OMAHA, Neb. - Junior forward Daniel Winnik (Mississauga, Ontario) tallied the game-winning goal and added an assist to guide the No. 8 ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to a 4-2 win in the season opener against CCHA foe Ferris State in the opening round of the Maverick Stampede on Friday night at the Qwest Center.
Winnik scored the game-winning goal at 10:33 of the second period after he parked himself in front of FSU goalie Derek McIntyre, tipping a slapshot from sophomore defenseman Craig Switzer (Peachland, B.C.) from left point on the 5-on-3 power play. Junior Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba) also was credited with an assist on Winnik's first goal of the season.
"I thought the team responded pretty well in the season opener, especially with the amount of specialty situations, we did a good job with our penalty-kill tonight. Jeff made a couple of key saves late in the game to help us hold on for the win," said UNH coach Dick Umile.
Junior forward Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) capped off the scoring for the Wildcats with another 5x3 goal at 14:50 of the second period. Winnik and Hemingway went hard towards the net on a 2-on-1 rush and Winnik slid the puck across the slot and Hemingway buried the shot from the left side of the net.
Freshman forward Greg Collins (Fairport, N.Y.) tallied his first collegiate goal skating on the third line, opening the scoring for the Wildcats in 05-06 only 1:57 into the game. Junior forward Shawn Vinz (Rochester, Minn.) fed the puck from the right half board and Collins was charging to the net to beat McIntyre. Senior Andrew Leach (Albany, N.Y.) also was credited with a helper on the Collins tally. Leach played one of his finest games as a Wildcat making several key plays on the penalty kill for the 'Cats.
Freshman forward Trevor Smith (N. Vancouver, B.C.) also notched his first goal as a Wildcat to tie the game, 2-2 at the 9:41 mark of the second session also on a tip from a shot by senior defenseman Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.). Freshman Thomas Fortney (Webster Groves, Mo.) also received an assist of the Smith goal marking his first collegiate point.
Senior netminder Jeff Pietrasiak (Shrewsbury, Mass.) registered 21 saves in the win for the Wildcats, including nine saves in the third period. Pietrasiak allowed both goals in the first period and then settled down for the rest of the game with 17 in the final two periods, making several key saves at the end of the game in penalty kill situations. McIntyre made 24 saves in the losing cause for the Bulldogs.
Eric Vesely and Adam Miller scored goals for the Bulldogs in the losing effort.
A total of 27 penalties were called in the game, UNH was 2 for 13 on the power play, while the Bulldogs went 1 for 10 with the extra man. The Wildcats outshot Ferris State, 28-23 in the contest.
The Wildcats' conclude play at the Maverick Stampede on Saturday, Oct. 15 against host Nebraska-Omaha or Army. Game time is 6 or 9 p.m. EST at the Qwest Center.