NO. 11 MEN'S HOCKEY SKATES PAST MAINE, 4-1
DURHAM, N.H.– Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.) and James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) both recorded a goal and an assist to lead the 11th-ranked University of New Hampshire men’s ice hockey team to Friday night’s 4-1 Hockey East victory against the University of Maine in front of a “White Out the Whitt” capacity crowd of 6,501 at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, with its sixth consecutive win vs. Maine, improved to 13-8-4 overall and 9-6-3 in Hockey East. Maine is now 1-7-1 in the 2009 calendar year as well as 11-13-3 overall and 6-10-2 in the league.
Jamie Fritsch (Odenton, Md.) also had a multiple-point game for the Wildcats with two assists. Danny Dries (Lake Orion, Mich.) and Steve Moses (Leominster, Mass.) netted UNH’s other goals and Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) recorded 21 saves.
Maine goaltender Dave Wilson stopped 12 first-period shots and 28 overall.
The Wildcats netted a pair of goals quickly in the first period and took that 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Dries put the ‘Cats on the scoreboard at 1:45 when his low shot from the left circle sailed into the net. Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario), with the pass off the left half-boards, and Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) set up the tally.
Moses extended the advantage at 5:17 on a shot from the right circle. Fritsch, with the outlet pass through the neutral zone, and Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.), who carried the puck into the offensive zone on the right wing, were credited with assists. It was the first career helper for Borisenok.
Less than a minute later, Sislo intercepted a pass just outside the Wildcats’ offensive zone and broke in alone down the slot. At the doorstep, he shifted the puck to the right post, but Wilson was in position for the save.
Maine finally recorded a shot on goal in the 12th minute on Mike Banwell’s shot from the slot that was turned aside by Foster. The Black Bears generated one of their most dangerous scoring chances in the opening stanza with 5:20 to play. In a 2-on-2 rush, Gustav Nyquist carried the puck along the left side and threw the puck in front of the crease, but the pass didn’t connect with the charging Tanner House.
The teams combined for six minor penalties in the last 3:37 of the first period and each failed to convert on one power-play opportunity. UNH limited UM to three first-period shots, which matched the lowest single-period total by an opponent this season.
Maine did capitalize on a power-play chance early in the second stanza to trim the deficit to 2-1 on Matt Duffy’s shot from the right point at 3:25. Robby Dee and Spencer Abbott were credited with assists.
The Black Bears went back on the power play 77 seconds later, but the Wildcats reestablished a two-goal lead with a shorthanded tally at 5:07. Sislo carried the puck on the right wing and swept it to open space in the slot, where van Riemsdyk’s outstretched stick redirected a shot into the upper-right corner of the net.
New Hampshire killed off two more minor penalties – at 7:28 and 10:05 – in which the visitors recorded a total of two shots, and then Sislo, with the assistance of van Riemsdyk, gave the ‘Cats a 4-1 advantage at 16:04.
In the closing minute of the second period, LeBlanc fired a shot from the left circle that caromed off the near post.
Maine recorded a 9-7 shot advantage in the scoreless third period.
New Hampshire and Maine conclude the two-game weekend series Feb. 7 (7 p.m.) at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. The Wildcats’ next home game at the Whittemore Center is Feb. 13 (7 p.m.) against Providence College.