Maine Hockey Journal

UNE swept up with frustration

Biddeford, ME – Coming off a big win over Amherst College yesterday, the University of New England men’s ice hockey team was hoping to carry some momentum against Hamilton College (NY), but a second period riddled with penalties proved to be the downfall of the Nor’easters as they fell 10-7 at the Biddeford Ice Arena on Saturday afternoon.

UNE carried a 2-1 lead into the second period, but racked up 24 penalty minutes in the second, accounting for nearly half of their 49 total penalty minutes in one period.

“We gave up eight goals, five power play goals, got two major penalties, spent the bulk of the period in the penalty box — it was horrible,” said UNE coach Brad Holt. “It could be the worst period of hockey we’ve played in two years.”

“It was certainly a highly charged game and we’re not mature enough to raise ourselves above it, so that’s disappointing.”

UNE came into the second period with a one goal lead and came out of it with a five goal deficit, trailing Hamilton 9-4. Although they proved tonight that they are a team that can battle back, the five goal deficit was simply too much for them to recover from.

“We were expecting a hard working team that never quit, and that’s what we saw today,” said Hamilton coach Norm Bazin.

“I tip my hat to their team. They have a no-quit attitude and it shows.”

UNE trailed in the first period as Hamilton jumped on the scoreboard first with a goal by Nick Anderson at 5:12.The Nor’easters battled back to take the lead in the first with goals from Tyler Fleurent at 15:53 and Sean Sullivan at 16:54.

Hamilton then scored four unanswered goals — two from Michael DiMare, and one apiece from Joe Buicko and Andrew Morrison — to give them a three goal lead. UNE fought back however with goals from Scott McManaman at 07:26 and Kyle MacLennan at 10:26 to bring them back within reach, closing the deficit to only one goal.

Hamilton would then score four more unanswered to finish the period with a five goal lead, taking advantage of a UNE five minute major to boost their offense. Bryan Kelley scored back-to-back goals, the second of which proved to be the game winner.

“The first one Andrew White took a shot from the point; it was a good height for me to tip it,” said Kelley. “I actually tipped it on my backhand, the goalie made a good stop on the first one, but the rebound was right there and I just put it in.”

“The second one, Joe Houk rushed it up the ice and just threw it out in front. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and just jammed it home.”

Joe Houk would also add two goals and 4 assists for a six-point game.

UNE continued to fight back, scoring three times on the third, with goals from Jack Nolin, Mike Tiano, and Zach Lokey to bring them back within two goals.

As the clock was winding down, they pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker, but this did not pay off as Hamilton cleared the puck to Anthony Scarpino who was waiting in the neutral zone behind the UNE defenders. He skated in alone on the empty net to finish the game off with a 10-7 victory for Hamilton.

“We didn’t handle our 5-on-6 very well,” said Holt. “We should have been able to generate another shot with 30 seconds to go rather than give it up. We’ve gotten a couple of pulled-goalie goals this year, so I was a little dissapointed, we didn’t react well to that.”

UNE takes on Franklin Pierce next Tuesday, Feb. 2nd, while Hamilton has a couple of tough games lined up, facing Colby on the Friday the 4th, and then Bowdoin on Saturday the 5th.

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