NCAA Hockey Tournament Live Blog: Minnesota-Duluth Defeats Maine 5-2, Will Face Boston College In Next Round


March 24, 2012

NCAA Hockey Tournament Live Blog: Minnesota-Duluth Defeats Maine 5-2, Will Face Boston College In Next Round

Final score, Minnesota-Duluth wins 5-2: A complete effort from the Bulldogs powers them through Maine and into the next round. UMD will face the Boston College Eagles with a chance to advance to the Frozen Four. 

Third period 40 seconds remaining, Minnesota-Duluth leads 5-2: That should just about do it. UMD scores an empty-net goal and now leads by three with under a minute remaining. Crazier things have happened, but this one seems over. 

Third period 2:23, Minnesota-Duluth leads 4-2: Maine takes its timeout and pulls its goalie with just over two minutes remaining.

Third period 3:00, Minnesota-Duluth leads 4-2: This may be the break that Maine has been waiting for: UMD takes a two minute penalty to give Maine a power play. Maine has a golden opportunity to cut into the lead, but it might be just a little bit too late. 

Third period 5:00, Minnesota-Duluth leads 4-2: Maine survives the penalty, but still trails by two goals. They've got to put a dent in the Bulldogs' lead soon. 

Third period 7:14, Minnesota-Duluth leads 4-2: Maine's potential comeback just got a little bit tougher. Ryan Hagerty took a two minute penalty, giving Minnesota-Duluth a power play and another fine opportunity to add an insurance goal. This is an absolutely crucial penalty kill for the Black bears. 

Third period 8:52, Minnesota-Duluth leads 4-2: It's getting a little chippy here. Some players have to be separated after the whistle. Nothing serious…yet. It's something to keep an eye on. A stupid penalty by UMD could let Maine get right back into this one. 

Third period 10:45, Minnesota-Duluth leads 4-2: J.T. Brown of Minnesota-Duluth backhanded a nice pass and beat Maine's Dan Sullivan 5-hole to give the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead. With just 10:45 remaining in the game, the Black bears are facing a pretty difficult task, trailing by two goals. 

Third period 13:26, Minnesota-Duluth leads 3-2: Despite leading by a goal, the Bulldogs have been the more aggressive team this period. Instead of sitting back and getting defensive as they try to hold on to a lead, Minnesota-Duluth keeps pressuring the net. Maine needs to change that if they expect to tie this game up and have a chance to advance. I get the sense that Spencer Abbott will make something happen before this game is over. Stay tuned, the final 13 minutes ought to be full of some real competitive hockey. 

Start of third period, Minnesota-Duluth leads 3-2: We've got a good one on our hands. Twenty more minutes to decide who advances and takes one more step towards the Frozen Four. 

End of second period, Minnesota-Duluth leads 3-2: After leading for much of the game, the Black bears of Maine now find themselves trailing by a goal entering the third and final period. The two Bulldogs goals came in rapid succession, so Maine will need to compose themselves during the intermission and prepare for the home stretch. 

Second period 2:32, Minnesota-Duluth leads 3-2: That didn't take long. Just a minute after tying the game at two, the Bulldogs take the lead. Jake Hendrickson beat Dan Sullivan to give UMD their first lead of the night. 

Second period 3:32, Tied 2-2: That was one of the craziest goals that I have ever seen. Maine committed a costly turnover in their own zone which led to an open chance for Minnesota-Duluth. Caleb Herbert's initial shot was blocked by Sullivan, but the puck bounced straight up in the air. When the puck came down, it rolled off Sullivan's back and into the net. 

Second period 4:29, Maine leads 2-1: After a frantic pace to start the game, this one has calmed down considerably. Maine is still out-shooting UMD 24-14, but both teams are getting some decent scoring opportunities. Whichever team is able to grab momentum going into the final period may be determine the outcome of this game. 

Second period 9:13, Maine leads 2-1: UMD took advantage of the man advantage, quickly trimming Maine's lead back down to one. UMD's captain, Jack Connolly, snuck the shot by Maine's Dan Sullivan to get the Bulldogs on the board. 

Second period 10:06, Maine leads 2-0: With just under half of the game to be played, Maine maintains a two goal lead. Minnesota-Duluth will have a two minute power play, however, as Maine's Ryan Hegarty was sent to the box for slashing. 

Second period 12:50, Maine leads 2-0: Maine scored again on a breakaway goal by Matt Mangene. The net was dislodged on the other end of the ice, but no official called the play dead. Some Minnesota-Duluth players seemed to stop, assuming that a whistle would be blown. The Maine players alertly kept skating and Mangene beat Reiter to give Maine a two goal lead. After video review, the goal was upheld, much to the delight of the Maine pep band. 

Second period 17:10, Maine leads 1-0: The Black bears are out-shooting Minnesota-Duluth 16 to 9 at this point. Reiter has made a number of impressive saves to keep this just a one goal game. UMD cannot stay out of the penalty box as Mike Seidel takes a two minute penalty for slashing. 

Start of second period, Maine leads 1-0: Maine will start the second period with a one goal lead and 1:28 of a man advantage. This is a crucial penalty kill for Minnesota-Duluth; they cannot avoid to fall behind by two goals this early. 

First intermission Maine leads 1-0: Minnesota-Duluth took another two minute penalty and gave the Black bears yet another power play opportunity. This time, they didn't waste it. Unlike my internet connection, Spencer Abbott is really good. Maine's leading scorer lined up a shot from just inside the blue line and sniped a goal over the right shoulder of Kenny Reiter. 

First period 5:10, Tied 0-0: Neither team has taken control of this game. The pace of the action is really good with lots of up and down play. This is exactly the kind of game that you like to see with this much on the line. The teams are trading quality scoring opportunities, but it remains to be seen who will be able to break through with a goal first. 

First period 10:54, Tied 0-0: UMD's Brady Lamb took a two minute penalty for holding, but Maine was unable to get anything going during the power play. As Lamb came out of the penalty box, a teammate hit him with a pass and he launched a shot towards the goal, only to have it snagged by Maine's Dan Sullivan. 

First period 13:02, Tied 0-0: We're back to even-strength after Maine's penalty kill unit gets through a rather uneventful two minutes. After getting their man back, the Black bears immediately went on the attack and challenged UMD's goaltender, Kenny Reiter, several times. Reiter held his ground, however, and we're still scoreless. 

First period 15:32, Tied 0-0: Maine had the first real scoring opportunity of the game, but it was easily stopped by the Bulldogs. Maine's Mike Cornell was called for crosschecking, giving Minnesota-Duluth the first power play of the game. 

7:30 p.m. ET: The teams have taken the ice and we're just five minutes from the opening faceoff. The starters have been introduced and Spencer Abbott is in the lineup for Maine. He's the best player on the ice and will be looking to have a big impact after missing the past couple of games with a concussion. 

7:05 p.m. ET: Less than half an hour until the puck drops in the second game of the Northeast Regional Semifinals. The winner of this one gets a chance to play Boston College with a berth to the Frozen Four on the line. 

Both teams are on the ice warming up and there appears to be slightly more Maine fans who have made the trip than Minnesota-Duluth fans. 

Make sure to stick with us at for all your coverage of the NCAA Hockey Tournament. 

8 a.m. ET: Minnesota-Duluth won the 2011 national championship and will start their title defense tonight against the Maine Black Bears in Worcester.

The winner of the regional semi-final game will go on to play the winner of Boston College-Air Force, which will be played at 4 p.m.

Maine played without its best player and Hobey Baker finalist, Spencer Abbott in the Hockey East title game. Abbott suffered a concussion earlier this month, but may be cleared to play against Minnesota-Duluth today. As it stands right now, he is a gametime decision.

Be sure to follow NESN's live blog all night as we track the action to see which teams will get a chance to advance to the Frozen Four.

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