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College Hockey:
Maine sweeps North Dakota

Sullivan stops 23

The University of Maine survived a tough contest against the University of North Dakota, defeating the Fighting Sioux 4-2 and sweeping the weekend series against the No. 2 team in the country.

The Black Bears were led by junior forwards Spencer Abbott and Gustav Nyquist, as well as freshman goalie Dan Sullivan, who made 23 saves on the night.

The Black Bears chose to start Sullivan in the second game of the back-to-back series with the Fighting Sioux. Right away, the freshman got some action. One minute into the contest, Sullivan deflected away a great Sioux opportunity, and he continued to look stellar throughout the first period, allowing nothing behind him while saving 10 Sioux shots.

The Black Bears gained their best chance of the first period two minutes in when sophomore forward Adam Shemansky slid the puck wide on a breakaway opportunity.

The Fighting Sioux gained the first power play of the game seven minutes in when sophomore forward Kyle Beattie was tagged with a boarding penalty. The Black Bears stayed aggressive during the penalty kill and halted any North Dakota scoring chance.

With just under five minutes remaining in the first, the Black Bears also failed to capitalize on their only power play opportunity of the period.

In the final minutes, Abbott came close to giving the Black Bears the lead, attempting to go top shelf on Sioux goalie Aaron Dell. The shot was deflected enough by Dell to fly over the post.

The second period opened with four-on-four action, until the Black Bears gained a 50-second man advantage that brought about many scoring opportunities, but none that found the net.

Eight minutes in, the Black Bears still couldn’t capitalize on their third power play of the period, as the Fighting Sioux penalty kill showed up after allowing three power-play goals a night before.

With just over six minutes to go, the Fighting Sioux were the first to find the scoreboard when defender Ben Blood scored on the rebound after shots by forward Evan Trupp and forward Matt Frattin.

The fourth power play proved to be the charm for the Black Bears, as just over two minutes after the Sioux gained a 1-0 lead, the Black Bears connected six seconds into the man advantage when Nyquist scored as a skirmish around the net called for a review. After a brief pause, the goal was allowed, assisted by senior center Robby Dee and junior forward Spencer Abbott.

After another two-minute interval, the Black Bears gained the lead when sophomore forward Joey Diamond wrapped the puck around and slid it by Dell for the second Maine goal of the game. Dee and senior defender Josh Van Dyk were credited with the assists.

The Black Bears doubled their lead less than a minute into the third period, scoring the crucial fourth goal of the game, as senior defender Jeff Dimmen’s pass found the streaking junior forward Brian Flynn, who settled the puck and drove it past Dell for the third Black Bear goal.

Seven minutes into the third, the Black Bears put the game out of reach during a five-on-three man advantage. Nyquist found Abbott for his Black Bears-leading fifth goal of the season. The assist brought Nyquist’s total to seven.

Less than two minutes later, the Fighting Sioux chipped into the Black Bear lead, as Frattin scored the second short-handed goal of the series for the Sioux, bringing the score to as close as it would get, 4-2.

The Black Bears handled another penalty kill late in the third, and skated off the ice with a sweep of No. 2 team in the country.

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  • eastcoasthockeyoverrated

    Another strong performance by the referees. I would think this weekends outstanding play by these Hockey East officails should but them inside the top 15 rankings.

    • TomC

      Yes, because UND played so well that the referees made all of the difference…

    • 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.

    • TIREDofWHINERS

      HAHA eastcoasthockeyoverrated is really pathetic. If your UND team is so good then how did they get knocked out out of the Round 1 Northeast Regional last year by Yale who is in the ECAC!! One of the weakest leagues in D-1 Mens Hockey. haha and Boston College who is out of the so called “inferior” Hockey East league breezed through the tournament and your leagues teams on their way to a National Championship. But SERIOUSLY though, did you really just say this (“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”) That has to be one of the funniest and most pathetic statements I have seen in a long time! I guess that just proves that even the UND fans are just as soft as their team… So now I have no doubt in my mind, When your team has to rename your mascot in the short future you might as well go ahead and call yourselves The University of North Dakota Frosted Cupcakes. because after watching them play and reading your statements its a perfect fit!

      • TIREDofWHINERS

        haha but CLEARLY the only reason Maine swept this weekend was because of the officials. your a typical biased fan who can’t except reality. Go see if UND coach Hakstol shares the same sentiments as you, I bet he actually takes responsibility for his teams poor play this weekend instead of just trying to pass the blame to the officials. I am so tired of hearing the same nonsense about officials deciding games. How about this OFFICIALS SUCK IN EVERY LEAGUE! GET OVER IT.

  • jo

    19 power plays for Maine over the weekend? Holy – east coast refs had both games in hand right from the get go. Lets put these 2 teams up against some non biased refs and see what happens!

    • riblackbear

      Loser

    • MontrealCanadiens

      If you want to blame Friday’s game on the refs, feel free to, I guess. But North Dakota went out and took a ton of penalties again on Saturday, even they were (or should have been) well-aware that the game would be called tightly. That is just poor coaching and stupid players. They’ve played Hockey East teams before. They have access to video. They were not well-prepared. And on top of that, Maine simply played better.

    • TIREDofWHINERS

      Typical sore loser! These games could have been played in Grand Forks and we would have had the same outcome. because when you break it all down Maine still outplayed UND in every facet of the game this weekend. Check that stats

  • L_maillet

    If you have to blame someone ya just have to blame the refs. Not the teams poor preparation after all it is just a game.

  • - – - -

    its really just silly… if you put more pucks in the net than your opponent then you win. Excellent teams should have excellent penalty kills and power plays. I think that everyone should focus on what the players can control. Every team has nights where they take 10 penalties, and every team has nights where they get 10 power plays, this is not a question of what the refs did but of what North Dakota didn’t do: score.

    • TIREDofWHINERS

      I couldn’t have said it better.

  • k-dog

    Why do you hockey east people think North Dakota goes out East? They get a good experience to learn from. They found out they’ll have to skate harder, excecute the PK, and be aware of the fact that if they play a physical WCHA style game, they’ll draw way too many penelty’s. The refs called a great game according to Hockey East rules. I have no problem with that. This sweep will be on the minds of the Sioux for the rest of the season and hopefully they can build off of it. Maine played their own game and won. Hat’s off to them. As a Sioux fan I have a lot of respect for Maine. I hope they win Hockey East and face the Sioux in the frozen four.