ORONO, Maine - Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) tallied a goal and an assist, but New Hampshire scored the game-winning goal 1:26 into overtime to earn the 4-3 win over the University of Maine on Friday night between the battle of top-10 teams in a sold out Alfond Arena. The Black Bears fall to 7-4-4 on the season and 5-3-2 in Hockey East play. The Wildcats improve to 10-2-4 on the season and 8-1-2 in conference play.
New Hampshire jumped out to a 1-0 on Paul Thompson's power play goal, 5:24 into the first period. The goal was set up when Mike Sislo sent the puck down to the goal line. Thompson one-timed the puck from a tough angle, beating Maine goaltender Martin Ouellette (St.Hippolyte, Quebec) over his right shoulder on the right post. Blake Kessel also assisted on the goal for New Hampshire.
The Black Bears would waste no time as Robby Dee (Plymouth, Minn.) beat New Hampshire goaltender Matt DiGirolamo just over a minute later. Brice O'Connor (Londonderry, N.H.) sent a pass out of the Maine zone to Dee. Dee gathered the pass at the blueline and skated into the Wildcat zone. Dee reached the left circle and unleashed a wrist shot that found the back of the net after sailing over DiGirolamo's glove and into the opposite corner. For Dee, it was his sixth goal of the season.
Maine started off the second period with a lot of pressure as Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) fought to keep the puck in the Wildcat zone. Nyquist sent the puck to the blueline where Josh Van Dyk (Woodstock, Ontario) was waiting. Van Dyk fired a slap shot that was blocked by a New Hampshire player. The puck deflected to the top of the right circle where Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) blasted a slap shot that lit the lamp and gave Maine its first lead of the contest, 2-1. For Flynn, it was his sixth goal of the season.
Nyquist would extend the Maine lead with an unassisted goal, 5:12 into the second period. Nyquist forced a turnover at center ice and streaked in all alone on DiGirolamo. Nyquist put a little stick move on the goaltender before flicking a backhand shot up and over the outstretched leg of DiGirolamo on his blocker side. For Nyquist, it was his sixth goal of the season.
New Hampshire would cut the Maine lead in half 8:24 into the third period when Jeff Silengo found the back of the net for the first time this season. Damon Kipp started the play for the Wildcats as he skated into the Maine zone, carrying the puck deep to the goalline before whipping a backhanded pass right to Silengo who was streaking through the slot. Silengo one-timed the puck into the net, beating Ouellette to his glove side. Kevin Goumas also assisted on the goal for the Wildcats.
With 1:20 remaining in the third period, the Wildcats would pull Matt DiGirolamo after winning a faceoff just outside the Maine zone. After peppering a handful of shots on Ouellette, Dalton Speelman would tie the game with 18 seconds left on the clock. Sislo fired a shot through a crowd that was knocked down as Speelman was in great position to put home the rebound to tie the game at 3-3.
After playing 1:26 into overtime, John Henrion and the Wildcats came on a rush into the Maine zone. Henrion flicked a pass cross ice that was one-time into the back of the net by Jeff Silengo. The goal gave the Wildcats the 4-3 overtime victory.
Maine outshot the Wildcats in the game by a 30-25 margin. New Hampshire ended the game 1-for-4 on the power play while Maine was 0-for-2 with the extra skater.
The Black Bears return to action Sunday when they host UMass at Alfond Arena with a 4 pm puck drop scheduled. Tickets still remain for the UMass game and can be purchased at the door.