third for his first two goals of the season.
“Two wins this weekend, on the road at Boston College, it doesn’t get any better than that.’’
Not since 1993, when Maine won back-to-back games by a combined margin of 12-2, had the Eagles (14-7-2, 11-6-1) lost consecutive home games in a weekend series. In both instances, BC managed just one goal in each game.
“We were markedly improved from [Friday] night,’’ said BC coach Jerry York, who was forced to piece together a patchwork lineup after losing his third defenseman this season — and second this week — when Colin Sullivan was scratched because of a concussion sustained in Friday night’s 4-1 setback.
“I thought we were more determined and there was more effort, but the results were the same,’’ York said. “You’ve got to give Maine credit. They come into our own building and not many people have done that over the last decade here and won both games.
“As I said, our effort was markedly better, but Maine was just as sharp.’’
Ouellette, who made a career-high 34 saves Friday night, followed up with another stingy performance. He made 24 saves and kept the Eagles off the scoreboard for all but the final nine seconds.
Before the puck was even dropped, BC faced the challenge of fixing a banged-up defense that was without Patch Albers, who suffered a season-ending knee injury off the ice, and Michael Matheson, who was concussed in last Saturday night’s 9-3 victory at Northeastern.
York switched senior winger Steven Whitney, who scored BC’s lone goal Friday, to defense, where he joined
junior Isaac MacLeod on the first pairing. Brooks Dyroff went back to offense while sophomore winger Danny Linnell was promoted to the first line.
The line machinations did the Eagles little good. Swavely beat Billett, who was making his first start of the season in place of Parker Milner, on an odd-man rush at 18:43, giving Maine a 1-0 lead.
BC, which was outshot, 29-25, continued to struggle offensively, missing several prime scoring opportunities in the final five minutes of the second period.
Patrick Wey appeared to beat Ouellette top shelf on a blue-line blast at 14:41, but the goal was waved off.
The 6-foot-2-inch Ouellette then turned away a pair of shorthanded bids in the final 1:51, including one on the doorstep by Bill Arnold with 12 seconds left.
Connor Leen gave Maine a 2-0 lead at 2:48 of the third, and Swavely potted his second goal of the night when he tucked in a rebound of his wraparound bid at 13:44.