DURHAM, N.H.– Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) notched his first career hat trick, but it was not enough as the University of Maine men’s ice hockey team fell to New Hampshire 6-3 on Friday night at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H. The Black Bears scored on three of the four power play chances in the game. Maine falls to 11-8-6 on the season and 8-6-4 in Hockey East play. New Hampshire improves to 16-5-4 on the season and 14-2-2 in conference play.
New Hampshire struck first with a goal by Paul Thompson just 4:31 into the game. He beat Maine goalie Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec) with assists from Mike Sislo and Phil DeSimone.
Maine tied the game at 1-1 with a power play goal at 6:39. Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta) passed the puck down to Gustav Nyquist on the far post. Nyquist got a stick on the puck and fired it past UNH goalie Matt DiGirolamo. Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) also assisted on the goal.
New Hamphsire regained the lead at 8:04 of the first. The Wildcats had a shot that bounced off the boards back in front of the net. Austin Block was able to shoot it past Ouellette, giving the Wildcats a 2-1 lead. John Henrion and Matt Campanale each assisted on the goal.
It took Maine just 49 seconds to tie the game. Will O’Neill (Salem, Mass.) had a shot from the point that DiGirolamo stopped, but Robby Dee (Plymouth, Minn.) was able to tip the rebound right to Nyquist on the far post. Again, he beat DiGirolamo for his second goal of the period.
The Wildcats answered with a power play goal of their own at 11:39 when Dalton Speelman beat Ouellette from Blake Kessel and Mike SIslo. New Hampshire extended its lead to 4-2 at 16:04 when Kevin Goumas tallied his first career goal from Stevie Moses and Kessel.
The two team each finished with 13 shots apiece in the first period.
Maine scored the lone goal in the second period as Nyquist got the hat trick. O’Neill got the puck down to Nyquist, who eluded the Wildcat defense and found the back of the net for his third goal of the game and ninth of the season. Robby Dee also assisted on goal. Maine finished the second period with a 29-20 edge in shots on goal.
UNH extended its lead to 5-3 with a power play goal at 7:06 of the third period. Kessel passed the puck to Thompson on the right post who was all alone. He beat Ouellette for his 22nd goal of the season. Phil DeSimone also assisted on the play.
Seconds after the goal by Thompson, Nyquist had a breakaway, but DiGirolamo was able to make the save.
New Hampshire made it 6-3 when Mike Sislo found Mike Beck alone in the slot at 14:56 of the third. He fired a shot past Ouellette from between the circles.
Maine finished the game with a 40-25 lead in shots on goal. Ouellette made 19 saves in goal for the Black Bears. He falls to 3-3-2 on the season. DiGirolamo made 37 saves in goal for the Wildcats and improves to 16-5-4.
The Black Bears and Wildcats finish their two-game weekend series on Saturday, Feb. 5. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM and the game can be seen on NESN.