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November 29, 2015

UNH blanks Maine, BU rallies late

The New Hampshire hockey team wasted no time getting back on the winning track, topping Maine, 4-0, in Orono, Maine, on Sunday.

Northeastern Hockey Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Wildcats senior forward Austin Block chipped in with two goals while goalkeeper Casey DeSmith stopped all 42 shots he faced.

Block started off the scoring early in the first period with a power-play goal, rifling a shot past Black Bears goalkeeper Dan Sullivan, putting UNH (5-1-1, 3-1-1 Hockey East Association) up, 1-0.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 2-0 advantage at the 18-minute, 43-second mark of the first period after defenseman Eric Knodel skated in on a breakaway and blasted a shot from the top of the circle past Sullivan.

UNH scored one goal in each of the second and third frames, shutting down any hopes of a Maine comeback.

The Black Bears (1-8-0, 0-4-0 HEA) were unable to capitalize on any of their five power-play opportunities, while the Wildcats went 1-for-8 in man-advantage situations.

UNH finished with a 45-42 advantage in shots on goal.

The Wildcats are back in action Saturday as they host Vermont, while Maine travels to UMass Lowell on Friday and Saturday to take on the River Hawks in a weekend series.

BU returns the favor, beats North Dakota 4-2

No. 12 Boston University scored three consecutive goals late in the third period to come out of Grand Forks, N.D., with a 4-2 victory over No. 5 North Dakota on Saturday.

Terriers junior forward Matt Nieto scored the equalizer with 5:21 left in the third period, setting the stage for a BU comeback.

Matt Lane scored the game-winner at the 18:10 mark after receiving a pass from teammate Alexx Privitera at the right circle, and blasting a shot high to the near post, giving the Terriers (4-2-0, 3-1-0 HEA) a 3-2 lead.

BU added an insurance goal just 11 seconds later after Danny O’Regan forced a turnover in front of the net and quickly capitalized on the opportunity, sneaking a shot past UND goalkeeper Zane Gothberg, putting the Terriers up, 4-2, with less than two minutes remaining.

The Sioux (3-2-1, 1-0-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) got on the board first at the 5:47 mark in the first period after a Stephane Pattyn shot bounced off the glass and then off BU goalkeeper Matt O’Connor’s skate and into the net, giving North Dakota a 1-0 lead.

Terriers senior captain Wade Megan tied the game at 1-1 just 42 second into the second period, before UND came back and regained the lead just nine minutes later.

O’Connor registered 26 saves for BU while Gothberg stopped 29 for the Sioux.

The Terriers hit the ice next on Friday as they visit Merrimack, while North Dakota travels to St. Cloud State on Friday to start a weekend series.

Merrimack wins homecoming matchup vs. Northeastern

Merrimack took care of its homecoming game on Saturday as it rallied past Northeastern, 4-2.

Junior defenseman Jordan Heywood scored the game-winner with 3:28 remaining in the game, rifling a shot past Huskies goalkeeper Chris Rawlings to put the Warriors up, 3-2.

Merrimack’s Mike Collins tied the game at 2-2 just before the end of the second stanza after scoring off a great pass from teammate Vinny Scotti.

The Warriors (4-3-1, 3-1-1 HEA) scored one more time just before time expired after freshman Justin Hussar put home an empty-netter with one second remaining to provide the final exclamation point on the comeback.

Northeastern (2-4-1, 2-4-1 HEA) jumped out to an early two-goal advantage in the first period. Vinny Saponari blasted a shot between the legs of Warriors goalkeeper Rasmus Tirronen to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead just eight minutes into the game.

Northeastern would score again just six-and-a-half minutes later after Mike McMurtry capitalized on a power-play opportunity.

Tirronen notched his first career victory with the win, after finishing the game with 24 saves. Rawlings racked up 29 saves on the night.

Merrimack returns home Friday to host Boston University, while Northeastern hosts Alabama-Huntsville on Saturday and Sunday.

Joey Saade can be reached at and followed on Twitter @MDC_Saade.

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