DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of Maine men's ice hockey team dropped a 3-2 decision to New Hampshire on Friday night at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H. Maine falls to 11-9-3 on the season and 5-4-2 in Hockey East play. New Hampshire improves to 14-12-1 overall, 6-5-0 in conference play. The games was the first in a home-and-home as the team teams will play at Alfond Arena on Saturday night.
UNH took a 1-0 lead just 47 seconds into the game on a goal by Nick Sorkin from Matt Willows.
Maine answered right back on a goal by Will Merchant (Eagan, Minn.) at 2:46. Josh Henke (Trenton, Mich.) had the initial shot and the rebound went right to Merchant in the slot. He fired the puck past UNH netminder Casey DeSmith. Bill Norman (Stockholm, Sweden) also assisted on the goal for the Black Bears.
UNH regained the lead at 7:23 of the second period when Eric Knodel had his slapshot from the blueline beat Maine goalie Martin Ouellete (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec).
The Wildcats extended their lead to 3-1 at 2:22 of the third period when Jay Camper got a pass from Tyler Kelleher and fired it past Ouellette. Casey Thursh also assisted on the play.
Maine pulled to within one goal at 19:06 on a goal from Mark Anthoine (Lewiston, Maine) on a pile up in front of the UNH goal. It was his seventh goal of the season. Jon Swavely (Reading, Pa.) assisted on the goal.
Maine outshot New Hampshire 34-27 in the game. Both teams finished 0-for-1 with the man advantage.
Ouellette stopped 24 shots in goal for the Black Bears and fell 10-9-3. DeSmith made 32 saves for the Wildcats and improves to 12-10-0.
The two teams return to action on Saturday, Jan. 25 when they finish the two-game weekend series at Alfond Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM.