NO. 16 MEN’S ICE HOCKEY FALLS TO NO. 4 CORNELL, 5-2

DURHAM, N.H. – Matt Campanale (Chester Springs, Pa.) scored his first collegiate goal and tallied an assist, but it wasn’t enough to propel the No. 16 University of New Hampshire men’s ice hockey team which fell to No. 4 Cornell University, 5-2, Sunday afternoon at the Whittemore Center.

With the win, the Big Red improve to 8-4-2 overall and 6-2-1 in the ECAC. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 8-7-3 overall and 8-2-2 in Hockey East on the season and snaps UNH’s seven game unbeaten streak.

With the game tied 2-2 entering the third, it was a three-goal third period that lifted the Big Red to victory. After nearly five minutes of scoreless action in the beginning of the third stanza, the first goal came as when Sean Collins scored on the rebound of a John Esposito shot to go up 3-2 at 5:11. Three minutes later, the Big Red added to their lead as Justin Krueger fired a shot from the middle of the ice just above the blue line and Riley Nash redirected the shot into the back of the net to go ahead 4-2 at 8:15. The Big Red’s third goal was an empty-net opportunity scored by Joe Scali at 18:01 of the third. Joe Devin was credited with the assist on the play.

The Big Red drew first blood in the contest as Blake Gallagher knocked a puck in just in front of the crease, to beat UNH goalkeeper Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.), finding the back of the net at 7:30. The play was initiated by Keir Ross, who forwarded a pass over to Colin Greening, who fired a shot from the right circle but was quickly turned away by Foster. However, Foster couldn’t recover fast enough to stop the oncoming shot by Gallagher, putting the visitors on top 1-0 in the early going. Cornell was at it again later in the period on a power play, taking advantage of a short-handed UNH, peppering Foster with a number of shots in the closing moments of the frame and holding a 14-7 advantage in shots.

Trailing 1-0 New Hampshire soon found the right combination as Mike Beck (Long Beach, Calif.) connected a pass to Campanale who took the puck the length of the ice, bringing it behind the goal line and directed a pass to an oncoming Mike Sislo (Superior Wis.) who punched the puck into the net from the left circle to knot the score at 1-1 at 11:08. However, Cornell quickly responded as Locke Jillson brought the puck up the ice on the right wing and forwarded it to Braden Birch at the right circle who directed it to Patrick Kennedy in the slot and put it past Foster to gain the 2-1 edge at 12:31. UNH knotted it up at the back end of the frame as Campanale would get the ‘Cats back on track as he blocked a shot at one end and headed up ice to pick up a rebounded shot from Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) and put it past Cornell’s Ben Scivens’ shoulder into the right hand corner of the net to knot the score at 2-2 at 16:11.

Foster (8-6-3) stopped 38 shots on the night for the Wildcats, including an impressive 18 saves in the second stanza. As for Cornell, Scrivens compiled 20 saves in the contest and improves to 8-4-2.

The Big Red notched 43 shots in the game, while the Wildcats finished with 22 shots. Cornell was 0-3 on the power play, while UNH was 0-4 in its extra-skater opportunities.

The Wildcats return to action on Friday, Jan. 8 (7 p.m.) against UMass-Lowell at the Whittemore Center. For more information including tickets, live stats and live audio log on to www.UNHWildcats.com.

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