October 26, 2011

Game Notes: Men's Hockey Plays Host to #11 Union, Northeastern

Game Notes | Live Blog
DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire men's hockey team returns to action for a pair of home games with No. 11 Union (Friday - 7 p.m.) and Hockey East foe Northeastern (Saturday - 7 p.m.). The Wildcats begin a stretch of four-straight home games with four different opponents.

Scouting the Dutchmen: The 11th-ranked Union College enters this weekend's game with a 2-0-3 record. Last weekend, the Dutchmen shut out RIT with a 5-0 win. The Dutchmen will look offensively to senior Kelly Zajac. Zajac leads Union with two goals, six assists for eight points. Junior forward Jeremy Welsh had two goals and one assist in Union's latest game against RIT. Welsh has played in all five of Union's games and has scored five goals, one assist for six points. In net, sophomore Troy Grosenick has a 2-0-2 record with a 1.44 GAA and a .941 save percentage. In the game against RIT, he made 23 saves for his first career shutout. Freshman Colin Stevens has a 0-0-1 record with a 2.78 GAA and a .900 save percentage in his first outing for the Dutchmen.  The Dutchmen have scored eight goals on the power play this season.

Series History vs. Union: UNH holds 4-1-0 lead in the all-time series with Union dating back to Dec. 26, 1941. New Hampshire won that first meeting 8-0. The Dutchmen won game two 8-5 on Jan. 28, 1977 before UNH rattled off three-straight wins coming into this weekend's matchup.  The last meeting between the two teams was a 9-2 UNH win on Oct. 31, 2003 at Whittemore Center. Coach Umile is 3-0 lifetime against Union, while none of the players on this year's team has ever faced Union.

Last Time These Teams Met (10-31-03):  Jacob Micflikier scored four goals, including the game-winner, and assisted on another to propel UNH to a 9-2 non-conference victory against Union College at the Whittemore Center. Mike Ayers recorded 10 saves for UNH and allowed two goals in 53:28, then Jeff Pietrasiak went the rest of the way with one save.  Fourteen Wildcats recorded at least one point. Preston Callander finished with three assists while Sean Collins, Nathan Martz  and Tyson Teplitsky each finished with two assists to join Micflikier and Steve Saviano as multiple-point scorers.



Scouting the Huskies: Northeastern University enters the game with a 1-3-1 record. The Huskies lost back-to-back against at Merrimack and home against Boston College last weekend by scores of 4-1 and 4-3, respectively.  NU held a 3-1 lead before falling to BC in overtime on Saturday night. Offensively, the Huskies will look to sophomore Braden Pimm. Pimm leads the Huskies in scoring this year with two goals, three assists and five points to his credit. He is one of two Huskies to have scored in every game contest this season. In 41career games at NU, Pimm has scored eight goals and six assists for 14 points. The Huskies will also look to junior Justin Daniels, who has scored three goals, two assists, and has earned five points this year. Senior forward Mike McLaughlin has scored a goal in two-straight games for the fifth time in his career. In net, junior Chris Rawlings has played in all five of the team's games and owns a 1-3-1 record with a 3.40 GAA and a .910 save percentage. Rawlings tied the Northeastern school record with nine-career shutouts.  Northeastern's earlier shutout of UNH was its first shutout of the season and third-ever shutout over New Hampshire in program history.

Series History vs. Northeastern: UNH owns an 87-58-14 all-time record against Northeastern in 159 meetings in the series history between the two teams.UNH won the 2010-11 season series with Northeastern 1-0-2. Northeastern captured a 4-0 shutout win over UNH in this year's first meeting on Oct. 14. Coach Umile owns a 42-16-12 record all-time against Northeastern. Senior forward Stevie Moses is the active scoring leader against the Huskies with seven points in 10 games.  Senior netminder Matt Di Girolamo is 1-1-3 with a 2.57 GAA all time against the Huskies. Di Girolamo's first collegiate start was on Nov. 1, 2008 against Northeastern.

Last Time These Teams Met (10-14-11):  Northeastern scored three goals in a span of 2:52 seconds in the first period and went on to capture a 4-0 win on Oct. 14 at Matthews Arena. Northeastern scored on three of its first four shots in the period. New Hampshire controlled play early on, but it was a Braden Pimm tally at 6:29 that broke the deadlock. The goal was assisted by Steve Quailer and Alex Tuckerman on Northeastern's first rush of the game. The Huskies struck just 97 seconds later as Zak Stone slide a rebound under the pads of UNH netminder Matt Di Girolamo. Adam Reid and Luke Eibler earned helpers on rebound tally. NU completed its three-goal flurry with a Justin Daniels goal at 9:21. Josh Manson and Ludwig Karlsson assisted on the goal. The Wildcats called timeout after the third goal and responded with solid pressure, but were unable to break-through on NU netminder Chris Rawlings.  The Huskies netted the lone goal of the third period as Mike McLaughlin scored at 8:37 with assists from Luke Eibler and Robbie Vrolyk. UNH held a 9-8 shot advantage in the period for a 27-21 advantage for the game.Rawlings stopped 27 shots including 11 in the first period to improve to 1-1-1. Di Girolamo turned aside 14 shots in his 48:37 of play and falls to 0-2-0. Sophomore netminder Jeff Wyer saw the first action of his collegiate career and saved all three shots he faced in 11:23 of play.

Last Time Out (10-22-11 at St. Cloud):  Nick Sorkin scored a pair of goals to pace UNH to a 3-3 tie with St. Cloud State University on Saturday night at the National Hockey Center. UNH, which outshot the Huskies 47-24 moves to 0-4-1 on the season, while the Huskies are now 2-3-1. Sorkin scored a power play and short-handed goal and has four goals in a three-game goal-scoring streak. Stevie Moses handed out a pair of assists on Sorkin's goals. SCSU's Mike Lee stopped 44 shots including 18 in the second period and moves to 2-2-1. Sophomore Jeff Wyer, in his first collegiate start, turned aside 24 shots including 11 in the third period and is now 0-1-1. St. Cloud State was 0-4 on the power play, while UNH was 1-6 in its extra-skater opportunities. Both teams were unsuccessful in five-minute major opportunities.

Lopsided Tie: The Wildcats snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-3 tie at St. Cloud State on Saturday night. New Hampshire controlled play for most of the night outshooting the Huskies 47-24 during the game.

Scorin' Sorkin: Sophomore Nick Sorkin continues to be red-hot scoring three goals during the weekend series. Sorkin, who had just three goals and five points as a freshman, has four goals and five points in the last three games. Sorkin is tied for first in the nation with one short-handed goal and his three power play goals are four-best nationally.

Downing and Out: Freshman Grayson Downing was inserted into the Wildcat top line and produced right away handing out three assists over the weekend at St. Cloud.

First Goals: Overall, New Hampshire had six players record their first collegiate point over the weekend at SCSU with Scott Pavelski and Eric Knodel lighting the lamp for the first time in their career.

Career-High-Wyer Act: Sophomore netminder Jeff Wyer made his first collegiate start on Saturday night, earning a 3-3 tie. Wyer stopped a career-high 24 shots Saturday, turned aside 11 in a relief appearance on Friday night and handed out an assist on Friday night.

Home-Sweet-Home: The Wildcats, who played four of the first five games on the road, return home to the friendly confined of the Whittemore Center for four-straight and five of the next six.

Welcome Back: UNH's former two-time captain Patrick Foley returns to the Whittemore Center as an assistant coach for Northeastern. Foley was part of back-to-back trips to the Frozen Four in 2002 and 2003. Foley, most recently, was an assistant at Harvard.

Sophomoric Saturday: All three of Saturday's goals were scored by sophomores with Nick Sorkin potting two and Eric Knodel picking up his first collegiate goal.

Replacing Offense: UNH has struggled out of the gate replacing its offensive production as the team lost 187 points from last year's squad including its top four scorers, which accounted for 164 of those 187 points.

Tough Start: UNH's 0-4-1 start is its worst start since the 1987-88 start when the team was 0-5-1 over its first six games.

Di Gi's Starting Streak Ends: Senior goaltender Matt Di Girolamo had started 44-straight games before Jeff Wyer earned the start in net on Saturday night at St. Cloud State.

Knodel Leads All Wildcat Defensemen in Points: Sophomore Eric Knodel has been a surprise for the Wildcats with three points in the first five games. The sophomore did not see any game action as a freshman, but as already scored a goal and handed out two assists from the blueline for New Hampshire.

47 Shots: UNH's 47 shots against St. Cloud State on Saturday night were the most by a UNH team since a 49-shot output on Nov. 19, 2010 against Boston University.

Three Scores in a Single Frame: On Friday night at SCSU, UNH scored three goals in the third period marking the first time since Feb. 26, 2011 at Northeastern that they have scored three in a single period.

SCORING BY CLASS: 2011-12 breakdown of scoring by class.
Class    G-A-P    G-A-P %.
Seniors:    2-5-7    22-31-28
Juniors:    2-2-4    22-13-16
Sophomores:    5-4-9    56-25-36
Freshmen:    0-5-5    0-31-20

All in the Family: Junior forward Scott Pavelski is the younger brother of  Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks while freshman defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk is the younger brother of former wildcat and current Philadelphia flyer James van Riemsdyk.  Freshman forward Jay Camper is the brother of Miami standout Carter Camper, while Associate Head Coach Jim Tortorella is the brother of Rangers head coach John Tortorella.

'Cats Selected in the NHL Draft: Two current UNH players have been selected in the National Hockey League draft. Greg Burke (Washington) and Eric Knodel (Toronto) have all been drafted.

Wildcats Among National Leaders (Thru 10/24): Below is a list of where UNH players and team rank nationally.
Individual         Rank         Stats
Points Per Game:
Nick Sorkin        77th         1.00 ppg
Goals Per Game:
Nick Sorkin     30th      0.80 gpg
Assists Per Game:
Grayson Downing             59th        0.75 apg
Power Play Goals:
John Henrion          41st          1 ppg
Team
Scoring Offense           41st         1.80
Scoring Defense              48th         4.80
Scoring Margin        47th        -3.00
Power Play         28th         17.4
Penalty Kill           48th         68.4
Combined Special Teams     40th         40.5

Among the League Leaders (Thru 10/24): Where some of the Wildcats rank in Hockey East.
        Player    All Games    HE Games
Points         Nick Sorkin        11th (5 pts)     48th (1 pt)
               Stevie Moses         27th (4 pts)            n/a
               Eric Knodel      37th  (3 pts)          n/a
Goals              Nick Sorkin      2nd (4 g)            15th (1 g)
             five tied          33rd (1g)         n/a   
Assists               Stevie Moses          15th (3 a)         28th (1 a)
                Grayson Downing15th (3 a)           n/a
                     Eric Knodel     35th (2 a)          n/a
PP Points               Nick Sorkin     4th (3 pts)         12th (1 pt)
        Grayson Downing9th (2 pts)            n/a
             Jeff Wyer         34th (1 pt)         n/a
PP Goals                Nick Sorkin     1st (3 ppg)        2nd (1 ppg)
               John Henrion         8th (1 ppg)          n/a
SH Points               Stevie Moses         2nd (1 shp)        n/a
                  Nick Sorkin      2nd (1 shp)        n/a
SH Goals         Nick Sorkin     1st (1 shg)        n/a
Def. Scoring         Eric Knodel         4th (3 pts)            2nd (18 pts)
              Damon Kipp     15th (2 pts)          6th (15 pts)
Freshman Scor.     Grayson Downing 6th (3.00 pts)     n/a
GAA         Matt Di Girolamo     12th (5.20)         9th (4.65)
Save%         Matt Di Girolamo     13th (.825)        10th (.835)
Saves         Matt Di Girolamo     5th (85)         3rd (66)
Minutes       Matt Di Girolamo     4th (207:53)        2nd (167:53)
    
Where UNH is Ranked in Hockey East (Thru 10/24):
    Overall                 HE games
Goals/per game         1.80/10th         0.33/8th
GAA         4.80/9th       2.57/3rd
Power Play         17.4/5th         8.3/7th
Penalty Kill          68.4/10th         80.0/6th
Special Teams Net         -1/5th         -1/5th
1st Period Scoring     4/4th         1/6th
2nd Period Scoring     1/10th         0/10th
3rd Period Scoring         4/7th         0/10th
Overtime Scoring    0/2nd          n/a

Umile Approaching 300 Hockey East Victories: UNH head coach Dick Umile is just one win shy of 300 wins in Hockey East play. Umile, with 299 wins, is looking to become just the second coach in league history to capture 300 league wins. BU's Jack Parker was the first.  Umile's career record in Hockey East is 299-146-73.
Coach        Team        Years in HE    Wins
1. Jack Parker    BU        27        390
2. Dick Umile    UNH        21        299
3. Jerry York    BC        17        244
4. Shawn Walsh    Maine        17        226
5. Tim Whitehead    UML, Maine    15        177

UNH to Play Rival Maine at Fenway Park: The University of New Hampshire will make history Jan. 7, 2012, when the Wildcats face off against longtime nemesis University of Maine at Fenway Park as part of a Hockey East doubleheader that was announced Aug.  25 at the venerable ballpark, which is home to the Boston Red Sox of MLB. The event has been dubbed Frozen Fenway 2012 and Hockey Day in New England. The 111th meeting in the series between UNH and Maine - the 'Cats swept last year's season series - is the second game of a doubleheader at 7:30 p.m. and will be preceded by a matchup between the University of Vermont and the University of Massachusetts at 4 p.m. The doubleheader will be broadcast live in high-definition on NESN.

UNH, Verizon Wireless Arena Awarded 2013 NCAA Northeast Men's Hockey Regional:  The NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Committee announced Oct. 5 that the University of New Hampshire and Verizon Wireless Arena have been awarded the 2013 NCAA Division I men's hockey Northeast Regional. Game dates and times have not been finalized, but will be held between March 29-31. 2013 will mark the fifth time UNH and Verizon Wireless Arena have hosted this event, all since 2004. Last season, UNH advanced to the regional finals against with a 3-1 win over top-seeded Miami at the NCAA Northeast Regional in Manchester. New Hampshire also hosted in 2007 and 2009. In addition to the Northeast Regional, the East Regional will be held at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. and hosted by Brown University, the Midwest Regional will be held at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio and hosted by Bowling Green State University and the West Regional will be held at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. and be hosted by the University of Michigan.

Jim Tortorella Named Associate Head Coach: On Aug. 30, Dick Umile announced the hiring of Jim Tortorella as associate head coach of the program. Tortorella comes to New Hampshire after a 16-year stint as head coach at Colby College, where he led the Mules to an impressive 230-138-33 record in that span and leaves his mark as the program's all-time leader in career wins. A highly respected coach throughout the New England region, Tortorella brings a wealth of experience to Durham and will work primarily with the UNH defense. Tortorella replaces former associate coach David Lassonde, who was recently named the assistant coach at the University of Denver.

Wildcats Tabbed Third in Hockey East Preseason Poll: The University of New Hampshire men's hockey team was picked to finish third in the Hockey East Preseason Coaches' Poll, which was announced Sept. 27 at the league's annual media day at Legends Restaurant at the TD Garden. The Wildcats garnered 72 points in the poll, which was good enough for a third place preseason standing. UNH was picked third last season and finished second in the league's regular-season standings. New Hampshire has finished in the top three in Hockey East each of the last five seasons, including three regular-season titles in that span.

2011-2012 Hockey East Preseason Coaches Poll
Rk.            Team (FPV)                    Pts
1.            Boston College (7)                    88
2.            Boston University (3)                   83
3.            New Hampshire                    72          
4.            Maine                        64
5.            Merrimack                        61
6.            Vermont                        44
7.            Massachusetts                    42
8.            Northeastern                    33                      
9.            UMass-Lowell                    27
10.          Providence                        26

Where is UNH Ranked?: Here is a week-by-week look at the 'Cats in the national polls and the HE standings:
Date     USA TODAY    USCHO     HE
9/27            12th    12th    3rd (pre)
10/3            NP    NP    3rd (pre)
10/10        RV    15th    6th
10/17        NR    RV    8th
10/24        NR    NR    8th

THE NATIONAL POLLS:
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's Hockey Poll (Oct. 24)
Rk.      Team, Points  (FPV)    Last Poll    Record  Weeks
1    Boston College, 492 (22)    1    5-1-0    4
2    University of Denver, 466 (6)    3    3-1-0    4
3    Colorado College, 415 (3)    4    2-0-0    4
4    University of Michigan, 395 (2)    2    4-1-1    4
5    University of Notre Dame, 336    5    3-2-0    4
6    Yale University, 286 (1)        9    0-0-0    4
7    Ferris State University, 279    NR    6-0-0    1
8    University of Minnesota, 272    10    5-1-0    4
9    Merrimack College, 214    13    4-0-0    3
10    Western Michigan Univ., 211    12    3-0-3    4
11    Union College, 187        11    2-0-3    4
12    Boston University, 136        8    2-2-0    4
13    University of North Dakota, 133    6    2-3-1    4
14    Northern Michigan Univ., 85    NR    4-1-1    1
15    Minnesota Duluth, 43        15    2-3-1    4
Others receiving votes: Miami University, 40; Colgate University, 31; Lake Superior State University, 15; Cornell University, 12; Dartmouth College, 12; University of Wisconsin, 9; Quinnipiac University, 5; University of Maine, 4; College of the Holy Cross, 1; University of Nebraska Omaha, 1.

USCHO.com Division I Men's Hockey Poll (Oct. 24)
Rk.    School    (FPV)    Record    Points    Lst Wk.
 1     Boston College                (32)        5-1-0       974         2
 2     Denver                       (11)        3-1-0       930         3
 3     Colorado College              (4)        2-0-0       845         4
 4     Michigan                                  4-1-1       803         1
 5     Notre Dame                    (1)        3-2-0       708         6
 6     Ferris State                  (1)        6-0-0       660        14
 7     Western Michigan                      3-0-3       635        11
 8     Minnesota                                 5-1-0       632         8
 9     Merrimack                                 4-0-0       583        13
10    Yale                          (1)        0-0-0       555         9
11     Union                                     2-0-3       516        12
12     North Dakota                          2-3-1       445         5
13     Boston University                     2-2-0       442         7
14     Northern Michigan                     4-1-1       399        17
15     Minnesota-Duluth                      2-3-1       251        15
16     Colgate                                   3-1-1       192        16
16     Miami                                     2-4-0       192        10
18     Lake Superior                         5-1-0       177        19
19     Cornell                                   0-0-0        89        20
20     Quinnipiac                                6-2-0        84        NR
Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 74, Maine 72, Michigan Tech 33, Nebraska-Omaha 30, Dartmouth 29, Alaska-Anchorage 25, Bowling Green 22, Providence 21, Air Force 17, Alaska 16, Clarkson 16, Holy Cross 14, Bemidji State 7, Massachusetts-Lowell 5, St. Cloud State 3, Ohio State 2, Vermont 2.

UNH Hockey on Television(Subject to change or additional): UNH will have 11 games broadcast live on TV in 2011-12. WBIN-TV will air six games with one game on CBS Sports, NESN and Cox, while two will air locally on Charter (Minn.).
DATE    GAME    Channel    RES.
Oct. 21    at St. Cloud    Charter    L, 5-7
Oct. 22    at St. Cloud    Charter    T, 3-3
Nov.18    Mass.-Lowell    WBIN
Dec. 8    Boston Univ.    WBIN
Jan. 7    vs. Maine (Frozen Fenway)    NESN
Jan. 11    at Providence    COX
Jan. 21    Merrimack    WBIN
Jan. 28    Boston College    WBIN
Feb. 3    Providence    CBS Sports
Feb. 10    Northeatern    WBIN
Feb. 17    Vermont    WBIN

UNH HOCKEY ON THE RADIO:  In the summer of 1999, the University of New Hampshire Athletic Department formed the "UNH Sports Network" — the largest network ever to broadcast UNH sporting events.In 2009, Wildcats Sports Properties has added WGIN-AM 930 (Rochester) and WQSO-FM 96.7 (Portsmouth) as affiliate stations on the Wildcat Sports Network, joining flagship WGIR-AM 610 (Manchester), which was added in 2008. All three stations are part of the Clear Channel family. These three aforementioned stations -- along with WSMN-AM 1590 (Nashua), WNTK-FM 99.7 (New London) and WASR-AM 1420 (Wolfeboro) -- will carry the following: all UNH football & men's hockey broadcasts, a select number of men's basketball, women's basketball and women's hockey broadcasts. Dan Parkhurst will be handling the play-by-play for the fifth-straight season, while Pete Webster will once again be doing the color commentating. Webster has been announcing Wildcat hockey since the 1993-94 season.

LISTEN LIVE ON THE INTERNET: UNHWildcats.com via Stretch Internet Broadcast will carry all of the UNH men's ice hockey action again this season. If you can not attend Wildcat hockey, you can still tune into the game from anywhere you can gain access to the internet. Fans can get to the UNH men's ice hockey broadcast site by going to the men's hockey schedule page at www.unhwildcats.com.

WILDCAT AWARDS: Here is a list of awards that Wildcat players have won to date this season:
Player    Award    Date
Matt Di Girolamo    USCHO's Top 10 Goalies #1    9/26
Stevie Moses    USCHO's Top 10 Forwards #4    9/30

GRANITE STATE CONNECTION: The Wildcat hockey team features three players from New Hampshire with Greg Burke (Lee), Ryan Randall (Durham) and Casey DeSmith (Rochester) all hailing from the Granite State.

THE DICK UMILE ERA: Dick Umile, the first six-time Hockey East Coach of the Year in league history, is in the midst of his 22nd season as the head coach of the UNH Wildcats.  After signing a long-term contract in 2008, Umile will conclude his coaching career at his alma mater. With 483 career victories behind the bench, the Melrose, Mass., native is the winningest coach in school history. During his time in Durham, Umile has molded UNH hockey into one of the top programs in all of Division I hockey, guiding the Wildcats to four Frozen Four appearances, 17 NCAA tournament appearances and 21 Hockey East championship tournament showings in his 21-year career. Umile has guided the 'Cats to 20-victory campaigns in 18 of his 21 seasons, including this year's 21-10-6 mark. He surpassed legendary coach Charlie Holt for the most victories in school history Feb. 16, 2005, by notching his 348th coaching triumph in a 6-1 defeat of Merrimack College at the Thom Lawler Arena in North Andover, Mass. Umile ranks fourth among active NCAA coaches with a .659 winning percentage, and his 483 career victories rank seventh among active bench bosses. He has been named Coach of the Year a total of 11 times in his career, including New England honors four times and Hockey East Coach of the Year six times.  A total of 10 Hobey Baker finalists have suited up for Umile, including Paul Thompson and Jason Krog, who won the prestigious award in 1999, the year the Wildcats played for the National Championship in Anaheim, Calif. Umile became the 12th coach in University history when he was promoted to the position Dec. 6, 1990.  Previously, he served as assistant coach in 1988-89 and associate head coach in '89-90.  An outstanding player for the Wildcats, Umile captained the 1971-72 team that placed third in the ECAC playoffs with a 20-10 record. Umile's finest season came during his sophomore campaign when he collected a career-high 56 points, earning the Roger LeClerc Trophy as the team's MVP. In 87 career games at UNH, Umile potted 60 goals to go along with 84 assists for 144 points.  Umile was inducted into the National Italian American Hall of Fame in 2007 and enshrined in the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey in 2009 . Last year, the Wildcats had a successful campaign posting a 22-11-6 overall record and 17-6-4 in Hockey East. The season took off quickly with just two losses in the 'Cats first 16 games. In Hockey East play, they won the regular-season series with five of nine league foes, highlighted by a season series sweep of rival Mane. New Hampshire continued its hot streak, without back-to-back losses until mid-February. Umile helped take a team to its 23rd straight trip to the Hockey East playoffs and home-ice advantage for a league best 15th straight season. New Hampshire was awarded the Charlie Holt Team Sportsmanship Award this season. The 'Cats earned an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament for the 10th-straight season and hosted the Northeast Regional at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester as a fourth seed. They advanced to the regional final for the third straight season with a 3-1 victory over the top seeded Miami (Ohio) RedHawks.

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