BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - UConn freshman Vladislav Firstov (Yaroslavl, Russia) scored the game-winning goal in the third period to cap off three unanswered for the Huskies as they came back to post a 3-2 win over the Maine Black Bears in a Hockey East match-up Wednesday night at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.
The Huskies snap a four-game slide and a five-game winless streak as they grab two Hockey East points and improve to 8-10-4 overall and 5-7-2 in the league. Maine falls to 10-9-4 and 4-7-2 in conference.
UConn fell behind 2-0 in the first period before sophomore Carter Turnbull (Nanaimo, British Columbia) got the UConn comeback started late in the period with his seventh goal on the season.
Senior Alexander Payusov (Montreal, Quebec) tied the game up early in the second period and Firstov gave the Huskies the go-ahead goal early in the third while sophomore goaltender Tomas Vomacka (Trutnov, Czech Republic) made it stand up with 37 saves on the night.
Maine got a power play goal from Jakub Sirota and took a 2-0 lead on a Tim Doherty goal just 1:05 later. Goaltender Jeremy Swayman stopped 23 shots in the loss.
A defensive start for both teams gave way to back-to-back Maine goals at 12:33 and 13:38. The Black Bears got their first power play chance of the night and delivered just before it ended as Sirota curled into the high slot, taking a feed from Ben Poisson and snapping a shot low to the right corner for a 1-0 lead.
The Black Bears made it 2-0 just over a minute later on Doherty's 10th on the season. The Maine senior finished off a nifty feed from Mitchell Fossier, who left it between his legs for Doherty in front and he shoveled it past Vomacka for a two-goal lead.
UConn got one back late in the period as Turnbull scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season on a great individual effort. Turnbull snapped a shot on Swayman who made the stop but the sophomore fought his way through two Maine defensemen to poke in the rebound to pull UConn within 2-1 at 18:56.
The Huskies kept the momentum into the second period and tied the game up at 3:25. Coming off a Maine turnover behind their net, sophomore Jachym Kondelik (Budejovice, Czech Republic) fed a pass in front to Payusov who buried the one-timer for his fifth on the season, knotting the game at 2-2.
Firstov gave the Huskies a 3-2 lead at 6:52 in the third period with his seventh on the season, to match Turnbull for the team-lead. Firstov cut to the front of the net on a feed from sophomore Jonny Evans (North Delta, British Columbia) and stuck past Swayman at the right post just before hitting the ice.
Vomacaka turned away 16 of the 37 shots he stopped on Wednesday night in the third period to keep the Husky lead safe.
The Huskies are on the road on Saturday afternoon as they head to the No. 12 nationally ranked Northeastern Huskies for a Hockey East match-up live on NESN.