Micflikier scores game-winning goal with 15 seconds left in regulation
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba) scored the game-winning goal with 15 seconds remaining to cap off a frenzied final minute as the No. 11 ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team defeated Dartmouth College, 5-4, in the fifth annual "Battle for the RiverStone Cup" on Saturday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.
Micflikier had a chance eight seconds earlier to give the Wildcats the victory, awarded a penalty shot for being taken down from behind on a breakaway. Driving in for the shot, the junior winger lost control of the puck, and Dartmouth goalie Mike Devine poke-checked the puck away. After the ensuing faceoff, Micflikier received a pass from Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C) and sent the puck past Devine for his second game-winning goal of the season.
The Big Green tied the game with 45 seconds remaining in the third period, pulling Devine for a sixth attacker right before the goal. Off passes from Mike Ouellette and David Jones, Eric Przepiorka sent a shot past UNH goalie Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) to keep the seesaw battle close right until the very end.
Right after killing off a penalty, UNH went back on top 4-3 on Brian Pouliot's (Hooksett, N.H.) first goal of the season. Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.) sent the puck behind the Dartmouth net, where Trevor Smith (North Vancouver, B.C.) corralled it and sent it out front to Pouliot, who shot it past Devine at 16:36 of the third period.
As they had done in the second period, Dartmouth (7-9-1) scored early in the third period to force another tie. Jarrett Sampson sent a shot towards net, and the puck deflected off Regan into the goal to tie the contest 3-3. Dan Shribman and Rob Pritchard were credited with assists on the Big Green tally.
The Wildcats regained the lead late in the second period, taking advantage of a 5-on-3 opportunity.
After passing the puck around for several seconds, Craig Switzer (Peachland, B.C.) found Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.), who spotted Daniel Winnik (Mississauga, Ontario) at the right post. Winnik caught Devine falling down too soon and sent the puck above him into the net for his tenth goal of the season.
Dartmouth's power play sprang into action early in the second period, and the Big Green used the situation to tie the game at 2-2. Nick Johnson scored his seventh goal of the season at 2:23 of the period, assisted by Grant Lewis and Devine.
Pollastrone gave UNH a 2-1 lead with 1:58 remaining in the first period after he stripped the puck from a Dartmouth player and beat Devine glove side. Previously, Dartmouth's Connor Shields tied the game at 1-1 at 16:36, tipping in a shot from Ben Lovejoy for his third goal of the season. Kevin Swallow also picked up an assist on the tally.
Smith got the 'Cats on the board first at 9:21 of the opening frame. Smith tipped a slapshot by senior captain Yandle from the right point. Pouliot was also credited with an assist on Smith's third goal of his career.
Regan finished the game with 43 saves, while Devine earned 28 saves for the Big Green. UNH ended the night 2-for-5 on the power play, while Dartmouth scored one power play goal on six chances.
New Hampshire (12-7-4) returns to action Friday, January 20 at the University of Massachusetts. Game time at the Mullins Center in Amherst is 7 p.m. UNH concludes the season series with the Minutemen Saturday, January 21 at the Whittemore Center. Game time is 7 p.m. The game will be televised live by New Hampshire Public Television and ESPNU.