UMaine junior Cedric Lacroix scored with just 3:31 left in the game to break a 1-1 tie and the #6 Black Bears go on to beat #11 New Hampshire 4-1 in the first game of the Hockey East playoffs on Friday night.

The first round is a best-of-three series with game two tonight at Alfond Arena.

The two teams played three overtime games during the regular season and it sure looked like it might be four but the Lacroix goal, followed by a Tim  Doherty emty net goal less than two minutes later, gave the Bears the cushion needed. Lacroix added another empty net goal to make it a 4-1 final score.

Freshman goalie Jeremy Swayman made 26 saves for the win.

Danny Tirone made 45 saves for UNH.

HOCKEY EAST PLAYOFF SCORES:

Merrimack 2   UMass Lowell 1 (OT)   Merrimack Leads Series 1-0

Vermont 4   UMass 3 (OT)   Series Tied 1-1