June 17, 2018
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Seniors lead Bears to Hockey East playoff berth

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

During their first two seasons, Myriam Croussette, Dawn Sullivan, Dominique Goutsis, Chloe Tinkler and Ashley Norum didn’t dent the victory column often.

Their University of Maine women’s ice hockey team went 11-43-10 overall, 5-30-7 in Hockey East.

But things began turning around under first-year coach Maria Lewis a year ago and, this season, the Black Bear seniors have helped lead the team to its first Hockey East Tournament berth since the 2005-2006 season.

It will be Seniors Day at Alfond Arena at 3 p.m. Sunday as they will complete a two-game set with archrival New Hampshire. The teams will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The other senior is right wing Danielle Ward, who transferred to UMaine from the University of Southern Maine after the 2009-2010 season.

If Maine sweeps New Hampshire and league leader Northeastern sweeps Providence, Maine will finish fourth and will host Providence next weekend in a quarterfinal game for the right to advance to the semifinals and finals in Hyannis, Mass.

Fifth-place Maine, which trails fourth-place Providence by three points, could also catch Boston University if they sweep and the Terriers get swept by UConn.

Third-place BU leads Maine by four points.

Teams get two points for a win and one for a tie.

The top six teams qualify for the tournament. The third seed hosts the sixth seed and the fourth seed entertains the fifth seed in quarterfinal matchups while the top two earn byes into the semis.

Maine is 15-10-5 overall, 9-8-2 in Hockey East. Maine has never won more than nine Hockey East games in a season since the league’s inception in 2002-2003.

Right wing Croussette has played in 128 career games with 37 goals and 41 assists; center Sullivan has amassed 19 and 30 in 128 games; center Goutsis has notched 12 and 18 in 125 and defensemen Gagnon and Norum have 3 and 24 in 124 games and 5 and 20 in 127, respectively.

Ward has 50 and 70 in 115 games between USM and Maine.

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