Maine–New Hampshire men's ice hockey rivalry

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Maine–New Hampshire men's ice hockey rivalry
First meetingDecember 15, 1979
Latest meetingMarch 3, 2018
UNH 2, Maine 3
Meetings total129
All-time seriesMaine leads 63–58–7

The Maine–New Hampshire men's ice hockey rivalry, sometimes referred to as the Border War,[1][2] is a men's ice hockey rivalry between the Maine Black Bears and New Hampshire Wildcats. The proximity of the two states, the success of the two programs, and their history in high-profile games have caused one of the most intense rivalries in American college hockey.[2] College Hockey News has ranked it as the seventh best Division I college hockey rivalry.[3]


The two teams first played in 1979.[2] In the early 1990s, Maine dominated, winning 18 out of 19 games in one stretch.[4] The rivalry came to a head in 1999. UNH and Maine played a two-game series to finish the regular season at the Whittemore Center. UNH had to win the series to clinch the top seed in the Hockey East playoffs, and swept the two game series. The two teams met again a month later in the 1999 national championship. Although Maine took an early lead in the game, UNH came from behind to force overtime. Maine then won in overtime.[5]

Though Maine leads the series, it has been relatively even since 1999. Three years after Maine's victory in the national title game UNH won its first Hockey East title with a victory over Maine.[5] Maine gained revenge for this loss several weeks later, however, by defeating UNH in the 2002 Frozen Four.[4] The series became very evenly matched for some time, before UNH became more dominant in the late 2000s and won 6 games in a row over two seasons.[4] In 2012 Maine and UNH played in a Winter Classic type game and Maine won 5–4 in overtime at Fenway Park, after giving up the first 2 goals. Maine's ice hockey program has been more successful overall than UNH, having won two national titles and five Hockey East titles while UNH has won two Hockey East titles and has not won a national championship.[2]


One factor that contributes to the intensity of the rivalry is the similarity of the two states. Fans of each program often work together and frequent the same restaurants in places such as Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine.[4] Though the two schools are 165 miles (266 km) apart, many Maine fans from southern Maine live closer to UNH's campus in Durham, New Hampshire than to the University of Maine's campus in Orono, Maine, ensuring a high turnout of Maine fans when UNH hosts Maine.[3][6] The two programs also recruit many of the same potential players from New England, though there are often very few New Hampshire natives on UNH's team and few Maine natives on Maine's team.[1][2]

In 1999 UNH began asking their fans to dress in white each time Maine traveled to the Whittemore Center in what they dubbed "White out the Whit" nights. The student tickets for these games sell out faster than any others.[2][3] Maine supporters often refer to UNH as the "University of No Hardware" due to their lack of championships.[2] During one series in Maine, Maine fans pelted visiting UNH fans with snowballs.[5] UNH fans often raise the issue of NCAA violations committed by Maine under Shawn Walsh.[4] They have also brought newspapers to the games to read while Maine's starting lineup is being introduced.[5] The two schools have announced plans to move two of their games each year to the last week of the regular season.[4]

In addition to ice hockey, UNH and Maine are considered rivals in basketball and football as well.[7][8]

Game Results[edit]

Maine victoriesNew Hampshire victories
1 April 3, 1999 Anaheim, CA Maine 3–2
2 December 24, 2009 Durham, NH New Hampshire 5–2
3 February 5, 2010 Orono, ME Maine 3–2
4 February 6, 2010 Orono, ME Maine 6–3
5 December 12, 2010 Orono, ME New Hampshire 4–3
6 February 4, 2011 Durham, NH New Hampshire 6–3
7 February 5, 2011 Durham, NH New Hampshire 5–4
8 November 5, 2011 Durham, NH New Hampshire 3–2
9 January 7, 2012 Boston, MA Maine 5–4
10 March 3, 2012 Orono, ME Maine 1–0
11 November 4, 2012 Orono, ME New Hampshire 4–0
12 March 8, 2013 Durham, NH Maine 4–3
13 March 9, 2013 Durham, NH Tie4–4
14 January 24, 2014 Durham, NH New Hampshire 3–2
15 January 25, 2014 Orono, ME Maine 4–2
16 December 12, 2014 Manchester, NH Maine 5–2
17 December 13, 2014 Portland, ME New Hampshire 7–4
18 January 23, 2015 Orono, ME Maine 6–4
19 January 24, 2015 Durham, NH Maine 4–0
20 December 4, 2015 Orono, ME Tie3–3
21 December 5, 2015 Durham, NH New Hampshire 5–2
22 December 29, 2015 Portland, ME New Hampshire 5–4
23 December 30, 2015 Manchester, NH New Hampshire 7–0
24 December 2, 2016 Durham, NH New Hampshire 5–1
25 December 3, 2016 Orono, ME New Hampshire 4–3
26 December 30, 2016 Durham, NH New Hampshire 6–4
27 January 19, 2018 Orono, ME Tie2–2
28 January 20, 2018 Orono, ME Tie3–3
29 February 14, 2018 Durham, NH Maine 4–3
30 March 2, 2018 Orono, ME† Maine 4–1
31 March 3, 2018 Orono, ME† Maine 3–2
32 February 1, 2019 Durham, NH New Hampshire 3–2OT
33 February 2, 2019 Durham, NH Maine 5–3
Series: New Hampshire leads 15–14–4

† Hockey East Tournament

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b D'Onofrio, Dave (2 February 2007). "UNH-Maine: always special". The Concord Monitor. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Reynolds, Lauren (24 July 2007). "Passionate fan bases fuel rivalry between perennial title contenders". Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Kensa, David (8 February 2006). "College Hockey's Top 10 Rivalries". College Hockey News. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Zhe, Mike (3 February 2011). "UNH-Maine hockey rivalry stands test of time". Seacoast Online. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d McCabe, Chantel (4 February 2011). "UNH vs. Maine: The history of a rivalry". The New Hampshire. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  6. ^ Lessels, Allen (6 February 2000). "It's a Rivalry That Only Gets Hotter". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  7. ^ "Basketball Set to Take on Rival Maine". Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  8. ^ Warner, Peter (18 November 2006). "Bears look to play spoiler vs. rival Wildcats". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 21 February 2011.

External links[edit]