ITHACA, N.Y. – Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.) and Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) each potted a pair of goals to help lift the 10th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team to Friday night's 7-4 win over 14th-ranked Cornell University in front of a sellout crowd of 4,267 at Lynah Arena.
UNH, which stretches its unbeaten streak to four games (2-0-2), improves to 2-1-2 overall, while Cornell opens its season 0-1-0. It was the Wildcats' first trip to Cornell since 1983 and helped the 'Cats take a 13-12-0 advantage in the all-time series.
New Hampshire wasted no time scoring just 23 seconds into the game. Sislo scored from the right slot with assists from Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) and Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.). Thompson controlled the puck behind the net and started a tic-tac-toe sequence that left Sislo alone for the goal. The Big Red answered with a goal at 5:38 of the first on an odd-angle backhand shot by Nick D'Agostino. The goal was assisted by Joe Espositio and Dan Nicholls. UNH went back ahead with a power play goal at 7:05 of the period. Dalton Speelman's (San Jose, Calif.) initial shot was stopped, but the rebound bounced out in front where Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) got away a behind-the-back backhander that found the left side of the net. Connor Hardowa (Edmonton, Alberta) also had a helper on the power play goal. The 'Cats have scored a power play goal in each of the first five games of the season. The Big Red held a 10-7 shot advantage, while UNH was 1-3 on the power play during the frame and went into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead.
Cornell tied it on a short-handed goal at 2:59 of the second period. Braden Birch blocked a long-range shot that setup a break for Esposito, who had another Big Red skater on the break with him. Esposito fired a one-timer that went in the top right corner of the net to tie it at 2-2. UNH atoned for the short-handed goal by scoring a shorty of its own at 5:31 of the period. Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) won a battle along the left boards and found an open Moses, who raced down ice and beat Mike Garman on a nifty deke move. New Hampshire made it 4-2 as Borisenok scored on the rebound of a Kevin McCarey (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) shot at 10:30. The 'Cats scored a pair in the frame and held a 12-10 shot advantage despite four Cornell power plays in the frame.
New Hampshire put the game away with a pair of goals just over a minute apart in the early minutes of the third period. The first came on a great individual effort by Sislo, who split two defenders for his second of the night at 3:50. Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) registered an assist on the goal The other by John Henrion, which came off of a Big Red turnover in its own zone. Henrion buried his one-time chance at 4:52 to make it 6-2. Borisenok tallied an assist on the goal that chased netminder Mike Garman from the game. Cornell trimmed the lead to 6-3 with a power play goal by Dustin Mowrey with assists from Sean Collins and Sean Whitney at 7:47. Cornell added another in a power play, extra-attacker 6-on-4 goal at 18:13. D'Agostino assisted on the goal. New Hampshire closed out scoring with an empty-net goal by Moses at 18:54.
Garman allowed six goals on 23 shots and falls to 0-1-0, while CU's Andy Iles stopped all seven shots he faced in 13:47 of third-period relief. UNH's Matt DiGirolamo (Ambler, Pa.) turned away 31 shots and improves to 2-1-2 on the season.
The Wildcats went 1-6 on the power play, while Cornell was 2-6 in its extra-skater opportunities. The Big Red held a 35-31 shot edge.
UNH returns to action Friday, Nov. 5 (7 p.m.) at No. 2 Boston College. New Hampshire's next home game is Friday, Nov. 12 against Massachusetts. Tickets for the Massachusetts' game and all UNH home games are available online at UNHWildcats.com.