BOSTON -- Each player on the Wildcats’ top line tallied a goal and an assist to lead the eighth-ranked University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team past the Boston University Terriers (4-1) in the Hockey East opener. Friday’s win at Agganis Arena marked Head Coach Dick Umile’s 400th of his career, ranking him third amongst active NCAA coaches with a .653 win percentage.
Junior defenseman Jamie Fritsch (Odenton, Md.) scored his first of the season--the eventual game-winner--at 13:44 of the third period. Thomas Fortney (Webster Grove, Mo.) delivered the puck from the left point to the right where Fritsch took a slap shot, finding the back of the net.
Junior defensemen Matt Gilroy drew first blood for the Terriers 12:26 into the first period off a slap shot from inside the right circle. BU had a 5 on 3 advantage over UNH after back-to-back tripping calls were made. Assists were given to Brandon Yip and Colin Wilson on the tally.
Captain Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alb.) scored his first goal of the season to put the Wildcats on the board with 44.7 seconds left in the second period. Senior assistant Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) brought the puck into the BU zone and passed it to Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.) in the slot. Pollastrone connected with Fornataro at the bottom of the left circle, shelving it past Gillespie.
Radja extended the Wildcats’ lead to two goals (3-1) with a tally at 14;15 of the third period. Freshman James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) delivered the puck to Fornataro in the neutral zone who then passed it up to Radja. He then skated in on Terrier goalie Karson Gillespie alone and beat him stick side.
Minutes later, VanRiemsdyk secured the win for the Wildcats with an unassisted goal with 4:14 remaining in the game, the first of his collegiate career. UNH remains undefeated at Agganis Arena with a 3-0-2 all-time record.
Umile, a five-time Hockey East Coach of the Year, is in his 18th season as head coach of the Wildcats and ranks ninth all-time among NCAA coaches with his 400 wins. Coming into the 2007-08 season, he ranks third in wins amongst his Hockey East coaching peers.
Senior goaltender Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) made 30 saves for the ‘Cats, including 12 in the first period, while Gillespie totaled 23 stops in the losing cause for Boston University.
The Wildcats’ home opener is Oct. 26 against Colorado College. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.