MANCHESTER, NH -- New Hampshire scored with less than a second left in the third period to force overtime and rallied for a 6-5 victory against the University of North Dakota in the Northeast Region semifinal of the NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
UND led 5-3 midway through third period. Chris VandeVelde has two goals for the Sioux.
Former Superior Spartan Mike Sislo gave New Hampshire a 1-0 lead in the first period then assisted on the tying and game-winning goals. The winning goal came 45 seconds into overtime.
Trailing 5-4 with 5.7 seconds remaining in regulation and a faceoff coming up in its offensive zone, UNH pulled Foster in favor of an extra attacker.
The Wildcats won the faceoff to senior defenseman Kevin Kapstad, who swung the puck to his left along the blue line to Sislo, who rifled a shot that whistled past the net to the left. But the puck came around the boards to senior forward Jerry Pollastrone, who was perched behind the right side of the net. Pollastrone threw the puck in front where senior forward Thomas Fortney swiped at it and knocked it into the net to tie the game with one-tenth of a second remaining on the clock.
The Wildcats carried over the momentum into overtime, netting their third unanswered goal just 45 seconds into the extra session.
After taking a mid-ice pass from Sislo, Pollastrone skated into the left side of the UNH zone and fed LeBlanc in the slot where he blasted a shot just past the outstretched glove of North Dakota goalkeeper Brad Eidsness and into the upper right hand corner of the net.
Sislo and Pollastrone each recorded a goal and two assists in the contest. Eidsness finished the game with 28 stops.
Sislo's power-play goal came a minute into the game when he scooped up a rebound and beat Eidsness to make it 1-0.
Eidsness turned away a slap shot from the blue line by senior defenseman Jamie Fritsch, but the puck caromed to the left of the net at the endline where sophomore forward James van Riemsdyk shoveled it to a streaking Sislo, who put the puck over the right shoulder of Eidsness just 31 seconds into the power play.
The Wildcats return to action at 4:30 p.m. Sunday when they take on either Boston University or Ohio State for the right to advance to their eighth Frozen Four in school history.
NOTES: With the win in their first ever NCAA tournament meeting with North Dakota, the Wildcats improve to 20-12-5 overall on the season. ... UNH posts a 20-win campaign for the 13th-consecutive year, which is the second longest active streak in the nation, while head coach Dick Umile earns his 17th 20-win season in 19 years of coaching at UNH. ... The Fighting Sioux's seson ends at 24-15-4. ... The last tournament overtime win for the Wildcats, who are now 3-2 in overtime games in the tournament, came in a 3-2 win against Harvard in March of 2005, which is also the last time UNH advanced out of that round.
New Hampshire 1 2 2 1 6
North Dakota 2 2 1 0 5
NH 1 Mike Sislo (James van Riemsdyk, Jamie Fritsch, 2:34 (pp).
ND-1 Jason Gregoire (unassisted), 3:34
ND-2 Brad Malone (Andrew Kozek), 13:55 (4x4)
NH-2 Jerry Pollastrone (Kevin Kapstad), 4:08 (4x4)
NH-3 Peter LeBlanc (Greg Collins, Bobby Butler), 7:21
ND-3 Ryan Duncan (Brett Hextall, Jason Gregoire), 9:47
ND-4 Evan Trupp (Brad Malone, Matt Frattin), 17:06
ND-5 Chris VandeVelde (Matt Frattin), 9:08
NH-4 Greg Collins (Damon Kipp, Thomas Fortney), 11:00
NH-5 Thomas Fortney (Jerry Pollastrone, Mike Sislo), 19:59
NH-6 Peter LeBlanc (Jerry Pollastrone, Mike Sislo), 0:45.
NH-1 Brian Foster (59:38 W) 14 18 8 0 40 (5 GA)
ND-1 Brad Eidsness (60:35 L) 8 10 10 0 28 (6 GA)