December 6, 2009

MEN'S HOCKEY CHARGES PAST #19 VERMONT, 5-2

BURLINGTON, Vt. – The University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team used a three-goal second period to power Sunday afternoon’s 5-2 win over Hockey East foe No. 19 Vermont at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

The Wildcats, who are unbeaten in their last six games (5-0-1), improve on their first-place position in Hockey East with a 7-6-3 mark overall and a 7-2-2 record in league play. Vermont falls to 6-6-2, 4-5-2 HE. New Hampshire is now 3-0-1 in its last four road games and won three in a row over nationally ranked foes.

With UNH holding on to a 2-1 lead after one period, the Wildcats used a three-goal second to take control of the game. UNH extended its lead to 3-1 as Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) fought for and won the puck along the boards and made a centering pass for Greg Manz (Wayne, Pa.), who was there to put the eventual game-winner away at 6:04. Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) also tallied an assist. The ‘Cats made it 4-1 just over a minute later as Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) chipped the puck out of the defensive zone to Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario), who did the rest taking the puck the length of the ice and beating Mike Spillane at 7:32. Vermont cut into the lead with its second power play goal of the game as Colin Vock scored with assists from Drew MacKenzie and Justin Milo at 15:25 of the second to make it 4-2. UNH answered that goal just 54 seconds later as Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, British Columbia) score on a shot from the right point. LeBlanc and Moses dished out helpers on the goal that made it 5-2 at 16:19.

UVM struck first just 2:21 in as Jack Downing scored a power play goal that was assists by Milo and Vock. New Hampshire responded with a pair of goals to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. The first tally came as Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.) scored his first collegiate goal by collecting a pass from Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) and used Butler as a shield as he fired over Butler and past UVM netminder Mike Spillane to tie it at 1-1 at 12:51. Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) alsohad an assist on the goal. UNH took the lead as Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) received a deflect pass from Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) and fired a shot past Spillane that gave the Wildcats a 2-1 lead at 18:44 of the first. UVM held a 13-8 shot advantage in the period.

In a scoreless third period, New Hampshire led a 7-5 shot advantage including five shots during a five-minute major penalty.

Vermont took advantage of its specialty opportunities going 2-3 on the power play and holding UNH scoreless in its four extra-skater opportunities.

Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) stopped 28 shots including 12 in the first and 11 in the second. Vermont’s Mike Spillane allowed four goals on 13 shots in his 27:32 of play over the first two periods. Rob Madore stopped nine shots in 29:02 of last over the final period and a half. Foster improves to 7-6-3, while Spillane falls to 3-2-0.

UNH returns to action when it concludes the 2009 slate at Providence College on Friday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at Schneider Arena in Providence R.I. The game will be broadcast regionally on Cox-TV in Rhode Island. The Wildcats return home after the holiday break on Sunday, Jan. 3 (3 p.m.) against Cornell University. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

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