ORONO, Maine -Seven different Wildcats posted goals as the No 9 seed University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team defeated No. 8 seed Maine, 7-2, in the Opening Round of the 2021 Hockey East Tournament on Wednesday night at Alfond Arena.
With the win, the Wildcats advance to the quarterfinals and will travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass., to take on No. 1-nationally ranked and top seed Boston College on Sunday, March 14 at 4:30 p.m. on NESN. UNH went 1-1-0 versus Boston College this season. The Wildcats won 4-3 in overtime at Conte Forum on Jan. 8 and then were edged by BC 3-2 in overtime at the Whittemore Center on Jan. 10.
Senior goalie Mike Robinson (Bedford, N.H.) posted 20 saves as he surpassed the 2,000 career saves milestone. He currently has 2,005 saves.
The Wildcats improve to 6-13-3, while the Black Bears conclude the season 3-11-2.
Score: New Hampshire 7, Maine 2
Records: UNH (6-13-3); Maine (3-11-2)
Location: Orono, Maine (Alfond Arena)
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2021
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Sophomore Kalle Eriksson (Leksand, Sweden) opened up the scoring for the 'Cats at 17:00 of the first as he rocketed a wrist shot through traffic to the back of the net giving UNH a 1-0 lead. Junior Jackson Pierson (Zionsville, Ind.) wrapped the puck up the boards to Eriksson who buried it. Junior Angus Crookshank (North Vancouver, British Columbia) also posted an assist on the goal.
- UNH outshot Maine 19-7 in the first period. The Wildcats were 0-3 on the power play as the Black Bears went 0-1.
- Senior Eric MacAdams (Salem, Mass.) buried the puck off a rebound on the power play to give UNH a 2-0 lead at 2:30 in the second period. Junior Filip Engarås (Stockholm, Sweden) ripped a shot that was initially saved and MacAdams picked up the puck and buried it. Junior Ryan Verrier (Reading, Mass.) also posted an assist on the goal.
- Adrien Bisson cut the UNH lead in half at 3:16 as he netted the puck to the bottom right corner of the net.
- Just 35 seconds later, junior Will MacKinnon (Plymouth, Mich.) passed the puck to Pierson who skated up the boards and cut in towards the net to wrist the puck to the top left corner of the net to give the 'Cats a 3-1 lead. Pierson's goal would be the game-winning goal.
- Lynden Breen brought the Black Bears within one as he found the back of the net for Maine at 5:19 of the second.
- At 10:21, Engarås chipped the puck to junior Tyler Ward (Kamloops. British Columbia) on the penalty kill who skated to a breakaway and wristed the puck to the top right corner of the goal to give UNH a 4-2 lead with the shorthanded goal.
- Engarås one-timed a shot in front of the net at 1:00 of the third to extend the Wildcat lead to 5-2. The puck freed up from a Maine defenseman that trickled to Engarås who was in front of the net and buried it.
- Freshman Luke Reid (Warman, Saskatchewan) buried an empty net goal while the Black Bears were also on the power play for the second shorthanded goal for the Wildcats as he rocketed the puck down the ice and into the open net at 15:54 of the third period giving UNH a 6-2 lead. Verrier posted an assist.
- Sophomore Lucas Herrmann (Lancaster, N.Y.) tipped a shot from MacKinnon to the back of the net at 17:49 for the last goal of the game. Junior Joseph Cipollone (Purchase, N.Y.) notched an assist on the goal.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Mike Robinson made 20 saves, while Victor Ostman recorded 29 for the Black Bears.
- New Hampshire outshot Maine, 36-22.
- The Wildcats went 2-7 on the power play and the Black Bears went 0-4.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
- This was UNH's second game scoring seven goals this season. The Wildcats defeated UMass Lowell at the Whittemore Center, 7-6 in overtime on February 6, 2021.
- This was the ninth time in the Hockey East Tournament that the Wildcats have scored seven or more goals. The last time was a 7-4 win over Vermont in the first game of a best two-out-of-three 2010 quarterfinal series.
- 11 different 'Cats notched points in the win while four of the 11 had multi point games.
- Pierson netted his second game-winning goal of the season and third of his career.
- This is UNH's 34th appearance in the Hockey East Tournament as the Wildcats now have a 55-48-2 overall record in the tournament.
- UNH is now 2-7 all-time versus Maine in the Hockey East Tournament. The previous win was when the Wildcats defeated Maine, 3-1, in the 2002 Hockey East Tournament championship game.