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College Hockey:
Maine loses two goal lead, falls to New Hampshire

— The sixth-ranked University of Maine men’s hockey team failed to keep a two-goal lead heading into the third period against third-ranked University of New Hampshire, as the Black Bears crumbled down the stretch to lose to the Wildcats 4-3 in overtime.

Wildcat freshman center Jeff Silengo scored two goals on the night, including the game winner in the extra period.

“I’m very disappointed in the result, disappointed in our team,” Maine head coach Tim Whitehead said. “We had a chance to make it 4-1, we had them 3-1, we had chances to finish it off, and we didn’t get it done.”

“We’ve done this a couple times this season,” Wildcat head coach Dick Umile said. “They knew they could it and I told them to stay with it. I’m really pleased with the way the guys stayed with it. It was a great college hockey game—two good teams, great atmosphere.”

Alfond Arena was taking all it could handle, with a sold-out crowd of 5,445 on hand to watch the border war.

The first period began with UNH controlling the opening faceoff and the offensive play for the first three minutes. Twenty seconds into the contest, senior forward Mike Sislo got the first shot off, deflected by Black Bear freshman goalie Martin Ouellette.

The Black Bears recorded the first penalty four minutes into the game, when sophomore forward Joey Diamond got booked for charging. Diamond leads the Black Bears in penalty minutes this season.

The man-advantage proved costly for Maine, as Wildcat leading scorer, senior forward Phil Thompson scored the first goal of the game. Senior center Phil DeSimone and junior defender Blake Kessel assisted the goal.

It did not take long for the Black Bears to respond and inject some life into the packed Alfond Arena, as senior center Robby Dee scored his sixth goal of the season to tie things up. Dee gained possession of the puck in the neutral zone, weaved his way through the Wildcat defense and flicked the shot past junior goalie Matt DiGirolamo’s left shoulder.

The back-and-forth play continued for each squad, as Ouellette and DiGirolamo took turns keeping the score tied up. First Ouellette stopped freshman forward Nick Sorkin on a breakaway, then DiGirolamo barely slowed down a five-hole attempt by junior defender Ryan Hegarty. DiGirolamo followed that up by swiping junior forward Bobby Flynn’s shot out of the air.

The Black Bears got hit with another penalty with three minutes remaining in the period, but were able to fend off the potent UNH attack.

The second period saw the opposite of the first, with the Black Bears taking control early on. It took just over one minute for Maine to break the tie, as a shot by senior defender Josh Van Dyk was deflected by Nyquist directly to junior forward Brian Flynn’s stick, who slapped it in for the go-ahead goal.

“I just came off the bench and the puck came right out,” Flynn said. “I had some time and held onto it and ripped it.”

Four minutes passed until the Black Bears found the net again—this time the assistant captain Nyquist squeaked through on a breakaway before beating DiGirolamo over his right shoulder for the third Maine goal of the game.

Ouellette continued to shine on the big stage, diving across the crease to stop an open goal a quarter into the period.

The Black Bears penalty kill was put to the test seven minutes in, when freshman forward Mark Anthoine was sent off for a questionable hitting from behind penalty and a game misconduct, excusing him from the game and pitting the Black Bears a man down for five minutes.

UMaine was able to hold off the formidable Wildcat power play, keeping a two-goal cushion into the third period.

The Black Bears played more conservatively with their two-goal cushion in the third period, with Ouellette making it easier by deflecting Wildcat attempt after attempt.

Midway through the third period, the Wildcats came within one with Silengo’s first goal of the season.

UNH continued to apply the pressure throughout the period. The Black Bears were able to regain control of play when DeSimone entered the penalty box with a holding call. Another penalty with four minutes remaining on Sislo gave the Black Bears more time to kill, as the third period came towards a close.

The Wildcats went empty net with over a minute to go, and with 18 seconds remaining in regulation, tied things up as sophomore forward Dalton Speelman scored the third UNH goal of the game.

The extra stanza lasted just a minute and a half, as Silengo struck again, this time to win it, 4-3.

“I followed up the play, I saw John [Henrion] was going to the net,” Silengo said, “I just anticipated a shot by him and rebound came right to me.”

The two goals were the first two of his collegiate career, and just his second and third points.

“I didn’t know a goal would come today,” Silengo said. “It’s a great environment to play in and I’m just fortunate enough that I got some nice passes from my teammates and I was able to finish.”

“I told the team just wait for our opportunity, play good defense and wait for that turnover,” Umile said.

“It’s a tough loss. Losing when you’re up 3-1 going into the third at home is inexcusable,” Flynn said. “You have to move on. We have a game Sunday. We’ll see how we feel when we wake up but this is a tough one to let go.”

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  • mswoods4

    This has to be one of the poorest written articles I have ever read on this site, containing multiple typos and factual errors. Where is the editing?

    • Hukelau

      Jesse must have graduated from UM-Orono

      • Bobsaget

        he actually currently writes for the UMaine newspaper, he is the worst writer they have. He thinks he knows about sports, but he doesn’t. I found your joke hilarious Hukelau, Maine sucks

  • WBCraver

    Being a UNH fan the results of this game was sweeeeeeeet! However, being a college hockey fan, Maine’s back. This was a a typical UNH/Maine hockey game with back and forth great plays. Yeah I’m prejudice but a “questionable hitting from behind” call? When a player’s spine is bent backwards from an over aggressive hit there’s nothing questionable about that. But Maine sure did make the UNH 5 minute power play look like it was even strength. The “border war” is alive and well.

    • Duke

      The kid turned his back at the last minute. I have about five sequential photos showing him sideways before Anthoine hit him.

      • WBCraver

        Spoken like a true Maine fan. I don’t care how many sequential photos you have prior to the “HIT” that show him sideways, it’s the hit that matters to the refs. It was obviously too aggressive and therefore warranted a five minute major. Oh yeah, Maine lost in overtime. Hopefully they can beat lowly UMass today.

        • thebruinssuck

          The University of No Hardware always looks good in the regular season, but it does not matter because Umile is the worst post season coach ever. And guys, if you can write a better article why aren’t you writing them for this site then? I look forward to your award winning articles. Oh and rip on UMaine all you want, but if your doing it from Durham, guess what? Durham is the same as Orono, which is lame, it is just in the crap hole we refer to as New Hampshire so just shut up. Maine is back, UNH played a better 3rd period and overtime, and I agree that the border war is alive and kicking once again which is awesome for hockey in the area. Oh and by the way WB, it does matter if the player was sideways when he hit him, that being said, it was the correct call.

  • Dgerry2

    Couldn’t agree more, poor editing on this one.

  • HiFriend45

    I’m glad to see I wasn’t the only one who thought this article substandard. I thought to myself only a patisan Maine fan could have written it and written it so poorly. This was not the first time UNH has pulled a game off this way this season. This UNH team has got it “GOIN ON!”

  • marie

    Awesome game, watched it on CBS College Sports. Wow, UNH looks pretty good. They always seem to have a strong team in the second half but the first half of this season is looking very strong.

  • Matthew.Soucy

    So I am a writer for the UMaine campus and that article was written for the UMaine paper which means he does not have to be unbiased. If you want to be mad at someone get mad at the website for using a biased source instead of sending a writer there to cover it. You would rip on a college writer rather than take the time to think it through strait, got to love internet tough guys.

  • UMaineBLACKBEARS

    UNH GOT OUT PLAYED 50 out of 60 MINUTES AND WERE REDICULOUSLY LUCKY TO HAVE PULLED THIS OUT, SUCKS TO SEE MAINE LOSE A GAME WHEN THEY CLEARLY DESERVED THE VICTORY. GUESS THATS JUST HOCKEY AND PUCK LUCK. UNH DIDN”T LOOK THAT GOOD AT ALL, AND THE UNIVERSITY OF NO HARDWARE IS GOING TO GO NOWHERE IN THE TOURNEY! THAT IS IF THEY EVEN GET THERE WHICH THEY WONT IF THEY PLAY LIKE THAT ON A REGULAR BASIS. THIS IS A GAME WHERE THE SCORE DOESN”T REFLECT HOW THE GAME WAS PLAYED.

    • Guest

      the game isnt over till the clock hits zero…maybe your team should take notes on how to finish a game. that way you might find yourself in the top three in the nation. See you guys february 4th at the Whit, I hope your ready to blow another one.

  • VeryAmused

    Wow you are just another typical internet tough guy who probably has no friends and has plenty of tissues himself for when you are alone in your dorm room because you can’t get any women! 1 game means nothing especially when you got out classed most of the game, the only thing that matters is the BIG PICTURE, and oh thats right, we have 2 National Titles, how many do you have? oh thats right a big GOOSE EGG!

  • Guest

    keep on looking into the past….that’s going to do a lot of good for you guys. the real BIG PICTURE is we are the #2 team in the nation, #1 in hockey east, and where are you? oh yea, choking on your home ice. i love how since you guys can’t get over the loss, the only thing you have to talk about is your 1999 championship. but don’t worry, the whambulance is on its way to Orono. “the big three” of college hockey is here in Durham, and it’s our year.