Durham, NH- In a game that was the difference between hosting a first round game and going on the road for the first round, UNH had everything on the line. They responded early with a crisp game from the start and were rewarded with a first period lead, as Max Gaudreault sent a pass to a wide open Scott Pavelski, who scored to give UNH the 1-0 lead at 15 minutes, 59 seconds of the first. That lead would be doubled at 14:06 of the second to give UNH a 2-0, but then the flood gates opened. Joey Diamond, Grayson Downing and Adam Shemansky all scored in the latter five minutes of the second to send UNH into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead.
Maine would score at 5:58 of third, as Joey Diamond beat Casey Desmith on a rebound to give Maine life and a tied game with 14 minutes remaining in the contest. Connor Riley would score a go-ahead goal at 7:14 of the third to give the Black Bears their first lead of the night, but it was short-lived as Eric Knodel tied the game at four for UNH with 3:38 remaining in regulation. Neither team took control in the overtime period, as UNH and Maine would finish in a 4-4 tie.
The tie puts UNH in a wait and see mode in terms of the Hockey East playoffs. Maine will finish with the seventh or eighth seed in the Hockey East, which is quite the remarkable comeback considering they started the season 1-5-2 in league play. UNH,with the tie, still sits in a tie for fifth place in the Pairwise rankings. (more…)