ORONO, Maine – Trailing 4-2 and short-handed with just over seven minutes remaining in the third, No. 14 University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team rallied with three-straight goals to capture a 5-4 win over the University of Maine on Sunday afternoon at Alfond Arena. Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) scored the game-winner with 2:21 remaining in the third period. UNH improves to 9-6-3 with a 6-4-2 mark in Hockey East, while Maine is now 10-7-2, 5-5-1 HEA. The Wildcats have now won five-straight against the Black Bears and four in a row at Alfond.
The ‘Cats scored the first of their three-straight on a short-handed unassisted tally by Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.) at 13:04 that make it 4-3. Sislo stole the puck in the defensive zone and beat UM netminder Scott Darling high-glove side. The game-tying goal came on the extra-man advantage just three minutes later (16:05) as Greg Collins (Fairport, N.Y.) scored with helpers from Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario) and Kevin Kapstad (Boxboro, Mass.). Butler’s game-winner came with assists from Joe Charlebois (Potsdam, N.Y.) and LeBlanc at 17:39. UNH entered the third tallying 3-1, but cut into the lead just 93 seconds in as Collins scored with assists from Butler and Kapstad. Maine got its two goal cushion back with its second 5-on-3 goal of the game as Matt Duffy scored at 4:08 with assists from Josh Van Dyk and Tanner House.
The Wildcats got scoring started in the first as Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) scored a power-play goal with assists from Mike Beck (Long Beach, Calif.) and Danny Dries (Lake Orion, Mich.). The assist was Beck’s first career point and came at 5:21 in the first giving UNH a 1-0 advantage at the first intermission. Maine held an 11-9 advantage in shots.
Maine controlled play potting three-goals in the second period. The first goal came during a 5-on-3 opportunity while another came on the power play. Will O’Neill scored the first of the Black Bear goals at 7:41 in the period. The tally was assisted by Jeff Dimmen and Brian Flynn. The go-ahead goal came at 11:43 in the period at even strength as Dimmen scored with assists from Kevin Swallow and Chris Hahn. Maine made it 3-1 on a power-play goal from Tanner House at 13:17. The teams went into the break 3-1, while Maine outshot the Wildcats 14-7.
Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) stopped 29 shots including 11 in each of the first two period and improves to 8-4-2 overall, while Darling had 23 saves and is now 8-5-2 for Maine.
The Wildcats went 3-10 on the power play, while the Black Bears were 3-8 including a pair of 5-on-3 tallies. Maine held a 33-28 advantage in shots, while UNH outshot UM 12-8 in a four-goal third period.
UNH returns to action on next weekend with a home-and-home series against Hockey East foe Massachusetts. The teams will play on Friday, Jan. 9 (7 p.m.) at Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass. and Saturday, Jan. 10 (7 p.m.) at Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H.