BURLINGTON, Vt. – The forward line of Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.; 1g, 2a), Kevin Goumas (Lake Worth, Fla.; 1g, 2a) and Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.; 1g, 1a) combined for three goals and five assists to propel the eighth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Friday night's 6-1 win over the University of Vermont in Hockey East action at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
UNH, which becomes the first team in Hockey East to secure home-ice for the quarterfinals, improves to 18-7-4, 16-4-2 in Hockey East. Vermont is now 7-17-5, 5-13-4 HE. The Wildcat took over sole possession of first place in Hockey East by virtue of a Boston College tie with Northeastern.
Vermont scored just 33 seconds into the game as Jack Downing's one-timer from the right slot trickled under the pads of Matt Di Girolamo (Ambler, Pa.). Drew MacKenzie and Josh Burrows assisted on the goal. The Wildcats responded with a pair of goals in the second half of the first period to head into the break with a 2-1 lead. The first came on a one-timer by Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) from the middle slot. The play was setup by Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.) and Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.). The goal was DeSimone's 100th point; as he joined his linemates Sislo and Thompson by become the 70th member of the Wildcat Century Club with the tally at 10:37. Moses put the Wildcats ahead for good with a goal from the right slot at 14:13 with assists from Kevin Goumas and Brett Kostolansky (Denver, Colo.). UNH held a slim 12-11 shot edge in the period.
New Hampshire took a two-goal lead in the middle stanza as the second line struck again. This time it was Borisenok scoring off a flurry in front of the net at 1:05. The goal, the only scoring of the period, was assisted by Goumas and Moses giving each of them multi-point efforts on the night. The Wildcats held a 12-8 shots advantage in the period.
In the third period, Goumas got in on the scoring act netting a nifty goal thrown at the puck from behind the net and took a UNH bounce and found its way past Vermont netminder Rob Madore. The goal gave New Hampshire valuable insurance at 12:49 of the final period and was assisted by Moses and Borisenok. UNH iced the victory with a pair of empty-net goals. The first came at 17:59 from DeSimone, who potted his second of the night for his first career multi-goal game, from the left side of center ice. Matt Campanale (Chester Springs, Pa.) chippped the puck to DeSimone and was credited with an assist on the goal. The second came at 19:26 on a shot from the defensive zone by Connor Hardowa (Edmonton, Alberta) that sailed the length of the ice into an open net. New Hampshire held an 11-3 shot edge in the period for a 35-22 advantage overall.
UNH was 0-3 on the power play, while UVM was 0-4 in its extra-man opportunities.
Di Girolamo improves to 18-7-4 as he stopped 21 shots including 10 in the opening period. Vermont's Rob Madore moves to 7-17-5 stopping 29 shots.
UNH and UVM conclude the series on Saturday (7 p.m.). New Hampshire next home game is Friday, Feb. 25 against Northeastern (7 p.m.). Tickets to the Northeastern game are available online at www.UNHWildcats.com.