ORONO, Maine – Freshman Jeff Silengo (Madison, Conn.) scored his first two collegiate goals including the game-winner at 1:26 of overtime to cap-off a, 4-3, come-from-behind victory for the third-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team over the sixth-ranked University of Maine in Hockey East action in front of a sellout crowd of 5445 at Alfond Arena.
UNH, which captures its five-straight victory and 10-consective win in the month of December dating back to 2007, closes out 2010 with a 10-2-4 overall mark and an 8-1-2 record in Hockey East good for a share of first place with Boston College. Maine moves to 7-4-4, 5-3-2 HE.
Silengo collected the wide rebound of a John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) slapshot and fired a one-timer from the left slot to an open Maine net to complete the come-back. Kevin Goumas (Lake Worth, Fla.; two assists) also assisted on the game-winner.
The Wildcats scored the game-tyer at 19:42 of the third on an extra-attacker goal by Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.). The goal came when a flurry of UNH shots and deflections led to Speelman with the puck on the left-side of the crease for the equalizer. Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.) and Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) assisted on the play. Silengo's first collegiate goal helped spark the comeback as he redirected a centering feed from Damon Kipp (Salmon Arms, British Columbia) past UMaine netminder Martin Oullette at 8:24 of the third period. Goumas keep start the play and earned his first collegiate point with the secondary assist.
The Wildcats struck first with a power play goal at 5:24 of the first period. Thompson roofed the shot from the left slot. The play was setup by tic-tac-toe passes from Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) and Sislo, who were credited with the assists. Maine responded with the equalizer as Robbie Dee scored on a breakaway that was setup by Brice O'Connor. Shots were even at 8-8 in an even-played period.
The Black Bears took a 2-1 lead in the early minutes of the second period as Brian Flynn scored from the right point with helpers from Josh Van Dyk and Gustav Nyquist at 1:03 of the frame. Maine extended the lead to 3-1 as the Wildcats turned the puck over at the top of the blue line and Nyquist collected the puck and skated the distance and beat UNH neminder Matt DiGirolamo (Ambler, Pa.) to his high-stick side for the unassisted tally at 5:12. Maine held a slim 10-9 shot advantage in the second with UNH earning a majority of its scoring opportunities during a five-minute major penalty on the Black Bears.
DiGirolamo stopped 27 shots including 12 in the third and improves to 10-2-4, while Oullette turned aside 21 and moves to 1-1-1 on the season.
Overall, Maine held a 30-25 shot advantage. The Wildcats were 1-4 on the power play, while the Black Bears were 0-2 in its power player opportunities.
UNH returns to action on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011 (4 p.m.), vs. St. Lawrence. Tickets for the gameare on sale at the Whittemore Center Box Office, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or going online to www.unhwildcats.com.