ORONO, Maine -- Matt Mangene (Miller Place, N.Y.) scored his first collegiate hat trick as the University of Maine men's ice hockey team swept the weekend series from #3 Boston College on Saturday afternoon with a 7-4 victory over the Eagles. Joey Diamond (Long Beach, N.Y.) had a pair of goals, while rookie Connor Leen (Chester, N.Y.) tallied the game-winning goal for the Black Bears at 17:01 of the third period. Barry Almeida led Boston College as he also recorded a hat trick.
Maine improves to 12-8-3 on the season and 9-7-2 in Hockey East play. Boston College falls to 14-10-1 overall, 10-7-1 in conference play.
Boston College jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. Almeida scored his first goal of the game at 2:21 of the first period from Kevin Hayes and Isaac MacLeod. The Eagles extended their lead to 2-0 at 4:33 of the first. Tommy Cross had a shot and the rebound went right to Johnny Gaudreau who fired the puck into the net from the left circle.
Maine got on the board with a power play goal at 13:14. Spencer Abbott (Hamilton, Ontario) got the puck to Will O'Neill (Salem, Mass.) on the blueline. Diamond tipped O'Neill's shot past BC goalie Brian Billett for his 16th goal of the season at 13:14.
Maine tied the game when it scored its second power play goal in as many chances at 15:45 of the third period. Abbott stole the puck from a Boston College defender in neutral ice. He then skated in on an odd man rush. He passed the puck to Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) who was skating down the slot alone. Flynn fired the puck into the back of the net. For Flynn, it was his 13th goal of the season.
Maine then scored its third power play goal of the day when Abbott fired the puck to Mangene in the crease. He tipped it past Billett, giving Maine the 3-2 lead at 9:19 of the second period. O'Neill also assisted on the goal for the Black Bears.
Mangene scored his second of the game, shorthanded, as the Black Bears extended their lead to 4-2. Stu Higgins (Troy, Mich.) got the puck to Mangene in the neutral zone who used his speed to beat his defender and fire a shot past Billett.
Boston College then scored a power play goal of its own when Steven Whitney and Tommy Cross teamed up to find Almeida, who beat Maine goalie Dan Sullivan for his second goal of the game at 14:01 of the second period.
Maine took a 4-3 lead into the second intermission. The Eagles tied the game at 4-4 at 8:36 of the third period when Whitney once against found Almeida shorthanded. Almeida beat Sullivan for his third goal of the game and 13th of the season to knot the score at 4-4.
The game remained tied until Leen netted the game-winner with his first collegiate goal. Jon Swavely (Reading, Pa.) made and outstanding play to get Leen the puck. Leen had an initial shot that Billett stopped, but he followed collected his rebound and stuffed the puck into the back of the net at 17:01.
BC then pulled Billett in favor of an extra attacker. Ryan Hegarty (Arlington, Mass.) tipped the puck to Brian Flynn who found Diamond. Diamond had his shot from the neutral zone find the back of the net for his 17th goal of the season.
Billett remained on the bench and once again, Hegarty was able to gain control of the puck. This time he found Mangene who rifled the puck into the empty net for his third goal of the game and eighth of the season at 19:36.
The seven goals scored by the Black Bears was a season-high, sending the crowd of 5,098 fans at Alfond Arena home ecstatic. It is the first time since Feb. 17 and 18, 2006 that the Black Bears have swept a weekend series against the Eagles.
The two teams finished with 35 shots apiece. Maine, which entered the game with the nation's second ranked power play, scored three goals in five chances. Boston College finished 1-for-3 on the power play.
Maine goalie Dan Sullivan made 31 saves and improves to 11-5-3 on the season. The 11 wins are a single season career high for Sullivan, who finished with 10 a year ago. Brian Billett made 28 saves for the Eagles. He falls to 3-4-1 on the season.
Maine returns to action on Friday, Jan. 28 when it travels to Boston University for a weekend series with the Terriers. Puck drop on Friday night is scheduled for 7 PM.