The University of Maine men's ice hockey team saw its season come to an end on Saturday night with a 5-2 loss to Merrimack in game two of its best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series with the Warriors. Maine ends its season with a record of 17-12-7, while Merrimack improves to 23-8-4.
Merrimack took a 1-0 lead when Ryan Flanigan fed Jeff Velleca on an odd-man rush from a shot in the slot at 14:01 of the first period. The Warriors extended their lead to 2-0 at 3:57 of the second period when Carter Madsen beat Maine goalie when he collected the rebound of an initial shot. Ryan Flanigan and Elliott Sheen each assisted on the goal.
Merrimack made it 3-0 at 9:08 of the second period when Mike Collins beat Maine goalie Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.) from Stephane Da Costa and Karl Stollery.
Maine got on the board at 10:52 of the second when Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) tipped a Will O'Neill (Salem, Mass.) shot from the blueline past Joe Cannata. The shot deflected off the goal post and into the net. Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) also assisted on the goal.
Merrimack got the goal right back when Flanigan stepped out of the penalty box and received a pass from Velleca. He beat Sullicvan on a breakaway. Jesse Todd also assisted on the goal which was scored at 13:19.
Merrimack extended its lead to 5-1 just 1:36 into the third period Carter Madsen backhanded a shot in transition past Sullivan. Sheen assisted on the goal for the Warriors.
Maine cut into the Merrimack lead at 9:43 when Jeff Dimmen (Colorado Springs, Colo.) beat Cannata from Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta) and Nyquist.
Merrimack capped the scoring at 16:31 when Madsen collected the rebound of a Flanigan shot and fired it past Maine goalie Shawn Sirman (Blezard Valley, Ontario), who had replaced Sullivan.
Merrimack finished the game with a 37-31 edge in shots on goal. The Black Bears were 0-for-4 on the power play, while Merrimack was 1-for-3.
Maine goalie Dan Sullivan made 22 saves in 41:25 of action. He allowed five goals and falls to 10-7-2 on the season. Shawn Sirman made nine saves in 18:24. Joe Cannata stopped 29 shots in goal for the Warriors. He improves to 23-8-4.
The game was the final one in the career of five outstanding seniors: Mike Banwell (Scarborough, Ontario), Josh Van Dyk (Woodstock, Ontario), Jeff Dimmen (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Robby Dee (Plymouth, Minn.) and Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta).