DURHAM, N.H. – Senior forward Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) potted a pair of goals leading the University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team to a 3-3 draw against St. Francis Xavier University on Saturday night in an exhibition matchup at the Whittemore Center.
The Wildcats drew first blood in the contest just four minutes into the action as Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.) set up the play from the left side of the ice crossing the puck to Thompson at the right circle blasting the puck into the top half of the net and off the back of X-Men goalkeeper Bryan Gillis and into the net. Brett Kostolansky (Denver, Colo.) was also credited with an assist on the play.
St. Francis Xavier wouldn't wait long to strike back, as Brett Morrison stole the puck at mid ice and took it deep into Wildcat territory taking a shot from the right circle and sneaking it in between Matt DiGirolamo (Ambler, Pa.) and the near post at 8:42 of the first period, evening the score at 1-1.
The X-Men picked up the pace and grabbed the lead early in the second frame when Bryce Swan directed a pass from the left side of the net behind the goal line to an in stride Kevin Undershute as he touched up the puck and potted it into the left side of the net at 11:50.
The 'Cats would bite back minutes later as Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) gained control of the puck at the UNH blue line and brought it into enemy territory sifting it over to John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) at the middle of the slot for a one-timer, putting it past Gillis at 15:45, drawing even with the X-Men 2-2.
New Hampshire wouldn't wait long to reclaim the lead, as the 'Cats were at it again nearly a minute later when Sislo sent a pass in between the circles just ahead of the blue line to Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) who fired a laser on a one-timer, which was redirected into the right side of the net by Thompson at 16:49.
The see-saw battle continued when Chris Hulit set up Jason Blast with a one-timer right in front of the crease at left circle beating DiGirolamo in the five-hole sinking the puck into the net at 5:34, evening the score at 3-3 at the end of three.
New Hampshire looked to take control in the overtime period, dominating offensively with an 8-0 advantage in shots in the frame. About a minute into period Sislo fired a shot from the left circle but was quickly turned away, however, Thompson snatched the rebound slapping the puck into the glove of Gillis from just in front of the crease.
Gillis stopped a game-high 41 saves in the contest, tallying 17 in the first period while DiGirolamo finished with 11 saves.
The Wildcats held a 44-14 advantage in shots for the contest, including an 18-6 edge in the first frame of action.
New Hampshire returns to action Friday, Oct. 8 when the 'Cats play the first of two weekend matchups against Miami (Ohio) at 7:30 p.m. UNH opens its home slate on Saturday, Oct. 16 (7 p.m.) against Michigan. Tickets to the Michigan game and all UNH home games are available online at UNHWildcats.com.