Friday, January 30, 2009

Top Cat: UNH 3 vs UVM 2 FINAL

First Period

Here comes the game as called by Dan Parkhurst and Pete Webster!

Our Wildcats are sporting their silver jerseys tonight!

Let's Go 'Cats!

Go! Fight! Win!

Starting with the line of Collins-Leblanc-P.Thompson.

Early action, 17:36, a bit start-and-halt with the two teams feeling each other out only bringing low-percentage shots breaking up any potential chances early.

Vermont the first to establish some possession in the offensive zone but no chances.

More pressure from Vermont as Pete notes that the stands have yet to fill up tonight with people still trickling in.

Twelve faceoffs, with the winnings split, in the first seven minutes of the game. Vermont out-shooting 3-1.

10:20 to go in the first.

At 9:00 to play in the period the shots are now noted at 4-4.

Some pressure by the 'Cats coming in waves as the period begins to wind down.

Vermont looking for some revenge-minded scoring, putting Wolfeboro native, Jay Anctil, in the line-up for his first game this season.

Shots are 10-10 with one minute left and Vermont having shown considerable chinks in their defense.

End of the First

Hopefully the guys will find confidence in the scoreless first and the chances they had and come out playing a bit more composed when they are getting chances as it seems many opportune plays were squandered by rushing it or just gripping the stick a little too tight.

Five former Wildcat Captains being honored tonight! Out on the ice right now. Including Steve O'Brien, Dan Enders and Preston Callander.

Second Period

Paul Thompson! From Leblanc!

1-0 'Cats!


With van Riemsdyk and Sislo driving off of the ensuing faceoff!

Alan Thompson, Thomas Fortney and Steve Moses pressing before stepping off the ice!

UNH Powerplay coming as the Wildcat pressure on the Catamounts mounts with line after line buzzing @ 3:48.

That Paul Thompson goal came just :49 in.

With the first powerplay expired Alan Thompson forces a Catamount to wrap him up and draws a second powerplay opportunity for our Wildcats.

The line of Collins - Leblanc - P.Thompson has accounted for half of the team's shots to this point of the game.

Now DeSimone goes on a poor play as the second powerplay expires. Wildcats on the penaltykill.

6:43 to go in the middle period as it flies by. Even-strength.

Shots remain even on the stat sheet, 14 apiece.

DeSimone commits the ultimate hockey sin adding to his earlier misdeed giving it to Vermont's Downing in the slot for a Catamount goal.


Keep the confidence boys!

Wildcats will take a powerplay after Vermont's behemouth, 252 pound Dan Lawson, throws Paul Thompson to the ice to just about close the period.

End of the Second

With one period to play we're right back where we started. Leave it all on the ice guys.

Third Period

Early play is quiet and dull, it's like starting the game all over. Neither team wants to make a mistake.

Paul Thompson surging again with 16:20 to play - really establishing himself as the heartbeat of this team when they need one most.

The question that must be on everyone's mind is where is James van Riemsdyk?

Alan Thompson goal!?

It's 2-1 'Cats!

The announcement gives the goal to Butler who Dan and Pete think was actually on the bench at the time. We'll see.

Alan made the play that created the goal for sure.

Vermont gets a 2-on-1 with Stalhberg in front.


Alan Thompson does get the goal! Congratulations man!

11:39 to play as the lead lasts just one minute and seventeen seconds.

The glaring statistic as the game wears on is the big goose egg in the powerplay column for our Wildcats leaving them just 1-for-20 in the last five games.

Krates goes in the box a much booed call for hitting from behind.

Pollastrone heading down the runway to the locker room.

DeSimone-Butler-Dries buzzing with the man back.

Leblanc getting a chance with 6:41 to go!

van Riemsdyk gets the puck from Dries and is fouled with 2:51 to play - Wildcat Powerplay! If there was a time to get one, this is it. Umile calling the timeout to rally the troops.

Don't let it go to 1-for-21!



3-2 'CATS!

Time of the goal, 17:58.

Empty net for the Catamounts.

Icing with :38 seconds to play, faceoff to the left of Foster. And the crowd roars with Vermont taking their timeout!

Time slowly ticking off with Vermont controlling play with the extra man and the last grain of sand falls...

3-2 'CATS!



Can you feel it now!?

I'm so psyched for Alan Thompson! My vote for First Star of the game! But you also have to hand it to fellow New Hampshire native Paul Thompson who seemed to play great tonight! Blake Kessel!? Please. He's awesome! Getting it done!


Tonight's Line-Up (some changes!)

Jerry Pollastrone - James van Riemsdyk - Mike Sislo
Greg Collins - Peter Leblanc - Paul Thompson (Good to see Paul back!)
Danny Dries - Phil DeSimone - Bobby Butler
Alan Thompson - Thomas Fortney - Steve Moses

Kevin Kapstad - Damon Kipp
Jamie Fritsch - Matt Campanale
Nick Krates - Blake Kessel

Brian Foster in net.

I'm pumped for the game tonight all of sudden. Anyone else feeling that electricity in the air?

Let's hope the planets are finally aligning for our 2008-2009 Wildcats.

Vermont holds a healthy four point lead for the third place slot which means a win tonight could go a long way if we want to assure home ice in March - the regular season concludes just four weeks from tonight!

Live Online Stream

Tale of the Tape

Official Site

Sophomore Snipers - by Melissa Parrelli (USCHO Arena Reporter)

Go 'Cats!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday Thoroughfare

Bring on Friday already!

It's been an off week for your's truly. Late on the WHM post. Delaying the posting of new 2011 recruit, Kyle Smith. No WWAW. Blame the weather, writer's block and life's time demands. Well, time to rectify some of these things with a terrific (allow me the exaggeration) Thursday Thoroughfare to get us through until tomorrow!

Tuesday's Terminology: Recruits

Our Wildcats secured a commitment from Kyle Smith, a member of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League's Team Comcast Under-16 team, on January 22nd, 2009. Per the UNH Hockey Prospects and Recruits Blog, the 5'10", 176 pound '92 born Smith hails from Lumberton, NJ and has 63 points - 30 of them goals - in 24 games. The Scouting News hails Kyle as "vastly underrated". Look for Kyle to matriculate in the fall of 2011.

Welcome, Kyle! I hope to hear much more in the intervening years!

What would have been Wednesday's Wildcat Alumni Weekly.

The WWAW is seriously truncated do to the various All-Star breaks across the leagues but let's see what we have.

Jason Krog once again tops our list. Scoring three goals and two assists around the week centered on the AHL's All-Star weekend, Krog takes a fifth place tie in the league scoring race with 16 goals and 32 assists through 41 games. Though slated to appear on the AHL Canadian All-Star Team, Jason did not make an appearance due to back spasms and was nearly suspended by the league for missing the event. His Manitoba Moose will travel tonight to face the Rockford IceHogs featuring Mike Radja.

Darren Haydar and his Grand Rapids Griffins are close behind Krog and the Moose. Just one point back in the standings of the North Division and the Western Conference from first place Manitoba. Haydar ranks 28th in league scoring with 16 goals and 22 assists through 45 contests. Darren has three assists in the three games since our last installment but was held scoreless in his most recent game breaking his yet another scoring streak at four matches. It was his third four or more game scoring streak in a little over a month dating back to December 21st.

Further east, Trevor Smith moved up to 33rd in league scoring with two goals in his last three games. He currently has 22 goals and 14 assists in 41 games. His 22 goals? Good enough for 5th in the AHL. Smith is also tied for third with 11 powerplay goals and in a fifth place tie for game-winning-goals with five - the four leaders are all tied at seven game-winning-goals apiece.

And, that's all!

Hope it gets you through the day!

Go 'Cats!

Monday, January 26, 2009


More Questions Than Answers.

I'm certainly at a loss this Monday, January 26th, 2009.

The scoring streak was shut down; shut out if you will, nearly in back-to-back nights.

Nobody is scoring - most notably, UNH sophomore, James van Riemsdyk. The nation's leading scorer at the midpoint of the season has been held scoreless for four consecutive games which was only broken by a fluke goal that was credited to the team's leading goal-getter, Mike Sislo, leaving him with one assist in five games. It happens to everyone but it is not what people are expecting from a number two overall draft pick playing college hockey.

Brian Foster unable to steal games for the Wildcats despite otherwise sound play though he was certainly hung out to dry in Friday night's fiasco.

Looking at the pair of games, the only conclusion that one is left with is that this year's team cannot compete at the highest levels of college hockey. After being thoroughly outclassed Friday night they put together an impressive defensive display at home the following night only to allow goals on what were seemingly the only two defensive lapses of the night to a clearly superior BU team. That second breakdown preventing them from capitalizing on the lucky bounce that tied the game after having generated no real offensive threats either night.

Exactly where they stand will be further solidified with the outcome of Friday's tilt hosting Vermont.

Extending their season is going to require this team to take it to another level. Do they have it in them? I want to know what you think! Comment away!

That's all for this Wildcat Hockey Monday.

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

HIA2: UNH 1 vs. BU 2

First Period

Limited live-blogging tonight.

We're about three minutes in and BU is currently dictating play. But the 'Cats' defense is looking much more sound on home ice.

There's 6:54 to play in the first and the BU penalty parade continues. Third Wildcat powerplay.

It's 1-0 BU after one on a late BU powerplay goal. A Wildcat defensive breakdown allowed Kevin Shattenkirk to walk in like it was his job while another BU player came down the other side of the slot pulling the lone defender away in front while Shattenkirk slid it under Foster from within ten feet.

Second Period

13:00 to play in the second. Trading powerplays and neutral zone play in a heavily defensive game. Shots stand at 12-12. UNH 0-3 on the powerplay, BU 1-3.

7:56 left in the second as they continue this defensive slugfest. Shots tilting toward our 'Cats as they put on the pressure, 17-12.

Wildcats to close the second with the powerplay off of a Kevin Kapstad rush. They've just got to find another level. BU looks like they're playing hockey, UNH like they're passing time.

Third Period

One last chance to change their fortunes and prove they've got more in the tank.

15:07 to play - they don't want it. May as well pack it up.

The game drags on, 7:32 to play in this exercise in futility.

Sislo scores! Man is that one big, ugly fish! Actually, the puck kind of found its own way into the net - don't know if Sislo will get credit in the end. Looks like it went off of Strait's skate.

James van Riemsdyk! Off the defender's skate.


BU comes right back and scores.

1-2. Someone throw in the towel.

Don't look now, UNH powerplay with 5:59 to play.

Standing around on the powerplay and being thoroughly stoned by BU.

Sloppy passing, poor puck control - powerplay over. Officially, 0-for-6.


1:40 - I'm sure we'll see Foster out of the net soon.

Crowd is pumped.

BU 2-on-1 stopped 30 seconds to play.

Empty net.

3-1 with :15.3 to play.


Likely out for the night, Nation!

Catch you later!


Those playing up the Wildcat's streak without a shut-out, can now shut-up. As a sports fan you had to be cringing when the bragging started, practically begging for this shutout. And while you can't control how a team plays, it's not hard to hit a pinata when you let them at it with the blindfold removed.

Which is exactly what our Wildcats looked like out there last night. A pinata. Just hanging there, stock still, a threat to no one, with the Terriers like an overzealous five year old birthday partygoer.

Let's have none of that tonight. It's time to put a leash on this dog.

Live Online Stream

Video Highlights from Last Night
(Ask yourself, do I really want to watch this?)

Tale of the Tape

Official Site

Go 'Cats!

Friday, January 23, 2009

HIA: UNH 0 vs. BU 5 Final

First Period

Early pressure by BU and a lost looking UNH defense leads to a goal on the fourth BU shot, 38 seconds in.


Gryba goes for interference. UNH powerplay!

Not any ability to set up and a broken play, with the 5-on-5 restored, along the sideboards leads to a screened shot in front of Foster and a two-nothing BU lead.


15:06 in the first.

At 14:11 the shots read 5-0 BU and Bobby Butler goes to the box for hooking.

5-on-5, penalty killed.

4-on-4 after a scrum in front of Foster - BU is totally dominating play, shots are 8-3 in their favor, but Yip goes for hooking as UNH threatens, 4-on-3 powerplay.

BU netminder Millan looks very unsure but the BU defense is completely shutting the 'Cats out.

And it's no wonder. Our boys look like they've forgotten how to skate - just standing around on the powerplay.

Even strength 5-on-5 as Foster covers with 7:37 to go in a period which should haunt the 'Cats for some time to come as they're dominated by the Terriers.

3-0 off a BU rush and non-existent UNH defense.

4:44 to play in the first.

Obstruction holding call on Collins - 2:54 to play in the first.

The way they look in this game the begging that the Official Site has done for UNH to be shutout may just - oh what a move by James van Riemsdyk, ah, but he fails to score after once again turning around former USNTDP teammate, Kevin Shattenkirk.

UNH powerplay, or something like that, after Dries is tripped up making a move of his own.

End of the First

1:19 on the powerplay to start the second. Shots were 11-5 BU. If the Wildcats don't come out a different team this game is over.

In better news, our first The UNH Men's Hockey Blog CPR Gear T-shirt Giveaway winner, Megan B. of Durham writes
My CPR Gear t-shirt came in the mail today. Thanks! It's great and so comfortable! I look forward to keeping up with the blog as our 'Cats continue their season. Hopefully we'll see some great action against BU this weekend! Go 'Cats!!!! -Thanks again, Megan
Glad you like it, Megan! Sorry I can't provide for that 'great action against BU'.

Second Period

Same team - even-strength

We're 13:56 in with nothing happening though our guys are certainly trying - Butler draws the penalty moving to the front.

UNH powerplay.

All alone in front on the powerplay Collins is stoned by Millan and on the subsequent restart, hauled down in front this time for the :14 5-on-3.

Foster looks sharp on a one-timer snaring it with the glove on a broken play by BU off of what should have been an interference penalty - 1:30 to go on the powerplay.

11:23 in the second.

Another brilliant, five-hole save by Foster on another BU one-time coming from the slot and van Riemsdyk gets in behind the defense and has nothing the other way.

8:13 left in the second with a faceoff coming in the Wildcats' end.

5:00 with some loose up and down play, whistle seems to be put away as Moses is hit from behind face first a step from the boards.

Soft defense by Krates and Kessel allows BU to set up for their now patented one-timer from the top of the crease and the Wildcats continue to display their toothless maw.


UNH powerplay to close out the period with Butler pressing ineffectively.

BU comes one period closer to shutting up those talking up the 'Cats' non-shutout spree.

End of the Second.

Foster is under siege the shots stand at 25-14 bad guys.

I've got an AHLLive video of Jason Krog to take your mind off of this debacle.

Third Period

Yup, we get to suffer through one more. No comeback in sight.

Oh! Keving Kapstad absolutely drills BU's Joe Pereira above the Wildcat blueline.

But the trouble continues in the Wildcat end with another failed breakout and turnover.

15:23 to play.

A dangerous play by Pereira, slewfooting Dries at full speed coming through mid-ice, leads to a UNH powerplay at 14:03.

With Millan down and Dries in front on the net on the powerplay, Danny puts the puck on the top of the net with some help from the sticks in front.

Kessel breaks up a partial breakaway with an illegal stick play. BU scores on the powerplay.


8:57 in the shutout countdown.

DiGirolamo comes in far too late.

Greg Collins wrestles the far larger Colin Wilson to the ice after Wilson crosschecks him after the play! Go Greg!

Taking a while to sort this out - and here we go at 6:42, even strength.

van Riemsdyk makes both BU defensemen haul him down to preserve the shutout (it would be guaranteed if it was a UNH powerplay from here on out) - but only one of the BU d goes to the box.

4:34 to play, :40 on the powerplay

BU makes the Wildcats look like harmless kittens. Even-strength, 3:30 to play.

The resignation and futility on the part of the good guys is sad to watch.


T - :30 to shutout with BU pressing.



shut out.


I'm out Nation. Catch you tomorrow!



Home Ice Advantage? Hasn't meant a thing to these two teams in the past. BU remains the last Hockey East team with a winning record at the Whittemore Center. UNH is undefeated at BU's Agganis Arena. Home In Agganis?

But, our Wildcats have dominated recently by going unbeaten in the last five, winning the last four against the Terriers.

As any good futuristic movie will show, the good guys have the blue lasers.

It's UNH and BU on NESN's Friday Night College Hockey!

Live Online Stream

Tale of the Tape

Official Site

Go 'Cats!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

School of Hard Knocks

Joe Charlebois has been ruled academically ineligible for the remainder of the year.

The senior, Co-Captain best known for his defensive play, crushing hits and being awarded the 2007-2008 Old Time Hockey Best Defensive Defenseman award has likely played his last game in the Blue and White.

Commenter, UNHBulls (for those who don't know, the University of New Hampshire mascot was once the Bull - idea: throwback jersey?), linked to a very fitting article on the situation from Seacoast Online's, Mike Zhe. The piece concludes with this quote from Coach Umile.
"It’s a difficult life lesson.”
It most certainly is.

These Division I student-athletes take up some of the most demanding schedules of studies, practices, games and workouts, and, on top of it all many of them work part-time jobs to make ends meet.

But, in everyone's life there is a time, a point, where you don't make the grade - things don't work out for you. For Joe, this is that time. The consequences were steep and stinging, though fair.

It is my hope that this setback will only serve to make him stronger like only the bitter taste of disappointment can. And I personally hope that he will commit himself to completing his degree someday in the face of this adversity. Charlebois continues to practice with the team though ineligible to play, according to the article.

Joe finishes his season with as many points as he garnered last season, only in half as many games. Playing incredibly to make up for early season struggles on the ice, he recovered his plus-minus rating to a plus-one by assisting on the game-winner in Maine just three weeks ago. His totals as a Wildcat stand at 127 games, three goals, twenty-four assists, compiling a cumulative rating of +42 over three and a half seasons.

Named Co-Captain of this year's squad after three years of hard work that led to him being awarded Old Time Hockey's Hockey East Best Defensive Defenseman award last season, Charelbois was consistently atop the leaderboard for the team in plus-minus - a stat used to evaluate defensive play. He is the Chicago Blackhawks' sixth round, 188th overall, pick from the 2005 NHL Draft.

Joe, thank you for your commitment and hard work all these years. Wildcat Nation wishes you nothing but the best.

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday's Wildcat Alumni Weekly

Headlining the week's performances by UNH Men's Hockey alumni in the pros is Jason Krog. Following the scoring of the game online I watched as Krog's Moose piled up a 4-0 lead over Darren Haydar, Garrett Stafford and their Griffins. Krog figured in two of the first four, a goal and an assist, then was listed as assisting twice more late in the second period and early in the third. A four point outburst on a goal and three assists - not bad! But, they got it wrong. Krog SCORED twice more, late in the second and early in the third, to cap the hat-trick plus an assist which earned him some top billing on Unfortunately that would be all the scoring that he would do over the week's three games.

On some good advice from their coaches (maybe Jason had something to do with it) Haydar and Stafford were shutdown in that game, breaking Darren's five game scoring streak. But in the final two games of the past week he started a new streak, scoring a goal in each match. Stafford has been quiet the last week, adding just one assist.

Mike Radja picked up a goal last night but his IceHogs fell to their fellow porcine represented foes, Eric Boguniecki and his Iowa Chops. Bogs also had a goal since last Wednesday's WWAW.

Derek Bekar had a multi-point night with his Springfield Falcons with a goal and assist Saturday night.

Trevor Smith had two multiple-point games with two assists on Friday night and a goal and assist the next night giving him four points in his Sound Tigers' three game weekend and the four games since last week's update.

In less fortunate news, Kevin Regan and Matt Fornataro were sent to their respective ECHL teams due to personnel moves and to improve their games which is certainly not mincing words - nearly four hundred ECHL alumni have gone on to play in the NHL, many of them goaltenders.

Regan is now a teammate of Vermont alum, Joe Fallon, with the Gwinnett Gladiators.

Fornataro represented the Phoenix Roadrunners and the National Conference in the 12th Annual ECHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Guardian Wear™. Matt was fifth in the CCM U+ Fastest Skater competition.

Colin Hemingway also participated in the event, taking part in the MeiGray Group Accuracy Shooting Competition. The Alaska Ace is obviously better at scoring than shooting, as the league's sixth leading scorer, hit just one target.

Currently the lone active alum in the NHL, Ty Conklin, had an up and down pair of games. First shutting out the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday then suffering six goals last night at the hands of fellow Wildcat alum, Dan Winnik's Phoenix Coyotes. Dan was a scratch for the game.

That's all for this week! Until next...

Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


What happened to Monday!?

Well, everything is good in the land of Wildcat Nation but there was just no way for me to compile a post yesterday so I've saved it for today.

Here's your Wildcat Hockey Tuesday.

If you've been following the post-game commentary you'll see that there seems to be an agreement that Saturday's Battle for the RiverStone Cup was showing all the signs of a Wildcat team ready for the stretch run. Six scorers. Six multiple point getters. Bobby Butler and Kevin Kapstad putting together impressive scoring streaks of eight games, twelve points and nine games, eleven points respectively. You can't really get any better than the Hockey East Online's, Hockey East Weekly Top Performers and their Career Firsts/Milestones/Who's Hot as you scroll down their weekly release.

While we were settling our intrastate dispute concerning hockey superiority in the Granite State, the rest of Hockey East was at work on league pecking order. Vermont edged ahead by a point, bumping our Wildcats to fourth, by splitting the weekend with first place Northeastern. This could make the final weekend series for our 'Cats, both of our 'Cats, critical, if we should perform similarly over the stretch. BU also moved ahead but in doing so took a game in hand. Hopefully the home-and-away series with the Terriers this weekend will see some more changes at the top of the standings.

And how about The UNH Men's Hockey Blog CPR Gear T-Shirt Giveaway!? Let's have a hand for CPR Gear! I expect we'll be hearing from the loyal and outspoken winners soon and I can only say that I hope this is just the beginning of many giveaways brought to you by The UNH Men's Hockey Blog in partnership with great companies like CPR Gear.

To finish up, some weighty news. Joe Charlebois' status is expected to be reevaluated today. I'll post here should any information be released today. Wishing you a favorable outcome, Joe.

That's all for now!

Go 'Cats!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Final CPR Gear T-Shirt Giveaway

With Megan's t-shirt in the mail it is time to award the second and final t-shirt of the The UNH Men's Hockey Blog CPR-Gear T-Shirt Giveaway to... The Other UNH Men's Hockey Blogger Guy.

OG stepped up and became a blogger himself even filling in for me at times. And while we haven't heard from him in a little while, I'm sure that he will be there in the future when I need him - well, unless, of course, his computer is broken down as it is now.

To thank him for his participation and obvious contribution to the blog he'll be receiving a CPR Gear Touchdown t-shirt. He wanted their Faceoff t-shirt for obvious reason but you work with what you've got!

So, I want to thank CPR Gear for the opportunity to host this giveaway and for the fantastic t-shirts that they provided. I'm sure that Megan and OG will be quite pleased with their t-shirts and hopefully they'll let us know what they think. That is what it is all about. Here at The UNH Men's Hockey Blog it is all about Wildcat Nation coming together because of our shared admiration and respect of the UNH Men's Hockey Program. I want to thank all of those out there who have stepped up to comment or email me - you're the ones who really keep this blog going. As The UNH Men's Hockey Blog proceeds through its third year of operation I hope that we'll see even more reader participation and more giveaways like this one!

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

GSS: UNH 6 - Dartmouth 4 Final

Granite State Showdown:

First Period

Game-on with the Wildcats donning the alternate silver jerseys.

The referees provided by the ECAC tonight.

A couple faceoffs in the Dartmouth end with the most recent chance off of a Fritsch shot that sat loose for a moment.

18:48 in the first.

Lot's of pressure from the 'Cats who are dominating early.

Shots listed at 4-0...

LeBlanc scores off of a Collins feed!

1-0 'Cats!

An assist to Butler on the goal at 15:10 of the first period.

Our Wildcats seem hungry for more.

Dartmouth powerplay on a Collins hooking call on a near breakaway at 11:40 of the first.

Penalty killed. Under 9:00 to play in the first with Moses drawing the call on a move around the defense at 11:54 of the period.

The UNH powerplay nearly allowed a shorthanded goal, on a shot that rang off of the crossbar but... they're awarding Dartmouth the goal despite seeming video evidence that the goal did not go in.

No review.

Spotting Dartmouth a goal.


But Bobby Butler is having nothing to do with that - snipes the top corner.

2-1 'Cats!

Just 2:54 to play with the second Wildcat goal coming at 15:39.

JVR tries to score by putting himself in the net but no luck.

Jerry Pollastrone showing why he's the upperclassman shows the silly sophomore that you put the puck in the net

3-1 'Cats!

From Butler who was mad that they took away his assist on the first goal and Kevin "Point-Machine" Kapstad at 18:13

One minute to play in the first.

End of the First

That third goal came in 4-on-4 play (I must of nodded off) with Danny "Lady Byng" Dries, as some people like to call him, goading one of Dartmouth Coach Gaudet's sons, Joe, into coincidental roughings. The pair of minutes brings Dries penalty minutes on the year to 61.

Kevin Kapstad now has a nine game point streak during which he currently has a goal and nine assists.

Second Period

And on an early broken play, tipped in front

3-2 'Cats!

15:29 - UNH Powerplay with van Riemsdyk saucering a pass to Pollastrone for a shot and save by the Big Green's goaltender. Pollastrone was slashed, albeit gently, on the play.

Wildcats 0-for-2 on the powerplay with hardly a chance.

This game rolls towards its midpoint with at the 10:26 point of the second.

Shots are heavily slanted in the Wildcats favor, 23-14, just past halfway.

Sounds as if the guys are squandering the second again but Dan and Pete on the call point out the ice conditions and subsequent bouncing puck.

DeSimone goes for roughing at 11:55


Broken play for the 'Cats as Moses' shot is blocked then goes to Dries who had the empty net in front of him, snapping his dry spell

4-2 'Cats!

A cross-checking call on Goggin results in a UNH powerplay.

Kessel on the powerplay from van Riemsdyk and Sislo who were just buzzing!

5-2 'Cats!

Shots are 28-15 Wildcats.

James van Riemsdyk makes a great push on the defenseman and gets it to Pollastrone who is stoned then van Riemsdyk goes into the net once more - called for tripping, an under-cutting of the defenseman, while HE, van Riemsdyk, had possession of the puck.

Dartmouth pp goal.

5-3 'Cats!

End of the Second

Five goals tonight from five different sticks, shots are 32-16 after two.

Bizarrely starting the third period 4-on-4 for both teams violating protocol coming onto the ice for the third...

Here's your Third Period

We're back to 5-on-5.

18:00 to play.

Nothing doing, back and forth. With Dartmouth looking to tip in front again in order to beat Foster.

A chance for the 'Cats but James can't find the loose puck.

13:00 to play.

More chances for the Big Green as they press, stopped by Foster.

11:10 to go, Dartmouth not giving up but the shots stand at 35-20 in favor of UNH.

Lady Byng going for a hit from behind - 9:33 to go.

PP goal

5-4 'Cats!

Just unable to shut down on the penaltykill.

7:47 to play.

Good chance for the second line, 4:23 to play.

DeSimone! After a long time scoring absence!

6-4 'Cats!

With 4:02 to go.

Dartmouth giving it all they've got with just over two minutes to play.

UNH Time-out.

The time is coming up for the Alan Thompson empty-netter.

Empty net Dartmouth.

Under a minute - Butler misses the 4x6 from center ice.


SIX different Wildcat goal scorers. And Collins, Pollastrone, Butler, Dries, DeSimone and freshman Steve Moses record multiple point games. Notably, James van Riemsdyk is held scoreless in his third straight game since returning from the World Junior Championships.



The Eighth Annual Battle for the RiverStone Cup.

UNH vs. Dartmouth

Sounds like a good crowd!

Starting Lineup

Pollastrone - van Riemsdyk - Sislo
Collins - LeBlanc - Butler
Dries - DeSimone - Moses
Thompson - Borisenok - Fortney

Kapstad - Kessel
Fritsch - Campanale
Krates - Kipp


With WMUR having backed out of televising the annual event it looks like this one will be a total blackout. I'll be listening and live-blogging from the audio and live stats.

Live Audio Stream

Official Site

Tale of the Tape

Go 'Cats!

Friday, January 16, 2009

They're Here

The CPR Gear box with my own 'The UNH Men's Hockey Blogger Guy' t-shirt - a great birthday gift from my family, not one of the four CPR Gear t-shirt designs which you can see at their title-linked website.

The CPR Gear t-shirts have arrived for The UNH Men's Hockey Blog CPR Gear T-Shirt Giveaway and the first one goes out tomorrow to Megan B. of Portsmouth.

Megan, a junior at our alma mater, has emailed me numerous times on a variety of topics with some lively discussion about our 'Cats and even the Hobey Baker.

To thank Megan for her loyal readership and especially her contributions to this blog, I'm sending her a CPR Gear t-shirt courtesy of CPR Gear of Boston.

Thank you, Megan!


Go 'Cats!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Look Into The Future

It's been a while since I've taken a close look at the season our current Future 'Cats are having so let's have a look!

Topping the list of University of New Hampshire Men's Hockey recruits is Ryan Bourque. Playing for the US National Development Team Program Under-18's Bourque has eight goals and twelve assists in twenty-eight games. Among his eight goals, two have come on the powerplay, one on the shorthand and two of which were game-winners.

Ryan was recently ranked as the sixty-first North American prospect for this year's NHL Entry Draft by Central Scouting shortly after his eighteenth birthday. Hey, Happy Birthday, Ryan!

Fellow recruit and teammate on the USNDTP U-18's John Henrion was also ranked by NHL Central Scouting for the 2009 Entry Draft, coming in at one hundred and fifty-one. Henrion has netted six goals and helped on five in thirty games for the Red, White and Blue where the majority of his goals are even-strength with just one powerplay marker.

John's birthday is couple days away - Happy Birthday, John!

The third and final Future 'Cat to attract the attention of Central Scouting for the Midterm Ranking is South Kent School's, Jeff Silengo. While not ranked Silengo was one of just three North American skaters selected for 'limited viewing' as a potential pick in this year's draft. I don't currently have access to Jeff's stats as it seems the NEPSAC schedule is just getting underway and he is not expected to matriculate until 2010.

As for Bourque and Henrion's classmates, the class of 2013, we have (in no particular order) Greg Burke, Connor Hardowa, Matt White, Brett Kostolansky and Cam Reid.

Bourque and Henrion will likely join Burke, a Washington Capitals draftee, forming a trio of drafted classmen for the first time in some years. Burke himself continues to be sidelined this season by a shoulder injury which is especially unfortunate after his great pre-season with the USHL's Cedar Rapid RoughRiders. Since then he has played in just eight games scoring two goals. Get well soon, Greg.

Matt White, a former teammate of Bourque's while at Cushing Academy, has stayed healthy this season playing in all thirty-two games for the Omaha Lancers, scoring nine goals and seventeen assists.

Connor Hardowa is a Spruce Grove Saints' defenseman in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He has fourteen goals and thirty-seven assists in forty-six games.

Brett Kostolansky, the other half of this class' defensive pairing, makes up the final piece of the recruiting puzzle to come from the USHL. Kostalansky was explosive offensively from mid-October through mid-November for the the Chicago Steel, racking up the majority of his thirteen points and his lone goal during that span. But regardless of his reduced offensive production he has played solidly and owns a plus-eight rating.

In another case of "it's been a while", Cam Reid makes for a two man contingent coming from north of the border and quite a way west. Currently a Westside Warrior with three assists in three games, Reid began the season, his second, with the Victoria Grizzlies and has a total of six goals and twenty assists in forty-four games in the BCHL.

An impressive group. I give you the Class of 2013!

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday's Wildcat Alumni Weekly

The National Hockey League.

Ty Conklin. The Detroit Red Wings' platooning, backup goaltender has played in twenty-one of the team's forty-three games and commands what seem to be ever improving stats as he leads the Motor City goaltending duo with a .919 save-percentage (12th in the NHL), a 2.32 goals-against-average (10th in the NHL) and four shutouts (4th in the NHL).

In his last outing, Conks as he is known to his teammates, set up shop opposite fellow collegiate alum, Ryan Miller (Michigan State), and his Buffalo Sabres. While Miller would see more than twice as many shots and turn aside all but three, Ty squelched all but one of the twenty-two shots he faced for the win.

And, after yesterday's feature on Trevor Smith with updates on Daniel Winnik (who was held scoreless in his Phoenix Coyotes 6-3 loss last night) and Kevin Regan, this concludes the recap of Wildcat Alums in the NHL this Wednesday.

The American Hockey League.

Jason Krog continues to climb the scoring ladder, adding an assist last night though his Manitoba Moose were defeated 2-1. He now ranks fourteenth in AHL scoring with ten goals and twenty-nine assists.

Trevor Smith returned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and in his first game back netted a powerplay goal and the first star in a 2-1 victory on Saturday night.

On Sunday, Jacob Micflikier posted a two-assist effort as his Rochester Americans fended off a surging Hamilton Bulldogs for a 6-5 win.

Garrett Stafford, the clockwork AHL defenseman who has potted eleven goals and thirty assists, plus or minus three (28, 30, 33), in each of his last three seasons, with three different teams (and when you take into account his rookie season where he scored twelve and assisted on thirty-four it starts to get truly ridiculous!), is returning to form netting a goal and two assists in his last three contests for the Grand Rapids Griffins. Did I mention that he is on perfect pace to achieve those numbers again this year with five goals and fifteen assists through thirty-two games?

Griffins Captain and fellow Wildcat Alum, Darren Haydar, has strung together a five point, four game scoring streak with an assist in each of his last four and an additional goal in the first game of the streak - his second such streak in the last ten games. Not really a big surprise from the AHL's all-time scoring streak record holder, which stands at thirty-nine games and an even more impressive, twenty-four goals and fifty-five assists from October 7th, 2006 to January 6th, 2007. Haydar's stick from that feat now rests in the Hockey Hall of Fame. If you're interested in a full rundown of Darren's accomplishments be sure to read this fantastic article. Somebody give this guy a real shot at the NHL already! How is eight points in sixteen games and a +4 rating from a fourth line slot on last season's Atlanta Thrashers not worthy of an NHL job? Hey, Brian Burke! Milton kid + Toronto = storybook ending to a fantastic hockey career!

I'm out of time for this week's Wildcat Alumni Weekly. Up tomorrow, A Look Into the Future, as we peak into the back of the den at the Future 'Cats with three who are currently under surveillance by the Central Scouting Service. Until then...

Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Trevor Smith Nets First NHL Goal

I linked to the I on the Future: Trevor Smith video before but this is a more friendly, YouTube version especially for those who haven't seen the video yet.

Hopefully, and I can't imagine that they weren't, Trevor's family was able to make the trip from North Vancouver to Calgary.

I'll go ahead and say I told you so after posting that Trevor was on the shortlist for the call-up - not bad, bagging your first NHL goal in your fifth NHL game. And though he was sent back to Bridgeport, if he keeps working hard and succeeding there it won't be long until he is back in New York.

If you haven't seen his goal you can attempt to view it on the recap page (small in page video) which is title-linked from this article or you can try this direct video link to the NHL Network Online (large, separate window).

There is also the Islanders site with a more extensive write-up and quotes from Smith.

Keep working hard, Trevor.

Finally, not to steal any of his thunder but Daniel Winnik was recalled by the Phoenix Coyotes and Kevin Regan was given a motivational call-up to the Boston Bruins before being returned to starting duties with Providence late yesterday.

That makes four Wildcat Alums who have played in the NHL this season and five having gotten the call-up.

Go 'Cats!

Monday, January 12, 2009


The disappointment of stalemate aside it was a good weekend for our Wildcats numerically but it opens broader questions about the 2008-2009 squad.

Currently second in Hockey East doesn't sound so bad - sounds pretty good actually. But the University of New Hampshire Men's Hockey Team has played more games than any other team in the league including first place Northeastern who is ahead by four points with a game in hand. Third place Vermont, one point back, has two games in hand. Currently sitting in the final home ice Hockey East Championship slot is BU who is two points behind the Wildcats and has two games in hand. Then, if we slide all the way down to seventh we see our foes from this past weekend with three games in hand which combined with their current total could put them one point behind us by the time the number of matches are equal.

On top of it all, take a look at the Pairwise Rankings. Fourth place BU - first in Division I. Third place Vermont - third in D-I. Granted that these are both teams that could surpass our 'Cats with just two points in the case of Vermont and three for BU, but UNH is ranked thirteenth in the pairwise which almost perfectly mirrors the NCAA Tournament selection. First place Northeastern is fourth in the pairwise with no Hockey East team currently within striking distance. BC, fifth in Hockey East with just one game in hand on our guys, is just ahead of us in the pairwise, tied for eleventh. Maine is just behind in a fourteenth place tie and if you don't think the RiverStone Cup game is important in the long run this season - Dartmouth is sixteenth. As it is, given the autobids, thirteenth could very well be left out to thaw this spring when the Tournament teams are called.

And if you think tying is alright, think again. While not a significant impact - the losses to St. Lawrence, Minnesota, Lowell and Merrimack were much worse - both ties to UMass were actually damaging to our RPI (rating-percentage index) which is one of the key components of the pairwise.

This being hockey, and college hockey in particular this is all likely to sort out in some unpredictable ways so we'll leave this analysis there and move on to the play over the weekend.

Can you say enough about the team goal-scoring leader, Mike Sislo? Mike has looked fantastic since the exhibition game, so much so that he looks like an entirely different player on the ice compared to his freshman season. With fourteen regular season games to go he could be the first Wildcat to break twenty goals since Trevor Smith did it in 2006-2007 (be looking for a post on Trevor tomorrow!) Then you have the recent explosion by the upperclassmen which I'm very excited about. Peter LeBlanc, Bobby Butler, and Jerry Pollastrone are finally finding their stride but their output almost pales in comparison to fellow upperclassman, Kevin Kapstad, who has ten points over an eight game scoring streak. That's good enough to rank him fifth in team scoring. In the meantime it seems as if the team just cannot get on the same page for one reason or another. During this same span many of the underclassmen have dropped off considerably. Danny Dries is in the midst of another, well, dry spell. Phil DeSimone seems to have gone cold, unable to connect with his most recent linemates, Dries and Steve Moses, which, on paper, should be a superb combination. Then, fellow underclassman, James van Riemsdyk, has gone scoreless in back-to-back games for the first time since mid-February of '08 for just the third time of his career in the Blue and White.

It seems a little disconcerting and perhaps even ominous, but I don't think it's a problem. I'm expecting to see the team finally come together and put the pieces together down the stretch. I think they've faced their demons, for the most part, and have saved their best for last - at least we can hope so. Regardless, Dartmouth provides a great test going into the all league-game conclusion of the regular season of which there are just thirteen over the next eight weekends.

Let's see what you've got, guys.

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Just Beat UMass: UNH 3 - UMass 2 Final OT

Starting line

Collins-LeBlanc-Butler and Kapstad-Kessel on the blueline, Brian Foster will seal up the 4'x6' opening.

First Period

UMass's overall penaltykill is 89.4%(2nd in HE) and 93.8% in HE(1st), Pete.

Early scorekeeping trouble affects the beginning of the game but nothing happening thus far.

Some chances for the 'Cats but I'm sure UMass is collapsing on the net and the shots aren't finding there way through.

14:30 to go in the first.

Much more offensive pressure early for the 'Cats tonight.

Somehow these two teams just seem to pile up shots which currently stand at 7-4 UNH under nine minutes into the game.

Ugh. What sluggish play.

Some UNH chances but does not seem to be really threatening with the UMass defense and goaltender Meyers giving them nothing despite some offensive control.

The first powerplay goes to UMass and is killed by the 'Cats.

It sounds like the three top UNH lines are coming on strong but not getting anything but ahh's from the crowd as they out-shooting UMass 15-13 in the first period.

End of the First

Hope everyone has voted for their favorite Wildcats' Men's Hockey Players (link below) and be sure to check out TUMHB's sortable stat table (can't miss them as you scroll down the page). The only thing I know to be inaccurate is the points-per-game stat which I'll recalculate either tonight or tomorrow.

Second Period

17:37 in the second with some up-tempo play but each team neutralizing the other.

They may as well skip the game and go straight to the shootout.

Kapstad going for a crosscheck as UMass is running Foster again with the refs refusing to protect him the team is forced to.

Second UMass powerplay. None for our 'Cats.

Minuteman powerplay goal with 14:52 to play in the second.


Shots 17-16 UNH. UMass has totally gone into their shell.

11:00 to play in the second - a little less with UMass taking their first penalty of the game.

UNH Powerplay.

Foster makes a game-saving stop on a bad giveaway by DeSimone.

Powerplay expires with nary a chance.

8:33 to go in the second.

The winter break crowd has a lump in their throat at this point - seems to me they think this one won't end well.

Alan Thompson still working, working, working for that first goal. Let it come.

Just a complete failure to execute on the part of our 'Cats as they squander a 2-on-1 rush.

4:25 to go in the second.

Shots 23-22 Wildcats - regardless of the shots they seem to need a radical change.

Not that kind of change. Kapstad goes off for tripping with 2:51 to go in the second.

1:33 to go in the second with a UMass icing during the powerplay.

A chance on a break with Kessel to van Riemsdyk failing to beat Meyers. And now Dries and Marcou will sit the rest of the second and the beginning of the third.

4-on-4 hockey.

UMass coming close to making it two. Foster reins them in.

End of the Second

Shots 26-24 UNH.

The biggest problem that I see tonight is that Greg Collins and Peter LeBlanc have failed to record a shot tonight.

And I think I'm coming around to the notion that this team lacks that competitive edge to their game.

Third Period

Kessel tripped up draws the penalty to enhance the 4-on-4 play.

UNH Powerplay.

Who else but Sislo!


The fish is on the ice in the third period - wonder how many times the fish has sat their that long? I can remember it sitting there through most of the second once... but the third period?

Announced as a blistering slapshot by Dan Parkhurst.

Anyone know if James van Riemsdyk is back from the World Juniors yet?

He is? Two games without a point then. I guess it can happen to anyone.

2-1 UMass.

Just over fourteen minutes to play.

4-on-4 with 13:06 to play... wait... another 2:00 coming against UMass, it will be a UNH powerplay with the rookie scoreboard operator goofing it up some more - I jest of course but something's going on down there.

Oh, they broke it now... the clock is just ticking away.

Nothing doing on the Wildcat powerplay with the guys just seeming very jittery and unsure.

The way Dan is calling this game now it sounds like a eulogy and the crowd sounds like they're at a wake.

Suddenly... oh my goodness... Jamie Fritsch steps up and collects the feed from Thomas Fortney... what parallel universe did I just fall into!?

*I got this wrong at the time - it was Fortney FROM Fritsch but I say that's not how they called it at the time.


From the cheering it sounds like many of the fans have already left

8:27 to play.

The guys do know that if they tie UMass again tonight they are officially sisters, right?

UNH powerplay drawn by a Sislo rush with van Riemsdyk pressing.

5:30 to play.

UNH out-shooting 37-31.

3:35 to go powerplay expired.

2:12 now. Shots 41-33.

Play generally being dominated by UMass late.

1 minute.

Collins breaks it up and dishes to Butler for a good chance stopped by Meyers and after a UMass rush Collins and Butler turn it again and draws the penalty on Marcou's trip.

UNH timeout with :24 to play and will likely go into overtime with the man advantage.

End of the Third

You've got to feel for these goalies. Shots 42-37 UNH. Neither of these two teams have generated fewer than 31 shots in their entire season series versus each other.


100% of the shots that miss the net don't go in... DeSimone with the chance, misses.

Ah, I guess Bobby Butler doesn't want to be sisters with any Minutemen - scores off of a broken play from Kapstad for the game-winner.

3-2 'Cats!

Butler: "I just wanted to get it on the net."

Ha ha ha.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

'Night, Nation!



Tonight's Lineup

Pollastrone-van Riemsdyk-Sislo


Brian Foster


Forget git-r-done, just beat UMass!


Live Online Stream

Last Night: In Case You Forgot

College Hockey News' Tale of the Tape

Official Site of UNH Men's Hockey

Vote for your favorite Wildcats!

Go 'Cats! Just beat UMass!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Git-R-Done: UNH 2 - UMass 2 Final

Game On

Also playing in Hockey East tonight are Merrimack vs. Northeastern and Boston College at Vermont for NESN's first Friday Night College Hockey game the latter doesn't start until 7:30.

After some initial pressure by UMass the cats create their first sustained pressure of the game with Moses' and Beck's names being mentioned often.

16:36 to play in the first.

LeCompte takes a penalty giving the Wildcats the first powerplay of the game.

Beck is going to take a scrub call to cover for the initial call on LeCompte with the call on Beck coming for a clean check.

4-on-4 hockey.

Foster is absolutely robbing UMass as they buzz around the open ice.

UMass out-shooting our 'Cats 4-2 at least.

11:25 to play in the first with a face-off coming in the UMass zone.

Kapstad takes a retaliatory penalty on another questionable call with another scrub call to cover for it against Marcou. Ugh.

Foster covering for mistakes with a couple great stops as the 'Cats continue to hand over the puck to UMass.

Quick powerplay. One brief chance and now back to even-strength.

Technically 0-for-2 on the powerplay with 47 seconds of total powerplay time.

Seems like our 'Cats are having trouble picking up on some juicy rebounds and now Meyers conveniently loses his helmet bringing a stop to play.

Some good pressure by Collins-Borisenok-Fortney but no pay-dirt.

4:38 to go in the first.

Shots are recorded as even at nine apiece but scoring chances are clearly tilted in favor of UMass.

DeSimone takes a penalty for some phantom roughing infraction, 'Cats on the penalty kill with 3:11 to go in the first.

Be sure to go vote for you favorite Wildcats (link below) during the intermission.

UMass goes 0-for-3 on the powerplay (and I use that term loosely)

:38 left in the first.

Before the end, yet another 'penalty' call on UMass with the UNH Powerplay probably looking to come back after the break but meanwhile UMass is all over our 'Cats and tempers are flaring now - we'll see what comes out of this when they return to action in the second.

End of First

Second Period

17:30 to play in the second with penalties coming as our Wildcats defend our goaltender after numerous instances of the Minutemen bowling into him.

More good chances for UMass off of interceptions (off of poor play)

UNH on the penaltykill.

Everything zeros around Hockey East.

Even-strength and some up and down play with UMass still getting the better of the chances.

So much for this game not looking like the first of the...

Butler from Kapstad off of a radical pass! Almost a hail-mary to Butler

1-0 'Cats!

Kapstad who they were discussing his impressive point totals before the game. Nice call.

Time of the goal 11:16.

van Riemsdyk now down deep in the offensive zone creating chances with shots from Fritsch and Sislo.

We're halfway there.

And suddenly ones sprout up everywhere. BC and Northeastern both take 1-0 leads.

Bad play by Dries and Krates at the offensive line leads to a UMass odd-man rush


8:50 to play in the middle stanza.

Back on the penaltykill after Collins loses his stick and is whistled for an infraction.

6:39 to play in the second with one minute to kill on the penalty.

UMass picks up an interference call and now UNH will go on the powerplay.

And another exercise in futility. Dan is presenting an exciting call but it sounds like UMass is the better team right now and is certainly playing better hockey.

Fortney takes a high-sticking call and UMass goes back on the powerplay for what should just about close out the second period, 3:11 left.

Or not. Or more on the 'Cats. Delay of game on Dries - no idea why. 30 seconds of 5-on-3.

Sislo just out of the box (actually he came off the bench for the change with Fortney) walks in and scores his SECOND SHORTHANDED GOAL IN AS MANY GAMES with some great hustle!

2-1 'Cats!

Unbelievable. No question who takes Most Improved this season.

End of Second

Pete Webster must daylight as a fortune-teller as he was discussing the penalty-box placement next to the visitor bench in the Mullins Center which essentially led to the shorthanded goal.

Use the link below to vote for your favorite Wildcat players.

Foster has 22 saves after two.

Brian Foster gets an assist on the shorthanded goal!

I'm sure this will give way to some good-natured ribbing in the locker room as Brian gets his first point of the season before Jamie Fritsch and Damon Kipp! As well as a handfull of players who have only played a few games - wonder if they'll make him skate the gauntlet for that? Ha ha!

Pete and Dan are still talking and chuckling over Kapstad's play as befitting Tom Brady to Randy Moss.

Start of Third

Here we go. Down in the UMass end.

UMass fighting for it and rushing well still but stopped by the Wildcat defense and Foster.

Umass still controlling the play and negating Wildcat chances.

15:10 to play.

Little tighter play by the 'Cats and it translates into a chance for Moses from DeSimone.

To 4-on-4 play on hitting after the whistle calls.

Sislo makes a nice deke, dragging the toe, for a shot and save by Meyers.

9:53 to play and it is back to full-strength.

Shots are 28-25 UMass.

A chance for Thompson and the fourth line - saved by Meyers.

8:12 to play.

More back and forth play, just under 7 minutes to play.

Thompson hunting for his first goal tonight and draws the penalty but not the goal. It will come.

They're going with four forwards and Kessel, who was a converted forward to defenseman at one time, on the powerplay.

They are going to call an NHL-style interference penalty on Kapstad for standing up a UMass player after he dumped the puck.

4-on-4 to UMass powerplay.

4 minutes to play.

Shots now showing in favor of the 'Cats and UMass goes offside, 2:23 to play.

I've got to say that if this was a UFC fight the crowd would be booing as these two tough guys appear to just feel each other out and not really engage for fear of making a mistake.

Just over a minute to play.

Looking for the empty-net at the UMass end with :50 to play and a neutral zone faceoff at the UNH blueline after the Minuteman timeout.

UNH end faceoff with :37 to play.

Empty net.

with just a handful of seconds and UMass ties it with 4 seconds remaining off of a bad Kapstad clear.


End of Third

Stay tuned for overtime.


Umass getting the early chances.


Seems like our 'Cats have already settled for the tie which it seems they will be lucky to get.



Further proof that college hockey needs to adopt the shootout.

'night, Nation.



Dan and Pete are live streaming (link below) and should be announcing the starting lineup soon - I'll post it as soon as I hear it.

Thanks to Dan running it down one last time!

Pollastrone-van Riemsdyk-Sislo


Brian Foster


Friday always comes on faster than you think and slower than you want!

Happy Friday game-day, Nation. Time to git-r-done.

Pluses and Minuses.

James van Riemsdyk and Blake Kessel doff the Red but keep the Blue and White after their stint representing America at the International Ice Hockey Federation's World Under 20 Championship. But senior Co-Captain, Joe Charlebois, will definitely be missed after it was announced Wednesday that he has been placed on academic suspension.

What Not to Expect.

As the Wildcats and the Minutemen finish off their season series this weekend we certainly can't take much from the preliminary match-up which proved to be just one more reason for college hockey to adopt the shootout. That game saw the contestants trade lone special teams' goals, a powerplay marker for UMass followed by a shorthand tally by James van Riemsdyk just over three minutes apart as the initial period waned which would mark the extent of the scoring.

So, Where's Waldo?

Look for quick skating and lots of shooting from two defense-first minded squads. With both teams vying hard for these crucial four points up for grabs this weekend I expect we will see plenty of scoring and maybe even some good, tough, old time hockey.

The Web Stream Media.

No main stream media this weekend. There are a couple options through the UMass Athletics page and their UNH counterparts tomorrow night which most have found less than satisfactory. I'll be turning to Dan Parkhurst and Pete Webster to illuminate the game for us through the UNH Sports Network. I find this live online stream to be the most convenient and hassle-free online audio.


College Hockey News' Tale of the Tape

Official Site of UNH Men's Hockey

Vote for your favorite Wildcats!

'Cats, Minutemen. Git-R-Done.

Go 'Cats!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Gotta Love The Game

Dave D'Onofrio's excellent title-linked article, No quit in this 'Cat, goes up close with one of our native Wildcats, Alan Thompson.

A must read.

As the lone, current Wildcat I've had the pleasure of playing some hockey against I can't say enough about Alan who is a great guy and an outstanding hockey player. Some of you might recall my boasting last year after having stoned him in some stick-and-puck play only to have him good-naturedly come back the next time out and proceed to humble me on nearly every shot. Good times.

Wishing you the best of luck, Alan!

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

January: Month for Suspensions

Seacoast Online UNH Hockey beat writer, Mike Zhe, was all over this one this afternoon: Senior Co-Captain Joe Charlebois has been suspended from the team for academic reasons.

The title-linked article states
At his weekly press conference, Umile stopped short of saying Charlebois was academically ineligible or would miss the remainder of the year. He also said that his situation could be re-evaluated when classes resume on Jan. 20.

Be sure to read the full piece.

That is at least three games without our senior Co-Captain. I don't think any college team has the ability to replace Joe Charlebois midway through a season but if there is a program that can make up for the loss it is our Wildcats.

Good luck getting this issue sorted out, Joe.

Go 'Cats!

Been Looking For This?

James van Riemsdyk's 2009 WJC overtime winner to defeat the Czech Republic.

I've seen plenty of people pull this move but I don't think I've ever seen it so brilliantly executed at such speed, so quickly.

See for yourself. I would love to embed it but it's better to just send you to the high quality version on YouTube itself through the title-link, just click the title of this post.


Wednesday's Wildcat Alumni Weekly

Our Wednesday's Wildcat Alumni Weekly is headlined once again by Ty Conklin who earned his fourth shutout of the season, his eighth career NHL shutout, in a goaltending duel with one of the hottest goaltenders in the NHL right now, Steve Mason and his Columbus Bluejackets. The two defenders of the twine slugged it out through the first two period with neither allowing a goal until Mason cracked (he really didn't have a chance) under the Detroit Redwings' assault on the powerplay. But the saves through the first two periods were phenomenal on both ends of the ice as witnessed by the game highlights. In the end Detroit would get a second goal on the powerplay and one more with thirty seconds to go the easy way - with Mason, who recently had a streak of THREE shutout games, on the bench and the net empty. Conklin, who has a more than two game shutout streak going at home himself, was awarded the first star turning aside twenty-three but I'm sure he recognized Mason for his thirty-seven stops in the loss. All four of Ty's shutouts have come at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena.

Jason Krog was named to the AHL Canadian All-Star Team for the "2009 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Charter Communications, to be played later this month at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass."( But last night his Manitoba Moose were hunted down by the Hartford Wolfpack and defeated 6-3. Krog had an assist which puts the reigning scoring champion at nineteenth in the league with eight goals and twenty-six assists for thirty-four points in thirty games. Going back to Saturday, Krog had two assists then scored twice in an extended shootout only to have his Moose fall in the tenth round though Jason would earn the first star. Unfortunately the video highlights don't feature the shootout goals.

In that game it was Jacob Micflikier's Rochester Americans winning their second straight in the New Year against Krog's Moose. Jacob scored the game winner on the powerplay in the first match of the weekend and was a +1 the second night. See Jacob's goal in this highlight reel - an absolute snipe on the powerplay.

Kevin Regan got the 'w' over Derek Bekar and his Springfield Falcons in a Saturday start. Regan stopped thirty-one of thirty-three through the highlights capture just one of his saves - that's when you know you're playing well.

I had hoped to go see this game, but I guess this is the next best thing, as Garrett Stafford and Darren Haydar got to play tour-guide for their fellow Grand Rapids Griffins for their visit to the Granite State to take on our Manchester Monarchs. Ultimately though, Darren Haydar would prove too much for the home team, scoring first and then assisting on the game winner in a close one - 2-1 for his Griffins. The 'hometown' boys ironically were the first two to take a seat in the penalty box in the game which saw just six total penalties called. Did you see that Haydar slapshot!?

Well, did I miss any recent notable performances, Nation?

Until next week, this has been your UNH Men's Hockey Blogger Guy...

Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Philly Pushing Pressure

It is clear from the tone in the title-linked article that the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers have grown impatient with their second overall draft pick and UNH sophomore, James van Riemsdyk.

Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren, apparently used to getting his way, seems to be in the midst of a snow-fort tantrum saying that van Riemsdyk's World Junior Championship performance was "just OK."

After last season Holmgren had attempted, unsuccessfully, to persuade James away from the Blue and White and now seems willing to discredit his future player's performance on the international stage out of spite. These disparaging remarks being made about a performance that resulted in van Riemsdyk being ranked second in US Junior Team points and goals to arguably one of the best American born hockey players, Jeremy Roenick, while playing in two fewer games.

While I understand criticism of his game and how he appears on the ice - how can you argue with his best in the nation point production? And the fact that up until the Maine game he led all UNH forwards in plus-minus? All the while, he doesn't have any synergistic line combinations, like Krog and Haydar or Gare and Hemingway or Saviano and Collins, either here at UNH or at the World Juniors as good as the guys playing alongside him are in their own right. He still gets it done. I know everyone wants to see him run away from the rest of college hockey and set records - I do! I bet he would like to! But the fact of the matter is that is not what happens. Look at Dany Heatley. He was also a number two overall pick and played for the University of Wisconsin. He had 56 and 57 points in his two years respectively and was roundly criticized (while playing with fellow NHL'er Steven Reinprecht who had 66 points during Dany's freshman season). He came into the NHL and scored 67 points in 82 games right out of college. By which time he was 21, turning 22. James is still 19. He can't even legally drink alcohol. But like Heatley, James too has nearly double the points of his nearest teammate in his sophomore year. He is also on pace for 50+ points and picking it up lately. These are not coincidences.

All I can say to Mr. Holmgren is, good things come to those who wait.

James, we would gladly have you back for another year!

In the meantime, Nation, be sure to catch this hometown article on James.

Go 'Cats!

Monday, January 05, 2009


Happy Wildcat Hockey Monday, Nation.

I must say, I was awash in thoughts of the demise of UNH hockey as we've known it when Maine buried their third and fourth goals. There was no defense. There was no offense. Goaltending looked shaky. Then, Mike Sislo sparked the team with a straightforward, get-it-done play on the shorthand to make it 4-3 and hope lived. I was exuberant to see the tying goal come on the powerplay as Captain Greg Collins got his second goal of the night and astounded to see the winning goal pop the ubiquitous verdant Gatorade bottle from its sagging resting place on the top shelf off of Bobby Butler's sharpshooting stick.

It was like watching a phoenix rising from its own ashes.

*I had hoped to find this video in the morning, but here is the ESPNU video highlights of Sunday's game!*

Aside from a bit of penalty trouble that came in gushes and the weak penalty-kills that ensued, there was a lot to like about this game. The team responded with confidence and surety without regard for the conspicuous absence of two of their best players in van Riemsdyk and Kessel. Phil DeSimone scored just seven seconds into the first powerplay of the game off a faceoff from outside the Maine zone. Additionally, the other two powerplay goals each came within a half a minute then under a full minute respectively.

While DeSimone and Sislo contributed with goals on the special teams it was the line of Collins-LeBlanc-Butler that really clicked which resulted in Greg's two goals, Peter's two assists and Bobby's game winner to go along with his earlier assist. They were everything that you could ask for in an upperclassmen line this night. They combined grit and determination, crashing the net and laser accurate shooting from prime spots on the ice to bury the puck in the back of the net. There's leadership for you.

The other storyline that comes out of this game is Captain Joe Charlebois. Last year's Hockey East Best Defensive Defenseman and Co-Captain of this year's squad was off to an absolutely dismal start to the 2008-2009 season and was at one point a minus eight with just one point. Since then Joe has logged eight assists in the last eight games and returned his plus-minus to even with a plus-two performance last night, helping with an assist on Butler's game-winner. What a way to fight back in it for both Joe this season and his Wildcats last night.

*Late Addition* Speaking of James van Riemsdyk above, the super-skilled UNH sophomore dangler power-forward showed his stuff on the world stage securing the fifth place slot for the US Junior Team with a dazzler, going Colin Hemingway-esque to end the game in overtime, 3-2. James finished second in goals and points all-time for the US WJC team to some guy... Rowan, or Rownan, no Roenick! That's it! Roenick. Jeremy I think. I don't know. I think someone mentioned that this Roenick fellow has played in 1,349 NHL games and scored 1,211 points - I've heard he's pretty good despite the fact that he played in 14 WJC games to James' 12 and only outscored him 25-21. Whatever. Way to represent, James!

Oh, and if you don't know what Colin Hemingway-esque is - be educated. You can go for your advanced degree with this one at 2:34 but the entire vid is worth a watch though grainy - it's a classic.

Lastly, I have to thank all the well-wishers last night as I garnered my first shutout! I don't know how many I stopped but I do know the opposition caught the post four times and my team played a heck of a game in front of me, clearly preserving the goose-egg for me on a couple plays. Thanks everyone!

Go 'Cats!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

UNH @ Maine: UNH 5 - Maine 4 Final

What a comeback! But it is late tonight, I'll recap tomorrow.

Great game, 'Cats!

Game on.

I'll try to bring line-ups as I see them.

Brian Foster in net for us, Scott Darling for Maine.

UNH dictating the starting line play.

Little bit of a different breakout look with Fortney hovering in front of Foster, facing him with the defense holding the puck behind the net - no sustained pressure at this point.

Just over three minutes in with some back and forth neutral zone play leading to a Maine rush and the first scoring chance of the game with a Black Bear walking out from behind the goal line getting a good backhander turned away by Foster.

Play looks lazy on both sides with the puck going into the stands for a faceoff in the UNH end about five minutes in. Penalty coming up as Borisnok's stick was slashed out of his hands by Maine's Kyle Solomon.

GOAL! Just like that! Phil DeSimone on the POWERPLAY! May have been deflected by Mike Sislo in front.

1-0 'Cats!

Another good rush by Maine with the follow-up coming back off the boards and into the far post then recovered by Foster in the crease. Resulting in another Maine penalty.

Posting will be a little more sporadic as I dig into this great food! I absolutely love their chicken tenders, special sweet potato fries tonight and their cobb salad!

ESPNU commentator points out what I'm seeing, Maine is beginning to control play. Neutralizing the Wildcat transition and keeping the chances in their end WAY down while setting up offensively in the 'Cat's defensive end and getting good chances on Foster.

Fritsch going for hooking. First Maine powerplay. 8:20 to play in the first period.

McCarey going on a trumped up roughing call from a scrum in front of Foster and some 'B' acting by Maine's captain.

Ultimately, more 5-on-5 hockey with 5:30 to play in the first.

Period winding down now, looks like we finish with UNH up one to nothing.

I'll try to get back for the start of the second!

First Intermission

Actually, this is the end of live-blogging tonight until The UNH Men's Hockey Blog can afford its own computer!

Good Night, Nation! Will check in later to recap the game. Wish me luck in my game!

Go 'Cats!


NHL GameCenter Live was a bust, huh?

Alright, time for some pre-game.

It's UNH-Maine, Nation - doesn't take much to get worked up for this one.

The Black Bears sit exactly one point behind our Wildcats in the standings as we kick off 2009 Hockey East action with a game in hand. Yeah. Wading right back into the thick of it while short our leading scorer and arguably our best defender. James van Riemsdyk, who led the league and all of Division I before he left for the World Junior Championship and Blake Kessel who leads the team in plus-minus with a +12 - they will be concluding their tournament today in the 5th place game versus Czech Republic at 7:30 eastern time. Thanks to Cameron Eickmeyer who blogs the WJC for the US we know that, currently, James is poised at second in all-time goal scoring for the US Junior Team and tied for second in points.

But UNH-Maine beckons on this beautiful, frigid January day. Two clubs that have some history of animosity which has recently evolved into a mutual respect as our individual fortunes have risen or fallen. But this year sees the meeting of two fresh-faced squads for whom that history has become stale. This could be interesting. Could we see a rekindling of that rivalry as they jockey for home ice near neck-and-neck with each other? Or maybe this will be just another game lost in the corn maze.

It will be a test for the core of this Wildcat Team. Will they step up and prove to themselves that they've got what it takes?

It's 2009!

UNH. Maine. On ESPNU! 4pm.

Settle down at your favorite haunt (I'll be at Cu Na Mara of course) and enjoy the game!

College Hockey News' Tale of the Tape

Go 'Cats! Beat Maine!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

NHL GameCenter Live - Free Today

Be sure to tune in. Up first is the B's hosting the Buffalo Sabres at one eastern along with Pittsburgh hosting Florida and a bevy of other games throughout the afternoon well into the night. Of special interest to Wildcat Nation will be Detroit (Conklin) at Minnesota(8pm) and New York Islanders (Smith) at San Jose(10:30pm).

You can use the title-link to call up the homepage where you should see a prominent, in-page pop-up in the middle of the page for GameCenter Live.

Tonight the Manchester Monarchs host the Grand Rapids Griffins in an AHL game that should see Griffins' Captain, Darren Haydar, and fellow Wildcat Alum, Garrett Stafford come calling on the Granite State once more.

Go 'Cats!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Darren Haydar Feature from AHL Live

In a recent conversation about our Wildcats the question of the best UNH Hockey Player that I've ever seen came up and this is the guy that tops the list. A guy who couldn't even be mentioned in the conversation without someone pointing to his incredible character.

This is a must see feature on Wildcat Alum, Darren Haydar, from the new AHL Live.

The title-link will take you to the viewing which starts automatically.

Darren, my thoughts go out to you and Sarah.
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