College Hockey:
Flynn, Nyquist pour it on as Maine blasts North Dakota

— It was quite the series-opening game between No. 2 North Dakota and No. 12 Maine, with a combined 10 goals and 59 penalty minutes.

The Black Bears got the better on the scoreboard.

Junior forward Brian Flynn scored twice, and junior forward Gustav Nyquist added a goal and two assists in Maine’s 7-3 victory on Friday.

A five-goal first period did the trick for the Black Bears, and it took less than a minute for the scoring stampede to start.

Senior center Bobby Dee flicked a rebound past Sioux goaltender Brad Eidsness after just 49 seconds.

Maine doubled its advantage on its first power-play opportunity when Flynn scored on a beauty of a shot.

Later in the first period, Flynn got sandwiched by two Fighting Sioux players, resulting in North Dakota defender Andrew MacWilliam getting sent off with a game misconduct call and a five-minute contact to the head penalty.

In the last minute of the major penalty, Flynn found payback in its purest form, with a scintillating goal off of passes by Nyquist and junior forward Spencer Abbott.

At 3-0, North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol pulled Eidsness from the game in favor of Aaron Dell.

At first, Dell seemed up to the task, diving across the crease to deflect Nyquist’s shot.

The Fighting Sioux (3-1-1) started to chip away at the deficit, with freshman Derek Rodwell scoring a short-handed goal just over half way through the first period.

But it didn’t take long for the Black Bears (2-1-2) to extend their lead back to three, when just five seconds into their sixth power play of the period, junior defender Will O’Neill scored off the faceoff.

Sophomore goalie Shawn Sirman kept the lead where it was, with two brilliant power-play saves off of consecutive Fighting Sioux shots.

The Black Bears closed the period just how they started it, by getting on the scoreboard one more time. With the puck loose in Fighting Sioux territory, Dell left the crease to clear it away. Nyquist managed to block the clearance, gather the puck and calmly flick it in for Maine’s fifth and final goal of the period.

Just like in the first, the Black Bears found the back of the net early in the second period. Sophomore forward Kyle Beattie did the honors, putting in the rebound off of freshman forward Mark Anthoine’s shot.

Just over eight minutes into the second period, the Black Bears added lucky number seven, when Abbott won the puck deep in the Fighting Sioux zone, and found Tanner House for the seventh goal of the contest.

The Fighting Sioux cut into the deficit with five minutes remaining in the second period, doubling their goal total during their first and only power play of the period. Center Brad Malone found open forward Matt Frattin for the quick score.

The third period saw very little offensive action from both teams, as the Fighting Sioux started to control the majority of play.

North Dakota scored the only goal in the period off a shot by center Brad Malone bounced around Sirman and eventually into the back of the net. However, the Fighting Sioux couldn’t add to the goal, as numerous power-play opportunities came up fruitless as Sirman and company deflected away every chance.

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  • Jon

    That was one of the worse officiated games I can recall. The game had no flow. Maine spent the over half of the first period with a power play and three of those calls were bogus. Evidently Hockey East doesn’t like checking, or contact of any kind.. The “blow to head” was completely incidental as MacWilliam was finishing a check and a player was falling into him. Then the refs tried to do some make up calls to get the minutes even, which just slowed down the game even more. I have a feeling tonight’s game will be much better if the refs keep the whistles in their pockets. Perhaps a hockey game might break out.

    • amherstblackbear

      This is sour grapes. There were plenty of hard hits last night that weren’t called. There were also lots of Sioux players leading with their elbows. Unfortunately (for them), those plays were whistled. There were also legitimate penalties on the Sioux that weren’t called, such as a blatant slash by Dell late in the game.

      The Sioux weren’t prepared, fell behind early, and then started to play frustrated. Maybe they’re used to a different style of officiating, where the losing team is allowed to express frustration and is allowed to get away with more. One of the few things Hockey East officiating gets right is that they don’t bail out teams when they fall behind. And if they play frustrated, they’re going to keep getting whistled. That’s what happened last night.

      If the Sioux want more “luck” with the officials, it’s completely within their power to make it. They just need to work harder, and show off the speed and strength that they obviously have, and be more disciplined. I know they’ve got it in them. Hopefully we’ll see it tonight.

    • Lennyak1

      I listened to the Saturday BC – DU game last weekend and the DU announcers, or I should say one of them in particular, kept ranting about one of the hits by BC on DU. Then running down Hockey East for such ‘dirty’ play. Living in Alaska I have seen plenty of WCHA and UND play and officiating is officiating in any of the leagues. It gets tiring listening to folks blaming the officiating as the reason teams lose. This seems particularly the case with the WCHA. It’s a great league, but you guys give very little credence to Hockey East and I think that is very silly and in some cases pathetic. Good luck to the Sioux!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NYGQROFKUVPDHWL4YH47BREFT4 David

    I’m not a Maine fan but I have to say that many of the penalties called last night appeared to be legit. Tripping, elbowing, etc. happens in the game of hockey. What is not tolerated is the hitting from behind which happened last night by ND along the boards. Also, the head shot to a Maine player near the blue line. Replays show that the ND player’s shoulder appeared to lean towards the Maine players head. Perhaps the game will be less officiated tonight but if it is, the game could get out of control real fast.

    GO BC!

    • Steve Philbrick

      Since I live in Orono, ME, I’ll admit to being a bit biased. However, I completely agree with your comments about the hitting from behind and the shots to the head. I watched the game on TV (CBSCS), where they replayed each penalty called. I can’t say that I saw a single penalty called that shouldn’t have been called, on either team. I was surprised that the North Dakota players committed so many penalties early on and that Maine committed so many late in the game. I’m sure that Dave Hakstol and Tim Whitehead had a few choice words to their players about discipline.

      I’m looking forward to tonight’s game, as ND has an excellent club and (so far) this season Maine sometimes runs very hot and sometimes not.

  • Matthew_soucy

    I am a student at the University of Maine and have been an Ice Hockey Official for over 10 years. I was in attendance at last nights game. Last nights game was officiated fairly for the most part I have to say, and I hate Benedetto because he is the worst referee in hockey east. ND was playing a dirty brand of hockey and hockey east has always had tight officiating. And as for them not allowing hitting, they allow bone crunching hits just like any other league; They do not allows shots to the head and dangerous hits especially ones from behind. These types of hits were common last night and had to be called, otherwise no one would have been playing hockey, because players would have been head hunting the whole game. There was a well played hockey game last night, and even if it is reffed in the same manor tonight it will be a good game as well. And you are right David, tonight could get out of control if they ref it any differently.


    • eastcoasthockeyoverrated

      You are an idiot.

  • Matthew_soucy

    Maine was just as guilty at times in the dirty play category also to to make sure I am clear on that, they did however appear to show a slight advantage early on anyways at keeping their cool though. ND’s biggest mistake was allowing a solid powerplay team multiple opportunities early on, I’m sure tonight’s game will be much closer.

  • eastcoasthockeyoverrated

    Two things are certain about last night; no matter how good/bad the officiating was the sioux were going to lose because they were outplayed in every phase of the came. The other is that the officials called that game like it was a 7th grade girls hockey game. I have NEVER seen or heard of a contact to the head penalty called in a NCAA hockey game before. You can’t penalize a player because you are set to check someone and the fall into your shoulder. You can’t penalize a player for boarding if you check someone and they harmlessly slide into the boards. That was as an extremely embarassing night for Hockey East. That is why an unbiased person will always say that the WCHA and CCHA are and always will be superior leagues to Hockey East. If there was as much competition in Hockey East is there are in WCHA and CCHA they wouldn’t have nearly as many championships as they do. By the time the Frozen Four rolls around the teams from the WCHA and CCHA are too beat up to compete at the same level. It is a bigger accomplishment to win league titles in the WCHA and CCHA than it is to win a national championship. The WCHA is like the SEC in football and Hockey East is the WAC.

    • Jonburner82

      Are you dumb? Winning the WCHA is better than a national championship? Who are you kidding.

    • Lennyak1

      What a pathetic rant. I’m with Jonburner82! This ‘eastcoasthockeyoverrated’ analogy on the WCHA & CCHA is so typical in the West. It really does get old boys. Let’s look at BC’s NCAA record vs the Sioux… Oh yeah BC 6 out of 9. The top 5 or so in each of the 3 leagues are solid teams. The bottom 5 could all go away and we all know it.

  • - – - -

    Everyone can gripe about the officiating or the inferior level of play, but Maine put pucks in the net, and at the end of the day that is what wins hockey games.

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