DeSmith Backbones No. 11 Men's Hockey's Scoreless Tie with No. 15 Northeastern
BOSTON – Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) stopped all 34 shots he faced to guide the 11th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Saturday night's 0-0 scoreless tie against 15th-ranked Northeastern University at Matthews Arena. The Huskies' senior netminder Bryan Mountain stopped a career-high 44 shots to record his first collegiate shutout.
UNH finishes October unbeaten at 4-0-1 overall and 2-0-1 in Hockey East. NU moves to 2-2-1 both overall and in the league. The scoreless tie was the first one in the 163-game rivalry dating back to Jan. 10, 1931. It is UNH's first scoreless tie since Jan. 5, 2001 against Maine. The Wildcats, which captured a 4-3 win on Friday night in Durham, earned three points on the weekend and have their best start since the 2007-08 season when they had an identical 4-0-1 mark.
DeSmith, the reigning Hockey East co-Defensive Player of the Week, made double-digit saves in the second (12) and third periods (10) and turned aside nine in the first and three in overtime to preserve the shutout. His first and only shutout prior came at Providence on Jan. 11, 2012. He becomes the first UNH netminder to blank the Huskies since Kevin Regan did so on Nov. 5, 2005.
Mountain made double-digit saves in all three regulation periods with 17 in the first, 15 in the second and 10 in the third as well as a pair of saves in the five minute overtime period.
New Hampshire dominated play in a scoreless first period, outshooting the Huskies 17-9 and getting the better of chances. UNH's best chance of the period came in the final minutes when UNH was killing off a penalty. Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.) deflected a pass that bounced out to an open Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) at center ice. He carried the puck in but could not slide his backhander under the pads of NU netminder Bryan Mountain.
Both teams have several great opportunities in scoreless second period. UNH held a 15-12 shot advantage in the frame. John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) had some of the best chances of the period and registered five shots on goal in the period.
In an even played third period both team fired 10 shots on next. One of UNH's best opportunities in the third was a Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) one-timer that was gloved by Mountain with 3:53 left. UNH was 0-1 on the power play in the period's only power play opportunity.
In the overtime, Northeastern held a 3-2 shot edge with both teams making game-winning bids. However, both netminders were up to the task for all 65 minutes.
UNH was 0-2 on the power play, while Northeastern went 0-1 on its extra man opportunity.
The Wildcats continue this three-game road stretch with games at Massachusetts (Nov. 2 - 7 p.m.) and Maine (Nov. 4 - 4 p.m.) next weekend. UNH's next home game is Nov. 10 (7 p.m.) against the University of Vermont. Tickets to the Vermont game and all men's hockey home games are available online at UNHWildcats.com.