MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) broke a 2-2 tie late in the third period to lead the 20th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Saturday's 4-2 victory against intrastate rival Dartmouth College at Verizon Wireless Arena to capture the Battle for the RiverStone Cup XIII.
UNH won its fourth consecutive game to improve to 13-10-1 overall while Dartmouth is now 3-12-2.
Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.; two goals), Matt Willows (Congers, N.Y.; one goal, one assist) and Justin Agosta (East Meadow, N.Y.; two assists) all recorded multiple points for the Wildcats. Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) made 12 saves in the first period and 13 in the third, and finished with 32 overall.
DC netminder Charles Grant made 13 of his 28 saves in the second stanza. Brad Schierhorn and Charlie Mosey were the Big Green goal scorers.
UNH took a 2-1 lead and 22-20 shot advantage into the third period. Dartmouth threatened in the opening minutes of the final frame when Mosey's blast from the right circle ricocheted off the crossbar. In the fifth minute, UNH's Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.) chipped the puck into the offensive zone, evaded a defender to advance down the slot and lifted a shot stopped by Grant.
Dartmouth, the designated visitors, tied the score, 2-2, at 16:40. DeSmith stopped Jack Barre's initial shot from the left circle, but Mosey corralled the rebound in the slot and lifted a shot into the cage. Jesse Beamish was also credited with an assist.
The Wildcats regained the lead, 3-2, 65 seconds later when Speelman, positioned in front of the goal, redirect Agosta's high shot from the right half-boards.
DC called time out with 57 seconds on the clock, but Grant was forced to stay in net as the Wildcats won the ensuing faceoff and sent the puck into the offensive zone. Moments later, Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) sent a shot from the left point wide of the near post. Willows collected the puck deep on the right side and his backdoor pass found Goumas alone at the left post for a tap-in goal into the open side of the net at 19:26 to close a flurry of three goals in less than three minutes.
The Big Green finished with a 14-10 shot advantage in the third period and a 34-32 edge overall.
The Wildcats surrendered the game's first goal but responded to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. The Big Green went ahead at 1:07 when Grant Opperman skated into the left circle and his snapshot was redirected into the net by Scheierhorn.
New Hampshire responded with a game-tying goal 85 seconds later. Agosta slid the puck from the right point to the left, where Dylan Maller (Parkland, Fla.) fired the puck wide left of the cage. The puck caromed off the end boards to the right post and Goumas shot into the open right side at 2:32 for his ninth goal of the season.
The 'Cats took a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 10:01. A Dartmouth skater was sent to the penalty box for high sticking at 9:50. UNH won the ensuing face-off and Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) swung the puck from the right point to the left, where a blast off the stick of Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.) was redirected in the low slot by Willows into the net.
After being outshot 13-9 in the first period, UNH responded with a 13-7 shot advantage in the scoreless second stanza. In the third minute, Kelleher's shot of a rebound in the right circle was snared by Grant's glove. Two minutes later, Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) charged down the slot but was denied by Grant. Speelman gathered the rebound and saucered a pass across the slot just beyond Downing's reach.
In the ninth minute, Willows stole the puck on the left half-boards and threw the puck to the slot and Grant made a stick save on Sorkin's one-timer. With 6:30 remaining in the second period and UNH on the power play, Willows circled behind the net to the left corner and sent the puck across the crease to Goumas, whose one-timer sailed into Grant's glove.
Three minutes later, Rick Pinkston initiated a Dartmouth rush on the left side with a pass from the defensive zone to Connor Dempsey in the neutral zone. Dempsey advanced to the circle and his shot was redirected by Jack Barre into DeSmith.
With 1:45 left in the middle stanza, Grant extended his left leg pad to deny Speelman's one-timer from the slot.
UNH went 1-for-4 on the power play while DC did not score on its only only power-play opportunity.
New Hampshire returns to action Jan. 17 (7:30 p.m.) in the first of a two-game home series against Union College.