Few lines in college hockey have played as well as Maine’s top line of senior center Lynden Breen and freshmen brothers Bradly and Josh Nadeau on the wings. Saturday night at Portland’s sold-out Cross Insurance Arena, in front of 6,291 fans in a home game 140 miles from campus, that line struggled early, then led a late comeback.

Josh Nadeau scored a pair of goals, including the winner late in the third period, leading the Black Bears to a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Bentley.

It was the fourth straight win for eighth-ranked Maine (10-3-1), which swept New Hampshire last weekend, then beat Union on Wednesday.

“That’s a lot of hockey in a short period of time. Four games in eight days. I was really proud of how they came back after going down 2-1,” Maine Coach Ben Barr said. “It wasn’t a pretty game. They’ve got a lot of heart. It was impressive to see them come back after we gave up the lead.”

Nadeau’s winner came at 15:49, shortly after Maine turned away a Bentley scoring chance. Nadeau carried the puck through the neutral zone before firing a shot from the left of Bentley goalie Connor Hasley (32 saves).

“I came back as hard as I could. When you work hard, good thing happen,” Josh Nadeau said. “It was not our best start as a team, but good teams find a way to come back.”


Nadeau’s first goal gave Maine a 1-0 lead at 11:50 of the second period, as he tipped home a Breen shot from the circle.

Bentley (8-10) tied the game at 10:07 of the third when Ryan Upson poked in a shot after Maine goalie Victor Ostman was unable to cover the puck. Just over two minutes later, at 12:36, the Falcons took the lead when Kellan Hjartarson finished a 2-on-1 breakaway with a shot over Ostman’s right shoulder.

The Black Bears tied it just 13 seconds later, on Cole Hanson’s first goal of the season.

Bentley’s defense clamped down in the first period. While the Falcons allowed 11 shots over the first 20 minutes, few were strong scoring chances. Maine’s top line didn’t generate a shot on goalie Connor Hasley in the first period. The line, which entered the game with 23 of Maine’s 47 goals, finally got some shots while the Black Bears were on a power play midway through the second period but couldn’t convert with the advantage.

“We don’t want to sometimes just go in and forecheck. They’re playmakers, and sometimes they struggle against teams that have a lot of guys back,” Barr said. “They got better.”

Maine was fortunate to exit the second period with a one-goal lead, as the Falcons created two strong scoring chances late. First, Stephen Castagna hit the post with a breakaway shot with just under two minutes left in the period. Then, with 11 seconds left, Nik Armstrong-Kingkade’s scoring bid was stopped by Ostman (29 saves).

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