March 3, 2012

Men's Hockey Edged Out by No. 10/11 Maine, 1-0

ORONO, Maine – Dan Sullivan stopped all 32 shots he faced to lift tenth-ranked Maine to a 1-0 win over the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team in Saturday afternoon's Hockey East action at Alfond Arena.

UNH closes out the 2011-12 regular season with a 14-17-3 overall record and an 11-14-2 mark in Hockey East. Maine is now 20-11-3, 15-10-2 HE. New Hampshire, which clinched a spot in the Hockey East tournament, will be seeded sixth or seventh. UNH's seeding depends on the results of the PC/UMass Lowell game this evening. With a PC win, the 'Cats would be seeded seventh, while a loss or tie by the Friars would give UNH the sixth seed. The Wildcats are likely to travel to Boston University of UMass-Lowell for the best-of-three quarterfinals on March 8-11.

Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) turned aside 28 shots including double figures in the final two periods. 

The game's lone goal came midway through the first period as Brice O'Connor's center pass from the right boards deflected off a UNH stick and knuckled into over DeSmith's shoulder to make it 1-0 at 10:13. Nick Pryor and Adam Shemansky assisted on the game-winning goal. New Hampshire would have the better of play in the last half of the first, but could not crack the scoreboard. UNH held a 14-8 shot edge in the frame.

In a scoreless second period, both teams had solid opportunities in the fast-paced frame. Perhaps UNH's best opportunity came in the final minutes as Kevin McCarey (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) slid the puck to Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) on the right slot. Borisenok shot the puck on net, but Maine netminder Dan Sullivan jumped across just in time to deny the bid. Maine had a two minute stretch in the second half of the period where it applied heavy pressure to DeSmith, but he like Sullivan was up to the challenge.

Each team had 11 shots in a scoreless final period. UNH pulled DeSmith for the final 1:43, but could not get one past Sullivan.

UNH held a slim 32-29 shot advantage, while each team went 0-2 on the power play.

The Wildcats will await tonight's results to find out when and where it will play for the Hockey East quarterfinals. Log onto www.UNHWildcats.com for complete matchup information.

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