Regan records 27 saves in victory
DURHAM, N.H. - Andrew Leach (Albany, N.Y.) broke a 1-1 tie at 1:36 of the third period and goaltender Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) recorded 27 saves to lead the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Friday night's 2-1 Hockey East victory against fourth-ranked University of Vermont at the Whittemore Center.
UNH improved to 10-7-3 overall and 8-3-2 in Hockey East. Vermont is now 13-5-1, 5-4-1.
"We played 60 minutes tonight and Regan came up big for us at the end there, especially on the penalty kill," said UNH assistant captain Andrew Leach.
With the score tied 1-1 through two periods, Leach tallied his second goal of the season to score what proved to be the game-winning goal. Jamie Fritsch (Odenton, Md.) sent the puck around the boards from the left corner and it skipped past to UVM players along the right boards to Leach in front of the UNH bench. He then broke in alone at the left point and his shot from the left circle went under the crossbar. The assist was Fritsch's first career point.
UVM goalie Joe Fallon, who also finished with 27 saves, kept the score 2-1 when he stopped a Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba) redirection and Brian Pouliot (Hooksett, N.H.) on the rebound with 11:00 remaining, then stopped Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) on a shorthanded breakaway with 7:35 to play.
Less than a minute later with Vermont still on the power play, Regan preserved the Wildcats' one-goal lead when he snared Torrey Mitchell's wrist shot from the slot.
UVM called time out with 1:33 to play and pulled Fallon in favor of an extra skater with 55 seconds on the clock. UNH had a couple of opportunities to secure the victory, but a Daniel Winnik (Mississauga, Ontario) shot from mid-ice sailed wide left, then back-to-back Micflikier shots were stopped by defensemen in front of the net.
New Hampshire was whistled for icing with 13.5 seconds remaining and called its timeout. Vermont controlled the ensuing faceoff, but Regan fended off the Catamounts by denying Corey Carlson's shot from the left point and Brady Leisenring's shot from the left boards.
The Wildcats led 1-0 at the end of the first period on a Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta) goal at 11:02. Trevor Smith (North Vancouver, British Columbia) initiated the scoring sequence when he stole the puck from a Vermont player in front of the UNH bench. Smith then skated through the neutral zone to the top of the left circle, where he feathered a pass across to Fornataro, who gathered the puck and lifted a shot into the upper right corner.
The visiting 'Cats scored the only goal of the middle stanza to tie the score, 1-1. UVM capitalized quickly on a power play when Torrey Mitchell intercepted a pass deep in the right circle and fired a shot into the net at 1:08, just six seconds after UNH was whistled for a penalty.
New Hampshire and Vermont conclude the season series Jan. 7 (7 p.m.) at the Whittemore Center. These teams skated to a 3-3 tie Dec. 2 at Vermont.