BIDDEFORD — The University of New England scored twice in a span of 18 seconds to grab a 2-0 first-period lead on its way to a 4-1 victory over New England College in a New England Hockey Conference quarterfinal-round game played before a crowd of 882 Saturday evening at the Harold Alfond Forum.

The fourth-seeded Nor’easters (14- 9-3) advance to face top-seeded UMass Boston – a 4-0 winner over University of Southern Maine – next Saturday on the road (7 p.m.). The Pilgrims end their season with a mark of 11-9-6.

UNE had back-to-back goals in a span of 18 seconds to open up a 2- 0 advantage. Captain Kyle Williams (SR/Bowdoinham) got the first goal at 14:02, taking a pass from Tucker Ross (FY/Ashburn, Va.) and making a nifty move by a pair of NEC defenders before slotting a wrister five-hole from just inside the blue line. Nick Wirth (JR/ Ashburn, Va.) would double the lead at 14:20 when he converted from the top of the crease after Danny Antonoff (JR/Bedford, Mass.) spotted him from behind the cage. Cassidy April (SR/El Cajon, Calif.) had started the play by dumping the puck in to the right of the goal.

The Pilgrims would strike just before the close of the period, however, as Kyle Arenson (SO/Fort Collins, Colo.) potted a wrist shot from the left circle after receiving a drop pass from Garrett Brazzier (Mississauga, Ontario).

The Nor’easters put the game away with single goals in the second and third periods. Brady Fleurent (FY/Biddeford) made the score 3-1 at 18:40 of the second, roofing a shot from close range after carrying the puck down the slot. Tony Crow (FY/Anchorage, Alaska) had sent Fleurent in with a pass from UNE’s defensive zone.

Armand Uomoleale (FY/Westport, Conn.) completed the scoring at 16:31 when he executed a give-and-go with Ryan Quinn (SR/Burlington, Mass.). Blaise Healy (JR/Melrose, Mass.) had a secondary assist.

NEHC All-Rookie goaltender Connor Maloney (FY/Woburn, Mass.) continued his strong play for the Nor’easters, totaling 38 saves to run his record to 8-2-2. His best stop of the evening came on a backhander from Andreas Zollner (FY/ Vernamo, Sweden) late in the second period.

Brett Kilar (JR/Coto de Caza, Calif.) recorded 32 stops for New England College.


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