LOWELL, Mass. – Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) scored a pair of goals, while a trio of defensemen netted goals to lift the second-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Saturday night's 5-2 win over the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in Hockey East action at Tsongas Center.
UNH improves to 11-1-2 overall with a 7-1-1 mark in Hockey East play. The 'Cats are riding an eight-game unbeaten streak (7-0-1). The River Hawks are now 4-7-1 overall and 2-6-1 in conference play. New Hampshire's one loss is the fewest by a UNH team in program history through 14 games and the 'Cats are the only team in Division I hockey with one-loss of fewer this season.
Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) handed out a pair of assists to compliant Speelman's two-goal effort.
The River Hawks broke the deadlock as Stephen Buco scored on the rebound of a Terrence Wallin rush and initial shot. Scott Wilson also assisted on goal at 8:55. The Wildcats got the equalizer in the whining moments of the first period. John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) fired a one-timer from the middle slot that bounced out to an open Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.) in the right circle for a one-time slapshot that went in the short side of the net. Downing also assisted on the goal at 19:48 of the first period. UNH held a 13-8 shot edge, while both team went 0-1 on the power play.
UNH grabbed the lead early in the second as Justin Agosta (East Meadow, N.Y.) scored his first goal of the season on a slapshot from the right circle. Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) assisted on the goal at 1:34. The River Hawks answered just 22 seconds later as Buco scored after Scott Wilson's initial rush was denied. New Hampshire scored at 11:41 of the middle stanza to make it 3-2. Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) knocked home the rebound a Brett Kostolansky (Denver, Colo.) shot from the top of the blue line. The Wildcats outshot the River Hawks 11-4 for the period.
New Hampshire made it 4-2 as Brett Pesce (Tarrytown, N.Y.) scored his collegiate goal on a wrister from the top of the blue line that went through a screened Doug Carr at 10:56. Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) and Jeff Silengo (Madison, Conn.) assisted on the goal, which came off a faceoff win. UNH iced the game with an empty-net goal by Speelman at 19:03. Downing and Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) assisted on the game's final tally.
Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) turned aside 22-of-24 shots he faced including 12 in the third period and improves to 10-1-2. Carr stopped 30 shots including 12 in the first period; he is now 3-6-1 on the season.
New Hampshire outshot the River Hawks 35-24. UNH was 0-5 on the power play, while UML was 0-3 on its extra-man advantage. The Wildcats have killed off 30-straight power plays by their opponents.
UNH returns to action Thursday, Dec. 6 against Boston University. Puck drops at 7 p.m. at Whittemore Center. Tickets to the BU game and all UNH home games are available online at UNHWildcats.com.