DURHAM, N.H. – Senior forwards Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) and Kevin McCarey (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) combined to produce a goal that sparked the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to a 3-1 come-from-behind victory against the University of Vermont in Saturday night's Hockey East action at the Whittemore Center.
UNH improved to 13-15-3 overall and 10-12-2 in Hockey East by leveling the season series against Vermont at 1-1-1. UVM, which prevailed 4-3 in overtime Friday night, is now 6-23-1, 3-19-1. The Wildcats finished its home slate 9-7-0 and will play its final three regular season games on the road. New Hampshire is currently in seventh place in the Hockey East standing just one point behind Providence College.
In addition to the aforementioned forwards, senior defenseman Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, British Columbia) recorded an assist. McCarey, Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.) and Connor Hardowa (Edmonton, Alberta) scored the UNH goals while Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) recorded 28 saves, including 13 in the third period.
UVM netminder Rob Madore finished with 38 saves and that included 16 in the second period as well as 14 in the third.
The Catamounts, who recorded a 3-2 shot advantage during a five-minute major penalty assessed against UNH at 8:45, took a 1-0 lead at 17:00 of the first period. Kyle Mountain's initial shot from the left point was blocked wide of the near post, but the puck rebounded off the end boards out to the other side of the cage. Nick Bruneteau corralled the puck and centered a pass in front to Brett Bruneteau, who scored his fourth goal of the season.
Borisenok and McCarey combined to level the score, 1-1, at 5:44 of the second period. Borisenok blocked an attempted UVM pass from its defensive zone with his shin pads and gathered the loose puck at the left faceoff dot. He skated unabated towards Madore, then fed a pass to the slot, where the chargin McCarey redirected a shot into the open net.
The Wildcats capitalized on a power play to take a 2-1 lead at 15:02. Madore stopped the initial shot by John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) at the top of the crease, but the rebound went to the left doorstep and Burke jammed the puck into the cage. Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) was also credited with an assist.
UNH took that one-goal advantage and a 26-16 edge in shots (18-9 in the second stanza) into the third period.
The Wildcats extended the lead to 3-1 at 7:39 of the final frame when Hardowa scored on a slapshot from the left point. Kipp initiated the scoring sequence with a pass from the right point down low to Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.), who snapped a diagonal pass across to Hardowa.
DeSmith stopped all 13 shots he faced in the third period, and that included four on UVM's power play that began at 15:08. During that two-minute span, he turned aside Connon Brickley's bid from the right circle and, off the rebound, stoned Matt White at the top of the crease.
UVM pulled Madore in favor of an extra skater with 1:17 remaining but was unable to sustain pressure in the offensive zone. McCarey saucered a shot from center ice that hit the left post with 30 seconds remaining. The Wildcats were able to keep possession the rest of the way to secure the victory.
This marked the last home game for the senior class of Borisenok, McCarey, Kipp, Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.), Tyler Scott (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Matt Di Girolamo (Ambler, Pa.).
New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 24 (7 p.m.) at the University of Massachusetts and the teams complete the two-game series Feb. 25 at UMass' Mullins Center.