DURHAM, N.H.- The University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team defeated the U.S. National Under-18 team, 7-2, Friday night at the Whittemore Center Arena in front a crowd of 5, 576. The Wildcats scored four goals in the third period to secure the victory.
The U.S. National Team scored first at 7:26 of the first period. Robbie Earl shot the puck past New Hampshire junior netminder Mike Ayers (Hingham, Mass.). Dustin Collins earned the lone assist on the play. Two minutes later, junior forward Steve Saviano (Reading, Mass.) slapped a shot past the glove hand of Team USA goalie Wylie Rodgers while on the power play. Sophomore forwards Sean Collins (Reading, Mass.) and Preston Callander (Regina, Sask.) were credited with the assists.
The second period mimicked the first, as the U.S. National team took the lead once again at 8:07 of the middle frame. T.J. Hensick scored his 14th goal of the season with the man-advantage to give the U.S. National team a one-goal lead. Minutes later, UNH evened the score again, 2-2. Senior assistant captain Colin Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) beat Rodgers glove side. Collins fed Hemingway a clean tape to tape pass on the odd man rush. Sophomore defenseman Tyson Teplitsky (Saskatoon, Sask.) was given the second assist. Saviano then potted his second goal of the evening when the puck dripped through the legs of Rodgers to give the 'Cats the lead for the first time, 3-2. Junior forward Nathan Martz (Chilliwack, B.C.) and sophomore forward Justin Aikins (South Surrey, B.C.) were given the helpers.
UNH opened the final stanza with a statement, scoring within the first two minutes when senior assistant captain Lanny Gare (Vernon, B.C) etched the fourth goal of the evening to increase the lead to 4-2. Senior forward Josh Prudden (Andover, Mass.) and Collins had the assists. Callander scored an unassisted goal, his fifth of the season, at 3:12 of the third period to give the 'Cats a three-goal advantage, 5-2. Martz also had two goals late in the third period in the 7-2 win.
Freshman netminder Jeff Pietrasiak (Shrewsbury, Mass.) made nine saves in his second appearance as a Wildcat. Ayers allowed two goals and stopped 18 shots before being relieved by Pietrasiak, for a combined effort of 27 saves. The U.S. National team's Rodgers made 33 saves in the loss.
New Hampshire has two weeks off before traveling to Denver to compete in the Denver Cup as face-off for a rematch against Clarkson University December, 27 and will play the winner of the Denver/Miami (Ohio) game on December, 28.