DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team will play against the University of Maine four times in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons as part of a special series announced Monday. The Wildcats and Black Bears will square off in two on-campus Hockey East Association contests, and the longtime rivals will also play one game apiece both seasons at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., and the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine.
"Few things match the intensity of UNH-Maine hockey, so we are very excited to expand and enhance this rivalry for our fans," UNH director of athletics Marty Scarano said. "Bringing games to each of our state's largest cities further cements UNH/Maine as a true statewide rivalry that transcends our two campuses."
"This is a great thing for the both hockey programs, our players and our fans," UNH men's hockey head coach Dick Umile said. "The Verizon Wireless Arena is a first-class venue that gives us a home away from home every year, and we have many loyal fans who will be excited to make the short drive to Portland to see UNH and Maine battle it out."
The Wildcats and Black Bears split the 2012-13 series with each team recording one win, one loss and one tie. Maine leads the all-time series, 59-50-6, in a rivalry that dates back to Dec. 15, 1979, though UNH has been victorious in nine of the last 11 meetings at the Whittemore Center, including a nine-game winning streak from Feb. 5, 2005-Nov. 5, 2011.
The most famous battle took place April 3, 1999, at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, Calif., when Maine outlasted New Hampshire, 3-2, in overtime to win the NCAA national championship. In other memorable encounters, the Wildcats won their first Hockey East championship by skating past the Black Bears, 3-1, at the FleetCenter in Boston on March 16, 2002. On Jan. 7, 2012, UNH tangled with Maine before a record crowd of 38,456 at Sunlife Frozen Fenway; the 'Cats netted consecutive third-period goals to force overtime before the Bears escaped with a 5-4 victory.
Specific game times and dates for the upcoming UNH/Maine contests will be announced at a later date.
UNH men's hockey 2013-14 season tickets are on sale now by calling (603) 862-4000, extension 5, or online at www.unhwildcats.com. For more information on the UNH hockey program, follow @UNHWildcats on Twitter.