BURLINGTON, Vt. – Senior Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta) scored a pair of goals including the game-winner, while two different freshmen potted their first collegiate goals in a three-goal third period to lead the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team to Friday night’s 5-1 Hockey East victory against Vermont at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
UNH improves to 16-7-1 overall and 12-4-1 in Hockey East, while Vermont is now 6-10-5, 5-6-5. The Wildcats have won their last seven against Hockey East foes and are 5-0-2 against Vermont since it joined the league, including four-straight wins. UNH becomes the first time in Hockey East to record victories over all nine league foes.
In a scoreless first, both teams had a few chances along with one power-play opportunity, which neither team could capitalize on.
The Wildcats broke the scoreless deadlock as Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.) stole the puck at the top-left side of the offensive zone and passed it to a crossing James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.), who found Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) open on the right slot. Butler fired the puck into the right-side of the net for the tally at 5:53 in the second period. UNH added the eventual game-winning goal late in the period on a 4-on-3 power-play opportunity. Fornataro potted the goal with assists from linemates Danny Dries (Lake Orion, Mich.) and Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) at 18:41.
In the third, UNH added three insurance goals including a pair that gave each respective scorer their first collegiate goal. Freshman Mike Sislo (Superior, Wisc.) scored the first of the goals at 5:30 with assists from Greg Collins (Fairport, N.Y.) and Craig Switzer (Peachland, B.C.). The second goal came from Greg Manz (Wayne, Pa.) at 5:59 with assists from Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) and Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.). Fornataro tallied his second goal of the game at 9:10 in the third to make it 5-0. Dries and Radja, once again, had helpers on the tally.
Vermont would break up the shutout with just 4:40 remaining as Kyle Medvec scored with assists from Corey Carlson and Mark Lutz to make it 5-1.
UNH netminder Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) stopped 19 shots to capture his seventh-straight win against a Hockey East foe and improves to 14-5-0 overall, while Mike Spillane fell to 2-2-2 in defeat.
The Wildcats played the entire game without senior defenseman Brad Flaishans (Glendale, Ariz.), who did not dress due to illness and Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario), who served a game suspension due to a previous game misconduct.
New Hampshire returns to action next weekend for a two series at the University of Maine. Puck drops both nights at 7 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on WABI (Maine) In addition, the game will be broadcast on the UNH Sports Radio Network (UNHSN) with live audio and live stats through www.unhwildcats.com. The Wildcats’ next home game is Feb. 16 (7 p.m.) vs. Providence College.