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It's off to the quarterfinals

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UMaine right wing Joey Diamond sprays ice after UNH goalie Casey DeSmith stops the puck in the first period of play on Saturday, March 3 at Alfond Arena. UMaine right wing Joey Diamond sprays ice after UNH goalie Casey DeSmith stops the puck in the first period of play on Saturday, March 3 at Alfond Arena. edge photos by Mike Fern
UMaine secures home-ice advantage in win over UNH

ORONO It wasn't a high-powered offensive game by any means, but the University of Maine Black Bears hung on to an early 1-0 lead against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats on Saturday to win both the game and home-ice advantage for the first round of Hockey East quarterfinals.

While dubbed Senior Night, the game was all sophomores with goalie Dan Sullivan and defenseman Brice O'Connor leading the Black Bears to victory after O'Connor scored the only goal of the game and Sullivan ended the night with his second shutout of the year.

The win was the 20th of the season for the Black Bears, who improve to 20-11-3 on the season and 15-10-2 in Hockey East play. New Hampshire fell to 14-17-3 overall and 11-14-2 in conference play.

O'Connor scored when Nick Pryor passed the puck to him at the blueline and fired it past UNH goalie Casey DeSmith at 10:13 in the first period. And in a night that proved mostly defensive, Sullivan stopped 32 shots that UNH made against him with 14 saves in the first period alone. He was subsequently named Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, and shares the honor with Parker Milner of Boston College.

It is the second time that Sullivan has been named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week this season.

Although the Wildcats outshot UMaine 32-29 on goal, O'Connor's single goal was all that was needed to win the game for the Black Bears and give them a fourth-place finish in Hockey East. The Black Bears will host Merrimack in the Hockey East best-of-three quarterfinal series that begins Friday, March 9.

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