PROVIDENCE, R.I. –Sophomore netminder Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) stopped 33 shots, but the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team dropped Wednesday night's Hockey East tilt, 1-0, to Providence College at Schneider Arena.
UNH falls to 16-8-3, 11-7-2 in Hockey East play. PC is now 11-10-6, 9-6-5 HEA.
DeSmith made 24 saves over the first two periods including a penalty shot and nine saves in the third, falling to 15-6-3. Jon Gillies stopped all 37 shots he faced earning the shutout and win to improve to 11-8-5.
Stefan Demopoulos scored with just 2:48 left in regulation to lift the Friars to the win and the series win at 2-0-1. Mark Jankowski spun and slid the puck across ice hoping to find a teammate and Demopoulos was there to put away the wrister. Tim Schaller also assisted on the game's lone goal. The Wildcats would have several chances in the period including the final 1:25 when the team controlled play with an empty net, but could not net the equalizer. The 'Cats also went 0-3 on the power play in the period.
In a scoreless first period, both teams had chances with the Friars holding a 13-9 shot advantage. PC's best chance came on its three power play opportunities, while UNH put great pressure on the Friars during and immediately following its two power play opportunities in the frame.
The game remained scoreless through two periods despite some great scoring changes from each side. The Wildcats had a pair of great bids just seconds apart as Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) deflected a John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) slapshot off the near post with just over five minutes left in the period. Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) was on the doorstep on the next shift, but had a bouncing puck jump over his stick to keep the game scoreless. New Hampshire would put some pressure on during a late power play, but just as the penalty expired the Friars Ross Mauermann escaped the box with the puck and was pulled down setting up a penalty shot. Mauermann made a nifty move, but DeSmith sprawled out to made a high glove save with 1:06 left in the period. UNH outshot PC 14-11, while both teams were 0-1 on the power play in the stanza.
The Wildcats held a 37-34 shot advantage for the game.
New Hampshire was 0-6 on the power play, while the Friars were 0-4 in their extra-skater opportunities.
The Wildcats return to action on Sunday, Feb. 17 at Boston College. Puck drops at 4 p.m. at Conte Forum. UNH's next home game is March 1 against UMass. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.