Block's First Career Two-Goal Game Lifts Men's Hockey Over Northeastern, 3-2
DURHAM, N.H. – Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) scored a career-high two goals to propel the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Friday night's 3-2 victory against Northeastern University in Hockey East action at the Whittemore Center.
UNH extended its winning streak to three games to improve to 12-14-2 overall and 9-11-1 in Hockey East, and also win the season series against the Huskies, 2-1-0. NU is now 11-13-3, 7-12-2.
UNH goaltender Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.Y.) made 11 of his 24 saves in the first period. NU goalie Chris Rawlings stopped 28 shots overall with 12 stops in the seconds period and 10 in the third.
Northeastern quickly took a 1-0 lead with a goal 30 seconds into the game. On a faceoff to DeSmith's left, Mike McLaughlin drew the puck towards the slot and Robbie Vrolyk wristed a shot into the upper-right corner of the net.
UNH pulled even, 1-1, at 4:26 on Moses' team-leading 20th goal of the season. Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) slid a pass from the slot to the right wing for Moses, who advanced deep towards the goal line. He fired a sharp-angle shot on net that trickled between Rawlings' legs and into the cage.
In the 12th minute, John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) led a rush down the right wing and fired a shot from the top of the circle that elevated past Rawlings and ricocheted off the far post. It was the second time of the night that a shot off Henrion's stick clanged off the left post, as nine minutes earlier his shot hit Rawlings and then the post.
With seven minutes remaining in the first period, an NU clearing attempt from deep in the defensive zone went into the skates of Matt Willows (Congers, N.Y.) in the low slot. Casey Thrush (Easton, Md.) gathered the puck at the top of the crease and snapped a shot wide left.
The Wildcats took a 2-1 lead at 16:43 of the opening stanza. Kevin McCarey (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) initiated the scoring sequence by gaining control in the left corner and moving the puck behind the net. Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) tapped the puck along to Block, who banked a shot from behind the goal line on the right side off Rawlings into the net.
With two minutes left in the first frame and the 'Cats on the power play, Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) fired a slap-pass from the right point that Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.), positioned between the hash marks, redirected wide left.
Henrion hit the left post for the third time at 7:45 of the second period with a shot from the left circle. Grayson Downing (Abbotsford, British Columbia) grabbed the puck off the rebound at the left post but was denied by Rawlings.
Block struck again at 14:39 to extend New Hampshire's lead to 3-1. Willows gained possession in the right corner and moved the puck back along the boards to Block, who in turn swung a pass to Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, British, Columbia) at the right point. Kipp skated towards the high slot, where he blasted a slap shot into traffic that initially hit Thrush and then Block redirected inside the right post.
In the opening minutes of the third period, McLaughlin stole the puck just outside the offensive zone and threaded an entry pass that sent Vrolyk alone down the slot. Vrolyk attempted to deke DeSmith, but the UNH goalie held his position and enveloped the wrister to preserve UNH's two-goal advantage.
In the 13th minute, Henrion broke free along the right dashers to create a shorthanded bid and his shot from the circle was kicked aside by Rawlings' right leg pad. Three minutes later, Henrion's blast from the top of the right circle sailed past the NU goalie but once again caromed off the left post. And then with three minutes on the clock, Goumas fired a shot from the right circle that Rawlings, with his stick on the ice at his feet, jumped off the ice to clear away with a kicking motion.
The Huskies pulled Rawlings in favor of an extra skater with 1:37 to play. The Wildcats cleared the puck the length of the ice 10 seconds later, but Drew Daniels reentered the offensive zone at the right point and sent the puck along the boards to Luke Eibler, who centered the puck to McLaughlin for the goal at 18:48 that trimmed the deficit to 3-2.
NU called time out and Rawlings again went to the bench for an extra skater with 64 seconds on the clock. UNH kept Northeastern at bay, however, and Connor Hardowa (Edmonton, Alberta) cleared the puck out of a scrum at the left doorstep in the waning seconds to secure the victory.
New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 11 (7 p.m.) at eighth-ranked Merrimack College; that game will be televised live on NESN. UNH concludes the home portion of the 2012 regular season Feb. 17-18 against the University of Vermont. Both games begin at 7 p.m. with Friday's game on WBIN-TV.