No. 9 Men's Hockey Blanks Maine, 4-0
ORONO, Maine – Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) scored a pair of goals and Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) stopped 42 shots for his third career shutout to lift the ninth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Sunday afternoon's 4-0 win over the University of Maine at Alfond Arena.
UNH improves to 5-1-1 overall with a 3-1-1 mark in Hockey East play. Maine is now 1-8-0, 0-4-0 HE. It's the Wildcats first win at Alfond since December 10, 2010. It was UNH's first shutout at Maine since Jan. 17, 1998.
DeSmith, who earns his second shutout of the season, stopped 18 and 15 shots in the second and third period, respectively. He improves to 5-1-1 overall with a 3-1-1 mark in Hockey East play. Maine's Dan Sulivan turned aside 41-of-45 shots, but falls to 0-6-0.
UNH struck first on the power play just seconds after a 5-on-3 opportunity expired. Block scored his first goal of the game on a one-timer from the left circle. Tick-tack-toe passes from van Riemsdyk to Hardowa on the right slot to Block set up the tally at 3:23 of the first. The Wildcats doubled their lead just seconds after a successful kill. Casey Thrush (Easton, Md.) intercepted a pass in the defensive zone and threaded the needle to Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.), who rushed out of the penalty box all alone and fired a hard wrister at beat Maine netminder Dan Sullivan at 18:43 of the first period to make it 2-0. The Wildcats held a 15-9 shot advantage in the period.
UNH added to it lead with a goal just as a power play opportunity expired. Block netted his second of the night on the rebound of a Hardowa broken stick slap shot from the left point. Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) also assisted on the tally, which made it 3-0 through two periods. Maine held an 18-15 shot edge in the frame.
The Wildcats added an insurance tally as Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.) midway through the third period. van Riemsdyk found John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) in neutral ice and he carried the puck through the center and fed Burke on the right wing. Burke's first shot was blocked, but he rifled another wrister that beat Sullivan to conclude scoring.
UNH held a 45-42 shot advantage thanks in part to a 17-9 edge in the first period.
The 'Cats were 1-8 on the power play, while Maine was 0-5 in its extra skater opportunities.
The Wildcats return to action on Saturday, Nov. 10 against Vermont. Puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Whittemore Center. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.