March 21, 2014

No. 18 Men’s Hockey Advances to Hockey East Finals with 3-1 win over No. 9 Providence

BOSTON, Mass. – The 18th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team skated to a 3-1 victory over No. 9 Providence College on Friday night at the TD Garden. The win propels the team to the Hockey East finals for the first time since time since 2007.

After a scoreless first period, Goumas put the Wildcats up by a score of 1-0 at the 7:05 mark of the second frame with an unassisted shorthanded goal. Goumas collected the loose puck in the neutral zone and blazed down the right side of the ice. He came in behind the net and backhanded the shot over the pad of PC goalie Jon Gillies to complete the wraparound attempt.

Agosta gave UNH a 2-0 advantage at 13:31 of the second period as he flung a wrist shot from just inside the blueline on goal. The puck took a deflection off two Providence skaters and found its way into the back of the net.  Maxim Gaudreault (Annapolis, Md.) flung the puck to Matt Willows (Congers, N.Y.) just inside the blueline. Willows sent the puck across the ice to an awaiting Agosta who in turn fond the back of the net.

With under one second remaining in the second period, Goumas recorded his second goal of the game and fifth in the past two games to give UNH a 3-0 lead. Willows started the rush for the Wildcats and passed the puck on to Goumas. Goumas found Sorkin parallel to him and passed the puck to him. Sorkin's initial shot missed the target, but he gathered his own rebound and passed it to Goumas right in front of the net. Goumas jammed the puck past Gillies and over the line.

After two periods of play, UNH held a 3-0 lead. Netminder Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) had made saves on each of the 14 shots he faced. UNH's penalty kill unit allowed just one shot on a power play, thwarting all other attacks.

After 3:22 of play in the third period, Providence put its first goal of the night on the board. Drew Brown corralled the puck behind the Wildcat net and dished a pass to Kevin Rooney. Rooney jammed the puck past the sprawled leg of DeSmith and into the goal.

DeSmith remained resilient in net for the Wildcats as he made saves on the additional 10 shots he saw in the period. As the time on the clock expired, the Wildcats earned a 3-1 victory to send them to the Hockey East finals.

DeSmith made a total of 25 saves on the 26 shots he faced to pick up his 20th win of the season. His overall record improves to 20-15-0. Gillies allowed three goals on 31 shots faced. His record fell to 18-8-5.

The 'Cats return to the ice Saturday night in a battle for the Hockey East Title against UMass Lowell, who completed a 4-0 shutout against Notre Dame in the early game on Friday. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.   

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