November 16, 2013

College Wraparound: DeSmith, UNH shutout Huskies

By Joshua Kummins

Junior Casey DeSmith earned his first shutout of the season on Friday night at Mathews Arena. (Photo: Dave Arnold/New England Hockey Journal)

BOSTON -- The New Hampshire Wildcats (5-5-1, 3-2-0 Hockey East) continued their recent success against the No. 18 Northeastern Huskies (6-4-0, 1-3-0), scoring once in every period to earn an impressive 3-0 win on Friday night at historic Matthews Arena. 

The victory is UNH's fourth in as many games and follows up a solid effort Tuesday night in a 4-2 win over Brown University at the Whittemore Center. Junior Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) made 22 saves in the game to capture his first shutout of the season and the seventh of his career.

"We came out from the start and played a solid, 60-minute game," head coach Dick Umile said of the Wildcats' effort in extending their Matthews unbeaten streak to three games. "I was pleased with the way the team played in all zones.

"There's a fine line between winning and losing at this level of hockey. We've played some pretty good teams. Overall, I thought we've played pretty well, even when we were losing (five of the first seven)."

The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead on the hosts just 4:26 into the first period as senior Nick Sorkin followed his own attempt by slamming a loose rebound by Clay Witt on the back door. The Rockville, Md. native had two goals during the entire 2012-13 season and has already tripled that total through ten games this year. 

"I just stick with it," Sorkin said. "Hard work pays off. (Coach Umile) does a great job in practice, always telling me to shoot the puck. That has definitely helped me. I am just glad I have the opportunity to play where I'm at."

NU's power play has been pretty solid in the early going, ranking second in Hockey East with a 23.1 percent clip, but the Wildcats - which had kept Northeastern to the outside of the offensive zone for much of the period - solved the unit with a shorthanded goal at 6:45 of the second. 

Senior Jeff Silengo (Madison, Conn.) streaked across the wing alone, thanks to a pass from sophomore Dan Correale, and fired a blocker-side snipe on Witt for the second 'Cats shorthanded tally of the season. 

UNH cashed in on some quality tic-tac-toe passing for a 3-0 lead at the 8:15 mark of the final stanza as sophomore Kyle Smith finished off the play with a wrister through a screen off a pass from the point from stellar defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk. 

The series shifts to Durham on Saturday night where the Huskies will be seeking their first win since Nov. 16, 2007. 

UMass 2, Boston College 2 (OT)

Senior Branden Gracel knotted the score with 1:26 remaining in regulation, lifting the Minutemen (3-6-2, 1-3-2 Hockey East) to a crucial point in the league standings on the road. Freshman Ray Pigozzi got the scoring started for UMass 13:15 into the first period, but the Eagles (6-2-2, 3-0-1) would not let that last as rookies Ryan Fitzgerald (North Reading, Mass.) and Austin Cangelosi followed it up with scores over the next five minutes to give BC a lead until the equalizing goal beat Eagle junior Brian Billett (Brunswick, Maine) in the waning minutes. After just falling short in a 2-1 contest on Friday at Mullins Center, freshman Mac Haight had another solid outing with 26 saves to cap his first weekend of collegiate play.
Maine 7, Boston University 0

In a match-up of Hockey East's two new head coaches, it was Red Gendron's Black Bears (5-4-1, 2-2-1) that came out on top, demolishing the visiting Terriers (4-6-0, 2-3-0) at Alfond Arena. The contest was Maine's most lopsided win since a 10-1 drubbing of ECAC foe St. Lawrence on Nov. 28, 2009. Maine scored twice in the first and third periods between putting up a trio in the middle stanza, led by a two-goal, three-point performance from rookie Brian Morgan (Windham, N.H.). Lost in all the offense was a 34-save shutout by senior Martin Ouellette, which included double-digit stops in each period.

Providence 3, Vermont 2

Junior Ross Mauermann scored twice and sophomore Noel Acciari added the game-winner shorthanded as the No. 5 Friars (8-1-1, 4-1-0 Hockey East) held on for a one-goal victory over host Vermont (3-4-1, 2-3-0) at the Gutterson Fieldhouse. Sophomore Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine) made at least 11 saves in each period, totaling 37 for the night to lead PC. Freshman Mike Stenerson scored his first collegiate goal at 2:32 of the third period, but it was not enough for the Catamounts.

Notre Dame 4, Merrimack 0

The No. 3 Irish (7-2-0, 2-1-0 Hockey East) had an impressive home debut in league play as senior Steven Summerhays pitched a 31-save shutout in a 4-0 defeat of the Warriors (3-6-0, 0-3-0) at Compton Family Ice Arena. Junior Austrian product Peter Schneider scored a pair of goals to lead the Notre Dame offense, despite 26 saves from Warrior senior Sam Marrotta (Bridgewater, Mass.). 

UMass Lowell 3, Penn State 2

Using a goal and an assist from sophomore Adam Chapie and 35 saves from junior Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.), the River Hawks (8-4-0) completed a series sweep of the Nittany Lions (3-5-1) at Pegula Ice Arena and a swing of three road wins in four nights.

Princeton 5, Dartmouth 4 (OT)

In a wild game at Baker Rink, the Tigers (2-6-0, 1-4-0 ECAC Hockey) fell in a 3-0 hole to Dartmouth (0-7-0, 0-5-0), but recovered with five of the final six goals, including the winner by Andrew Ammon, to take an overtime win in front of the home crowd. Cab Morris made 25 saves, but the Big Green are still in search of their first victory.

Quinnipiac 3, Harvard 2

The No. 6 Bobcats (10-1-1, 4-0-1 ECAC Hockey) scored twice in the first period and outlasted the rival Crimson (2-4-1, 1-4-1) at TD Bank Sports Center, extending their NCAA-best unbeaten streak to ten consecutive games. Brayden Sherbinin scored QU's first goal on his very first career shot, becoming the second Bobcat of the season and in program history to turn that trick. Second-year Michael Garteig continued his strong play with 31 saves in victory and will look to ride that momentum into a home date with Dartmouth Saturday night. 

Bentley 3, Connecticut 0

Two goals on third-period power plays propelled the Falcons (3-7-0, 2-2-0 AHA) to a 3-0 shutout of the Huskies (3-3-1, 2-1-0 AHA) at Freitas Ice Forum. The loss snaps UConn's four-game unbeaten streak on home ice. Senior Branden Komm made 30 saves to take the win and even Bentley's league record, while sophomore Andrew Gladiuk scored the third and final goal after chipping in with an assist. 

AIC 1, Holy Cross 0

Junior Alexander MacMillan scored the lone goal of the contest at 14:13 of the first period and that was all the offense the Yellow Jackets (3-3-0, 3-0-0 AHA) would need in a 1-0 road shutout of the Crusaders (2-7-0, 2-2-0) at the Hart Center in Worcester. Rookie Hunter Leisner earned his first win as a collegian with a 22-save shutout, propelling AIC into first place in the Atlantic Hockey standings with a perfect 3-0 mark.

Twitter: @JoshuaKummins