ORONO – Tommy Nolan’s power-play goal with 41 seconds remaining gave the University of New Hampshire a 2-1 men’s hockey win over Maine Friday night, snapping a 22-game UNH victory drought at Alfond Arena.
The Wildcats’ previous win came Feb. 3, 1985. Maine had been 20-0-2 since then.
There were eight seconds left on a Scott Parmentier hooking penalty when Nolan cruised down the slot, took a short pass from Derek Bekar, and snapped a 14-footer over Maine goalie Alfie Michaud’s stick.
Jayme Filipowicz had made a long pass from behind his goal line to Mark Mowers at center ice andered it over a defenseman’s stick,” said Nolan. “The ice was terrible and I fanned on the shot. I think I got it with my follow-through.”
“It went over my stick-side shoulder,” said Michaud.
UNH coach Dick Umile said, “It was a great game. They had a power-play chance with four minutes left and we had ours with two minutes to go. We executed.”
Maine junior right wing and tri-captain Steve Kariya said, “We played well again, but I guess they deserved to win. Alfie was great and their goalie [Sean Matile] was pretty good, too.”
“I wasn’t good enough because we lost,” said a somber Michaud.
Maine’s Matthias Trattnig and UNH’s Derek Bekar had swapped first-period goals.
UNH is now 15-4-1 overall, 7-3-1 in Hockey East. Maine fell to 9-8-3, 6-6-2.
UNH’s Matile made 26 saves, while Maine’s Michaud rejected 27. Both goalies were exceptional.
Trattnig opened the scoring on the power play with only 1:43 remaining in the first period. It was the first power-play goal allowed by UNH since Nov. 22.
Cory Larose made a point-to-point pass to Dave Cullen and Cullen flipped a waist-high wrist shot toward the net. Trattnig tipped it into the body of Matile and the puck dropped between the goalie’s pads.
As Matile tried to locate the puck, Trattnig poked the rebound into the net.
But Bekar answered 1:07 later off a 3-on-3 that eventually became a 3-on-2.
UNH’s Jason Krog wound up with the puck after a pass from behind the UNH net by Steve Kariya rolled through the crease all the way to the blue line.
Krog held the puck until Bekar worked his way into position at the far post. Bekar roofed the 12-footer over the right pad of Michaud.
Maine’s Shawn Wansborough had a breakaway just after coming out of the penalty box, but Matile flashed out his left pad to make the save.
Both teams had failed to convert a 2-on-1 as UNH’s Rob Gagnon had his point-blank backhander saved by Michaud before the Bears’ Bobby Stewart rang his wrist shot off the short side post.
There were few scoring chances in the second period, but UNH had a couple of gems on power plays.
Michaud held the short side on a Mark Mowers wrist shot after Mowers skated right to left across the low slot. Later in the period, he closed his pads on Bekar’s 10-footer.
Bekar had plenty of time after taking the Jayme Filipowicz feed, but Michaud held his ground.
Wildcats 2, Black Bears 1 New Hampshire (15-4-1) 1 0 1 – 2 Maine (9-8-3) 1 0 0 – 1
First period – 1. Maine, Trattnig 6 (Cullen, Larose), 18:17 (pp); 2. UNH, Bekar 16 (Krog), 19:24; Penalties: Maine, Wansborough, holding, 7:36; UNH, Mowers, roughing, 7:36; Maine, Wansborough, charging, 13:32; UNH, Walsh, holding, 16:27
Second period – No scoring; Penalties: Maine, Larose, roughing, 3:04; UNH, Shipulski, roughing, 3:04; Maine, Price, holding, 7:04; UNH, O’Brien, elbowing, 11:32; Maine, Leger, interference, 14:38
Third period – 3. UNH, Nolan 11 (Bekar, Mowers), 19:19 (pp); Penalties: UNH, White, holding, 2:47; Maine, Cullen, hooking, 9:48; UNH, O’Brien, hooking, 14:38; Maine, Wansborough, interference, 15:31; Maine, Parmentier, hooking 17:27; Maine, bench minor, 20:00
Shots on goal: UNH 10-9-10-29; Maine 9-8-10-27
High-percentage attempts: UNH 4-5-8-17; Maine 6-2-9-17
Goalies: UNH, Sean Matile; Maine, Alfie Michaud
Power-play Opportunities: UNH 1 of 5; Maine 1 of 4
Attendance – 4,934