Murray nets game-winning tally with 1:51 to play
DURHAM, N.H. - Chris Murray (Dover, Mass.) scored a goal at 18:09 of the third period to lead the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 3-2 exhibition victory against the U.S. National Under-18 Team at the Whittemore Center.
With UNH leading 2-1 at the start of the third period, the U.S. U-18 Team tied the score, 2-2, when Mark Mitera netted a power-play goal with a shot from the high slot at 4:48. Phil Kessel, with a pass from the left circle, and goaltender Jeff Frazee (30 saves) were credited with assists.
Murray gave the Wildcats their third lead of the game when he intercepted a clearing attempt at the right point and fired a screened shot into the net. With the U.S. team already on the power play, Frazee was pulled in favor of an extra skater with 40 seconds to play. The visitors generated offensive pressure but UNH goaltender Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.; 23 saves) preserved the one-goal lead.
In a penalty-filled first period - a total of 11 minor penalties were called in the opening 20 minutes - UNH scored on one of its three power-play opportunities to take a 1-0 lead at 18:50. Daniel Winnik (Mississauga, Ontario) initiated the scoring sequence with a pass from the left corner behind the net to Justin Aikins (Surrey, B.C.), whose centering pass was one-timed into the net from the low slot by Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba).
Nine more penalties, including a major and 10-minute misconduct, were assessed in the second stanza in which both teams netted a goal. The U.S. U-18 Team tied the score, 1-1, with a power-play goal at 7:38 when Nathan Gerbe, with the assistance of Ryan Stoa and Kyle Lawson, scored when his centering pass from the right doorstep was redirected into the net. New Hampshire regained the lead, 2-1, at 17:26 on a screened shot from the high slot by Craig Switzer (Peachland, B.C.) that sailed into the upper-right corner of the net. Robbie Barker (Concord, N.H.)Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) were credited with assists.
UNH (11-3-2 overall, 6-1-1 Hockey East) now breaks for exams and will resume the 2004-05 season on Wednesday, December 30th vs. Michigan State in the first round of the Great Lakes Invitational. Game time is 8 p.m. EST at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The 'Cats return home to the Whittemore Center after the new year on Saturday, January 8th against Providence College (7 p.m.).