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NH college hockey: UNH sweeps, Plymouth State advances

Mar. 10—It was quite the weekend for the University of New Hampshire and Plymouth State men's hockey teams.

UNH posted a pair of 4-0 shutouts of UMass Lowell in its regular-season-ending home-and-home series and now braces for the River Hawks once more in Wednesday's first round of the Hockey East tournament.

Meanwhile, Plymouth State captured its first-ever NCAA Division III tournament victory, 5-2, over Cortland (N.Y.) in a first-round game Saturday night at Hanaway Rink.

UNH preps for Hockey East tournament

Wildcats goalie Jakob Hellsten notched two shutouts in 24 hours, making a total of 39 saves in the two games. On Friday night in Lowell, winger Harrison Blaisdell scored a pair of goals; on Saturday night in Durham, it was winger Stiven Sardarian's turn to score twice.

UNH finished the regular-season 19-14-1 overall, 12-11-1 in Hockey East, tying UMass for fifth in points (36), but the Minutemen took the tournament's fifth seed on tiebreakers. So UNH will play a first-round contest set for Wednesday night (7) at the Whittemore Center against 11th-place UMass Lowell.

In other first-round contests Wednesday — all single-game elimination — seventh seed Northeastern will host 10th seed Merrimack and eighth seed Connecticut will host ninth seed Vermont.

One quarterfinal matchup has been set for Saturday: UMass at fourth seed Providence, at 4 p.m.

The winners of Wednesday's games will advance to play Saturday quarterfinals at one of three schools: top seed Boston College, second seed Boston University or third seed Maine.

Plymouth State 5, Cortland 2

In Plymouth, forward Connor Tait scored a pair of third-period goals and goalie Kalle Andersson made 32 saves as the Panthers, ranked No. 7 nationally, advanced in the NCAA Division II tournament.

PSU, 24-2-2, will visit No. 2 Utica for a second-round game this coming Saturday.

Dartmouth to host Union in ECAC quarterfinals

The Big Green learned their opponent for the ECAC quarterfinals, and it will be sixth-seeded Union, which blanked Brown 6-0 in a first-round contest. Dartmouth, seeded fourth, will host Union in a best-of-three series at Thompson Arena beginning Friday and continuing Saturday night. A third game, if necessary, will be played Sunday at 4 p.m.

In other ECAC quarterfinal series this coming weekend, top seed Quinnipiac hosts 12th-seeded RPI, second-seeded Cornell hosts eighth-seeded Harvard, and third-seeded Colgate hosts seventh-seeded St. Lawrence.