Penalties costly as Maine comes back to beat Merrimack in OT

ORONO, Maine — Maine scored two power-play goals in the first nine minutes of the second period to erase a two-goal Merrimack lead; that helped catapult the Black Bears to a wild 6-5 overtime win over the Warriors at Alfond Arena last night.

Merrimack led 3-1 at the end of the first period but Mac Welsher was called for tripping at the 20-minute mark after a scrum for a loose puck in front of Merrimack freshman goalie Hugo Ollas in the closing seconds of the first period.

The Black Bears converted on that penalty with just 18 seconds left on the power play. At the five-minute mark of the second period, Liam Walsh was whistled for slashing. The Warriors killed that penalty but Zach Uens was then whistled for cross-checking at the 7:56 mark of the second period. Merrimack’s third penalty in less than eight minutes led to Maine’s second power-play goal, which tied the score.

“They got the momentum with the power plays in the second period,” said Merrimack head coach Scott Borek. “It took a lot of steam out of our team and it gave them energy. We played really well in the first period. We had the puck the whole period. That’s why the second period surprised me, where we took the first three penalties after having the puck for the whole game up to that point.

“We didn’t respond. We have to be better.”

The Black Bears had 15 shots in the second period and nine of them came on their three power plays.

The Warriors outshot Maine 15-1 in the first period.

Alex Jefferies, who was out of the lineup against BC last Saturday, scored just 52 seconds into the game to give Merrimack a 1-0 lead. Filip Karlsson-Tagtstrom scored his second goal in two games since being inserted into the lineup to double the lead.

Max Newton scored twice for the Warriors and Steven Jandric and Zach Uens each had two assists. Jakub Sirota scored twice for Maine.

The Black Bears added another second-period goal just one minute after they tied the game on the power play which gave them a 4-3 lead at the second intermission.

The Warriors battled back and scored twice in the third period to take the lead back. Max Newton scored his second of the game just 31 seconds into the third and Filip Forsmark scored the go-ahead goal with 16:13 left.

But Maine added an extra-attacker goal in the final minutes of regulation. With Uens and Grant Hebert both in the box which made the game 4-on-4, the Black Bears pulled Victor Ostman for the extra man and scored the game-tying goal with 1:27 left in regulation.

David Breazeale tallied the game-winner with 51 seconds left in the overtime.

“We got on the wrong side of a scrum and gave them a breakaway,” Borek said.

Merrimack earned one point for the overtime loss and the Black Bears earned two points for the overtime win.

The Warriors and Black Bears will finish the two-game set at Alfond Arena on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Game Notes: The last time Merrimack had 3 goals in the first period at Maine was February 19, 2016. … Maine wore their home white jerseys and Merrimack wore their road blue shirts. … The win was the first career win for Maine head coach Ben Barr. … Ben Brar led Merrimack with five shots. … Max Newton went 16-7 on faceoffs to lead both teams. … Merrimack is 0-3 in overtime games this season.

Maine 6, Merrimack 5 (OT)
at Alfond Arena
Merrimack (4-4-0-3):     3-0-2-0—5
Maine (1-6-0-1):         1-3-1-1—6
First Period: 1. MC Alex Jefferies (unassisted), ev, 0:52; 2. MC Filip Karlsson-Tagtstrom 2 (Zach Uens, Filip Forsmark), ev, 2:58; 3. ME Jakub Sirota 2 (Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup), ev, 8:02; 4. MC Max Newton 5 (Zach Uens, Steven Jandric), ev, 19:03. 
Second Period: 5. ME Grent Hebert 3 (Ben Poisson, Lynden Breen), pp, 1:42; 6. ME Lynden Breen 1 (Ben Poisson, David Breazeale), pp, 9:09; 7. ME Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup 1 (Cam Spicer), ev, 10:09.
Third Period: 8. MC Max Newton 6 (Declan Carlile, Ben Brar), pp, 0:31; 9. MC Filip Forsmark 4 (Liam Walsh), ev, 16:13; 10. ME Jakub Sirota 3 (unassisted), ea,  18:33.
Overtime: 11. ME David Breazeale 1 (Lynden Breen), ev, 4:19.
Shots: Merrimack 15-3-13-1—32; Maine 1-15-13-3—32
Saves: MC Ollas (64:19) 26/32; ME Ostman (64:14) 27/32
Power Play: Merrimack 1 for 2; Maine 2 for 3
Penalties: Merrimack 4-8:00; Maine 3-6:00
Attendance: 3,007 (5,712)

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