MINNEAPOLIS – Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) registered a pair of power play assists, but the 12th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team lost Saturday night's title game 3-2 to No. 5 University of Minnesota in the Ice Breaker tournament at Mariucci Arena.
UNH, which defeated Clarkson Friday to advance to the championship game, falls to 1-1-0. Minnesota, who also won on Friday over Mercyhurst, captures the title and improves to 2-0-0. New Hampshire is now 4-1-1 in the tournament in three trips.
All of the scoring in the game came in a wild second period. Knodel broke the scoreless deadlock just seconds into the second period as he scored on a snapshot from the left point at 25 seconds. van Riemsdyk and Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) assisted on the power play goal. His goal opened the flood gates for a back-and-forth period, which included five total goals. Hudson Fasching scored for the Golden Gophers as he poked in a Justin Holl shot that trickled past Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) to tie it at 1-1 at 4:05. New Hampshire regained the lead on a power play goal by Nick Sorkin at 11:30. van Riemsdyk fired a shot from the right point that was redirected by Sorkin at the goal's mouth. Dan Correale (Prince George, British Columbia) also assisted on the goal. Minnesota controlled play in the second half of the period scoring a pair of goals and holding the 'Cats without a shot. Sam Warning scored at 12:47 on an odd-angle shot that banked in off of DeSmith, who had just made a flurry of saves in front of the net. Holl and Fasching assisted on the goal. Vinni Lettieri scored his first collegiate goal at 17:50 of the period with helpers from Seth Ambroz and A.J. Michaelson to give the Gophers their first lead of the game at 3-2. Minnesota outshot the Wildcats 14-3 in the period, but UNH was 2-2 on the power play in the frame.
In the third period, the Wildcats fought back and had the better of play most of the stanza. The 'Cats killed off a pair of Gopher power plays and outshot the Minnesota 14-11 in the period. UNH had several chances at the equalizer, now better than a Speelman rebound bid with 7.3 seconds to got that was shoveled on net, but stopped by Adam Wilcox to close out the win for the Gophers. The Wildcats played the final 59 seconds with an extra attacker in place of DeSmith.
In an even-played first period, the Golden Gophers held a 9-6 shot advantage in the frame. Both teams were 0-1 on the power play.
Minnesota held a 34-23 shot advantage thanks to a 14-3 shot edge in the second period.
The Wildcats won the special teams battle going 2-5 on the power play and a perfect 6-of-6 on the penalty kill.
DeSmith made a few highlight reel saves and 31 stops overall, but falls to 0-1-0 on the season. Wilcox made 21 saves including 14 in the third period to improve to 2-0-0.
New Hampshire returns to action for its first home series Oct. 18-19 against Big Ten foe Michigan. Friday night's game is a 7:30 p.m. start, while Saturday night's game is a 7 p.m. start at the Whittemore Center. Both games will air on WBIN-TV and FOX College Sports Atlantic as well as the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. For more information on season ticket packages and individual tickets, call (603) 862-4000, extension 5, or click here. For more information on the UNH hockey program, visit www.unhwildcats.com or follow UNH athletics on Twitter (@UNHWildcats).