Sislo, Wildcats come up short on Frozen Four berth
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 scored a goal and dished out a pair of assists for New Hampshire. His goal gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the first period then he 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 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 Jerry Pollastrone, who was perched behind the right side of the net. Pollastrone threw the puck in front where 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.
Pollastrone also 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.
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.
Boston 2, N.H. 1
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Jason Lawrence scored a power-play goal with 14.4 seconds left, and Boston University advanced to the Frozen Four for the first time in 12 years, beating New Hampshire 2-1 on Sunday in the Northeast Regional final.
With New Hampshire's van Riemsdyk off for hooking, Lawrence fired the puck into the crease and Wildcats' Pollastrone -- sprawled on the ice -- knocked it into the goal with his left hand.
Freshman Kieran Millan made 27 saves for BU, allowing only Bobby Butler's second-period goal.
Corey Trivino opened the scoring for the Terriers in the first period. Boston, seeking its fifth national title and first since 1995, opened NCAA play Saturday with an 8-3 victory over Ohio State.
The Terriers won the Hockey East regular-season and playoff titles. New Hampshire, also from Hockey East, finished the season 20-13-5.
The score was tied, 1-1, at the start of the third period. UNH went on its third power play of the game at 5:40 and moments later, Sislo wristed a shot from the left circle that caromed off the left post.
In the ninth minute, UNH's Peter LeBlanc fired a shot from the right circle that was turned towards the slot by Millan. The puck caromed off Sislo, who was charging down the slot, and hit the left post. Kevin Kapstad then fired a shot from deep on the left wing that was blocked by a BU defenseman.
In the 11th minute, Jamie Fritsch ignited a UNH transition attack with a long outlet pass to Paul Thompson. Thompson carried the puck down the right wing and, after entering the offensive zone, sent a crossing pass that Phil DeSimone redirected wide left of the cage.
The Wildcats generated a 2-on-1 rush in the 16th minute in which Sislo skated down the right wing and snapped a wrist shot from the circle that Millan snared with his glove.
New Hampshire was whistled for a minor penalty at 19:14, and the Terriers capitalized to break the 1-1 tie at 19:45. Lawrence swept a shot from the left circle past Foster, and the puck deflected off a UNH skater into the open net. Chris Higgins and Colby Cohen were credited with assists.
UNH called time out at that point and returned to the ice with Foster pulled in favor of an extra skater. The Wildcats pushed the puck into the offensive zone, but Boston University iced the puck with 3.5 seconds on the clock. After BU called a timeout, LeBlanc drew the faceoff in the left circle towards the boards, and Kapstad's last-second shot was blocked by a BU skater high behind the net.