AMHERST, Mass. - The No. 13 ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team defeated the University of Massachusetts, 4-1 on Friday night in the Hockey East opener for both teams at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass.
Senior forward Andrew Leach (Albany, N.Y.) upped UNH's lead to 3-1 with his first goal of the season at 2:19 of the third period. Junior forward Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) added an empty net goal with 1:54 left in the game for his fifth goal of the season.
Sophomore forward Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta) collected a rebound off a shot by senior captain Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.) gave the Wildcats the 2-1 advantage with his second goal of the year at 15:15 of the second session. Yandle tallied three assists in the game, while sophomore defenseman Craig Switzer (Peachland, B.C.) notched two assists on the night.
UMass answered at 14:35 of the opening frame with a goal by sophomore defenseman Mike Kostka on a slapshot from the left point. Senior tri-captains Stephen Werner and Matt Anderson set-up the Kostka short-handed tally to get the Minutemen on the board.
The Wildcats got a 5 on 3 just 1:08 into the first period on a five-minute major assessed to UMass' Marvin Degon. Junior forward Daniel Winnik (Mississauga, Ont.) got the 'Cats on the board first with his second goal of the season 2:53 into the first period. Junior forward Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba) fed the puck to Winnik in front of freshman goalie Jon Quick, after a dump-in by Switzer who earned the secondary assist on the Winnik tally. The Wildcats and Minutemen posted 15 shots apiece in the first period.
The Minutemen outshot UNH, 37-35 and the 'Cats went 1 for 2 of the power play, while UMass went 0 for 4.
Senior goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak (Shrewsbury, Mass.) made 36 stops for the Wildcats, including 14 saves in the opening period. Quick posted 31 saves in the loss for the Minutemen.
With the win the Wildcats improve to 2-2-1 on the season and Massachusetts drops to 1-3-0 early in the season.
The Wildcat men's hockey team returns to action on Tuesday, Nov. 1st against Boston College at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. Game time is 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast live by College Sports Television.