AMHERST, Mass. – Junior Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) recorded his second career hat trick as the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team defeated the University of Massachusetts by a score of 9-0 Saturday night at Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass.
A total of 14 Wildcats registered at least one point in the contest with Downing, Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) and Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.) each recording three. Goumas and Kelleher both notched a goal and a pair of assists.
The win completes a season sweep of the Minutemen after a 4-1 win Friday night at home. Sophomore Harry Quast (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and freshman Matias Cleland (Longmont, Colo.) both tallied their first career points in the effort with an assist.
The Wildcats took an early 1-0 lead as just 59 seconds had ticked off the clock in the first period when Kelleher scored his second goal of the season. The play started when Goumas saucered a pass to Brett Pesce (Tarrytown, N.Y.) who was open just inside of the blueline. Pesce ripped a shot that Wakaluk made the initial save on. Kelleher found the rebound and buried it in the back of the net over the right leg of Wakaluk.
Maxim Gaudreault (Annapolis, Md.) gave the Wildcats a 2-0 cushion at the 7:34 mark of the period with his first goal of the season. Correale set up Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) on the play who then skated into the UMass zone with the puck. van Riemsdyk saw Gaudreault blazing towards the goal on the left side and dished the puck to him in stride just outside of the crease. Gaudreault buried the shot on the blocker side of Wakaluk in the back of the net.
The Wildcats kept the offensive pressure coming, netting the third goal of the period with 1:49 remaining. Quast passed the puck out of the Wildcat zone to Kelleher. The freshman dished the puck to Downing who was skating in on the left side who in turn lit the lamp for the goal. As the horn sounded for the end of the first period, the Wildcats held a 3-0 lead.
Early on in the second period, van Riemsdyk registered his second point of the night and third goal of the season on a power play for the 4-0 lead. Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.) tallied the assist on the play as he sent a pass to his linemate. van Riemsdyk ripped a shot that found the back of the net through traffic. Just 37 seconds later, Goumas notched his second point of the night with his team-leading fourth goal of the season. Unassisted on the play, Goumas fired a shot at Hakaluk that was saved, but he found his own rebound and sent a slap shot into the back of the net.
Just under two minutes later at the 4:24 mark, Downing became the third Wildcat of the night to register his second point of the game with his second goal of the night and third of the season, making the score 6-0. Cleland started the play and earned his first career point on the play with an assist as he passed the puck up ice to Kelleher. Kelleher found Downing honing in on the net on the left side of reliever goaltender Mac Haight and sent a perfect pass in stride to Downing who scored on the play.
Nick Sorkin matched Goumas' team leading mark of four goals on the season with the seventh of the night for New Hampshire with 4:05 remaining in the second stanza. Goumas received the puck from Matt Willows in the offensive zone and passed it to Sorkin in the slot. Sorkin skated it with the puck and crammed it into the net for the goal. On the defensive end, goaltender Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) remained perfect as he had made seven saves in the period for a total of 14 on each of the shots he faced. The goaltender came up with a big glove save against UMass's Conor Sheary to help the Wildcats keep the Minutemen off the scoreboard. Through two periods of play, New Hampshire led, 7-0.
Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) give the Wildcats an 8-0 lead when he recorded his first goal of the season on a power play. Justin Agosta (East Meadow, N.Y.) dished the puck to Speelman in stride. Speelman ripped a shot that lit the lamp for the goal at the 1:40 mark of the third period. Downing completed his hat trick with 3:40 remaining in the third period on a shorthanded play. Speelman earned the assist on the play for his second goal of the night.
After three periods of play, the Wildcats earned a 9-0 win over the Minutemen. DeSmith made saves on all 23 shots faced in the effort, registering 53:22 of ice time. Sophomore goalie Jamie Regan (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) made his collegiate debut in goal as he completed the game in net. Walkachuk received the loss in net for the Minutemen as he allowed five goals on 10 shots faced. Haight played 37:34 of relief for UMass and made 19 saves on 23 shots faced.
The Wildcats went 2-for-4 on the power play while keeping the Minutemen scoreless with the advantage.
The Wildcats play host to Brown University on Tuesday, Nov. 12, in a 7 p.m. game at the Whittemore Center. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.