Tuesday, October 30, 2012

UNH Recruits Update: Oct-29-2012

Player of the Week - Charlie Kelleher

Last Thursday through Sunday, 2015 UNH recruit Charlie Kelleher and the Junior Bruins U18 team competed in the 8th Annual Beantown Fall Classic. Since 2005, this showcase event has attracted the top midget teams in the country to Exeter, NH and this year was no exception. The U19 Division featured 7 out of the top 10 major midget teams in the most recent national rankings. The games are played at rinks in Exeter and Dover, NH, Haverill and Lawrence, MA as well as UNH's Whittemore Center and Merrimack College's Volpe Arena.

After winning 3 games and tying one in the preliminary rounds, Kelleher and the 7th-ranked Junior Bruins advanced to the Championship Game by beating the 4th-ranked Neponset Valley River Rats 2-1. The U18 club then faced the Junior Bruins team from the Empire Junior Hockey League which primarily includes 18 and 19-year-old players. With a minute remaining in the scoreless Championship Game, Kelleher - a 15-year-old center - scored the game-winning goal on a power play. The Junior Bruins U18 went on to beat the Jr. Bruins Empire team 2-0. Over the 6 games of the tournament, Kelleher scored 2 goals and 3 assists.

The statistics for the recruits, presented in the table, are categorized by the year the player and UNH coaches have targeted for enrollment in UNH.  For example, the "2013 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2013 to begin playing for UNH.

2013 Recruits
Matias Cleland  (D)WaterlooUSHL30227
Omaha LancersUSHL71232
Tyler Kelleher  (F)USA U18 TeamUSHL23140
USA U18 TeamNCAA83030
Dylan Maller  (D)Tri-City StormUSHL900016
Jordan Masters  (F)Jersey HitmenEJHL20000
Andrew Poturalski (F)Cedar RapidsUSHL43360
2013 or '14 Recruit
Michael McNicholas  (F)Nanaimo ClippersBCHL1566124
2014 Recruits
Dylan Chanter  (D)Merritt CentsBCHL1644811
Adam Clark  (G)Salmon ArmBCHL84W3L2.34.925
Shane Eiserman  (F)USA U18 TeamUSHL32026
USA U18 TeamNCAA83034
Cam Marks  (D)Coquitlam ExpressBCHL142134
2015 Recruits
Charlie Kelleher  (F)Junior Bruins U18USEHL2275126
Jason Kalinowski  (F)Salisbury Prep NEPSAC0 00 00
Joseph Masonius  (D)Jersey HitmenEmpJHL9291110
2015 or '16 Recruit
Liam Darcy  (D)Berwick Academy NEPSAC0 00 00
Patrick Grasso (F)Des MoinesUSHL60000
Omaha Lancers U16NAPHL44372

News & Notes

Eastern Junior Hockey League:

~ 2013 Recruit Jordan Masters returned to the Jersey Hitmen lineup for a game against the Rochester Stars. Masters reportedly was on the receiving end of a questionable hit and left the game for precautionary measures. He is on target to return to action on November 7th against the Connecticut Oilers.

United States Hockey League:

~ 2013 Recruit Tyler Kelleher scored a goal and an assist as Team USA defeated the Indiana Ice 6-4. Last weekend, Kelleher, Shane Eiserman, and the US NTDP U18 team tied the University of Minnesota 2-2 on Friday. The next night, they defeated the University of St. Thomas (NCAA Division III) 8-1. Kelleher scored a goal in the winning effort.

~ 2014 Recruit Shane Eiserman scored a short-handed goal in Team USA's 6-4 victory over the Indiana Ice. In the 2-2 tie against Minnesota, Eiserman centered the first line for Team USA and finished with a +/- rating of +1.

~ Omaha Lancers' defenseman Matias Cleland, a 2013 recruit, posted a power play assist in a 3-1 win over Des Moines. Cleland has dramatically increased his offensive output since his trade from Waterloo to Omaha. He already has 24 shots on goal in his 7 games with the Lancers. In 41 games last season with Waterloo, Cleland had 22 shots on goal.

~ 2013 recruit Andrew Poturalski was featured in an article called "Poturalski Finally Plays, Prospers With RoughRiders" in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ Mike McNicholas continued to post key points for the Nanaimo Clippers. On Saturday night, McNicholas scored the game-winning goal with only 12 seconds left in the game against the Powell River Kings.

~ On Friday night, 2014 recruit Adam Clark made 37 saves as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks defeated the Vernon Vipers 2-1 in double overtime. 6 of Clark's saves game in the overtime periods. Clark now has the 6th best save percentage among all BCHL goalies.


Monday, October 22, 2012

UNH Recruits Update: Oct-22-2012

Player of the Week - Andrew Poturalski

Ever since July 13th when he broke his leg, 2013 UNH Recruit Andrew Poturalski has been chomping at the bit to make his 2012 debut with the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders. In an interview with The UNH Men's Hockey Blog last summer, Poturalski laid out his plans for the season:
"I plan to go to Cedar Rapids when their season starts up and as soon as the doctor gives me clearance to start the rehab. They have rehab facilities in Cedar Rapids and doctors on staff that will help me get back and I'm hoping for a fast recovery. I look forward to being around the team even though I will be going through rehab at that point. I've spoken many times with Coach Carlson throughout my time that I've been injured and he wishes me a speedy recovery. I'm going to work hard and plan to contribute to the team as soon as I get back."
Over the weekend, Poturalski was in the Rough Riders' lineup and did he ever contribute. On Friday night against the Indiana Ice, Poturalski centered Cedar Rapids' first line and scored the game winning goal in a 4-3 victory. The very next night up in Indianapolis, Poturalski scored 2 goals, added 2 assists and finished with a +/- rating of +4. For his efforts, Andrew Poturalski has earned "Player of the Week" among all UNH Recruits. Of course, that pales in comparison to the other honor Poturalski received - CCM Forward of the Week in the USHL.

UNH fans who follow the blog may remember that Poturalski played last season with the Buffalo Junior Sabres of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and that he was called up to play 2 games with Cedar Rapids in mid-February. He scored 2 goals and added an assist in the games against the Dubuque Fighting Saints. All together, Poturalski has played in 4 USHL games and has scored 5 goals and 3 assists. Now that's impressive.

The statistics for the recruits, presented in the table, are categorized by the year the player and UNH coaches have targeted for enrollment in UNH. For example, the "2013 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2013 to begin playing for UNH.

2013 Recruits
Matias Cleland (D)WaterlooUSHL30227
Omaha LancersUSHL41012
Tyler Kelleher (F)USA U18 TeamUSHL12020
USA U18 TeamNCAA62020
Dylan Maller (D)Tri-City StormUSHL700016
Jordan Masters (F)Jersey HitmenEJHL00000
Andrew Poturalski (F)Cedar RapidsUSHL23250
2013 or '14 Recruit
Michael McNicholas (F)Nanaimo ClippersBCHL1355102
2014 Recruits
Dylan Chanter (D)Merritt CentsBCHL1443711
Adam Clark (G)Salmon ArmBCHL73W3L2.73.925
Shane Eiserman (F)USA U18 TeamUSHL21012
USA U18 TeamNCAA63034
Cam Marks (D)Coquitlam ExpressBCHL122134
2015 Recruits
Charlie Kelleher (F)Junior Bruins U18USEHL2275126
Jason Kalinowski (F)Salisbury Prep NEPSAC0 00 00
Joseph Masonius (D)Jersey HitmenEmpJHL9291110
2015 or '16 Recruit
Liam Darcy (D)Berwick Academy NEPSAC0 00 00
Patrick Grasso (F)Des MoinesUSHL40000
Omaha Lancers U16NAPHL44372

News & Notes

United States Hockey League:

~ 2013 Recruit Tyler Kelleher scored a power play goal and an even strength goal in his first USHL game of the season - a 2-4 loss to Muskegon. Kelleher has been playing center on the first line for Team USA.

~ Since defenseman Matias Cleland was traded to the Omaha Lancers, he has scored his first goal of the season and has 13 shots on goal in 4 games.

~ 2014 Recruit Shane Eiserman scored a goal in each of the NCAA games played over the weekend. In a 2-6 loss to Cornell, Eiserman scored a short-handed goal. The following night against Oswego State (Division III), the US NTDP U18 team won its first college game of the season 2-0. Eiserman scored the second goal.

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2013 or 14 Recruit Mike McNicholas had a big night when the Nanaimo Clippers took on the Chilliwack Chiefs. Despite a 4-5 loss, McNicholas scored 2 goals and added an assist. McNicholas has the second most goals on the Nanaimo roster and is tied for 2nd in scoring.

~ 2014 Recruit Dylan Chanter continued to put up points for the Merritt Centennials. In a 4-3 win over Vernon, Chanter scored a goal and an assist and earned the #1 Star.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Little Payback: UNH Beats BU 4-1

DURHAM, NH - The last time UNH was ahead of Boston University 4-1 was March 11th at around 6:30 in the evening. It was the rubber game of the best-of-three Hockey East Quarterfinals at the Agganis Arena and UNH had outplayed BU for nearly two periods. A double overtime goal by nemesis Alex Chiasson put an end to the game and UNH's season. UNH outshot BU 72-55 but it wasn't to be.

Fast forward seven months and the outcome was very different. It was only the opening game of the Hockey East schedule but UNH players and Head Coach Dick Umile had made it clear at the midweek press conference that they had not forgotten the way the 2011-12 season had ended. This time, UNH jumped ahead 4-1 on a pretty bang-bang play from Matt Willows to Scott Pavelski with 14:41 left in the game and then sealed the deal.

Game Summary

UNH's slight advantage in shots on goal - 29-25 - doesn't reflect how much they outplayed BU. More often than not, the Wildcats beat BU to the loose pucks, got the better of physical battles, and kept BU from storming the net. Using their bodies and sticks, UNH repeatedly prevented BU shots from reaching Casey DeSmith. When shots got through, the sophomore goalie looked sharp. The only hiccup was BU's first shot on goal 43 seconds into the game. A problem with the arena lighting postponed the initial puck drop by several minutes and the Wildcats appeared to momentarily be out of synch. DeSmith didn't have much of a chance in stopping Wade Megan on a 2-on-1 break.

One defining element of a Jack Parker team is the long pass. BU attempts to spread their players as far apart as possible - particularly on the bigger ice surface at the Whittemore Center - and make the long cross-ice or up-ice pass. It's an aesthetically pleasing style to watch and it helps counter UNH's speed. Although BU was able to advance the puck at times, UNH often bottled them up in the BU end and shut BU down in the UNH end. As they had been in the games against St. Cloud, UNH was very effective at intercepting and deflecting passes with their stickwork. A recap of UNH's first Hockey East victory of the season, along with video highlights, are available on unhwildcat.com.

Between The Lines

The Forward Lines & Defensive Pairings
~ Starting Lineup: Nick Sorkin (LW)- Grayson Downing (C)- Dalton Speelman (RW); Trevor van Riemsdyk (LD)- Connor Hardowa (RD).
~ Forward Lines: Burke-Goumas-Block; Thrush-Silengo-Henrion; Correale-Pavelski-Willows; Defensive Pairings: Kostolansky-Agosta; Knodel-Pesce.
~ Freshman forward Dan Correale (#13) from Prince George, British Columbia played in his first NCAA Division I game. Correale had not played in the exhibition game against St. Francis Xavier or the opening games against St. Cloud.

UNH Stars of the Game

#1 Star - John Henrion
~ With a little more than 11 minutes left in the first period, senior John Henrion single-handedly generated UNH's first goal. Henrion stole the puck from BU just outside the blueline, raced to the faceoff circle to the right of BU goalie Sean Maguire and snapped off a wrister beating Maguire on the glove side.
~ Henrion is off to a fast start scoring a goal tonight and another last Saturday against St. Cloud. Tonight, he registered 6 shots on goal and hit the post in the first period.
~ Henrion was also effective as a penalty killer. Early in the second period, with Greg Burke in the penalty box, Henrion disrupted BU with his backchecking.

#2 Star - Casey DeSmith
~ Sophomore goalie Casey DeSmith made 24 saves and shut out BU over the final 59 minutes of the game.
~ In a repeat of last Saturday's performance against St. Cloud, DeSmith made a number of huge saves in the third period. None was bigger than the one he made with about 7 and 1/2 minutes left in the game. As he was moving to his right, he had to flash his glove to the left to stop a puck which was labelled for the top corner.
~ DeSmith has a perfect winning percentage - 3 games, 3 wins.

#3 Star - Justin Agosta
~ This performance may have flown under the radar but I thought second-year defenseman Justin Agosta turned in the best overall defensive play of the night. Agosta played strong in the corners and along the backwall in the UNH end.
~ Agosta shut down the BU offense at two key junctures in the third period. With about 5 minutes left in the game and BU pressing, Agosta took on BU's leading scorer Evan Rodriques along the half-wall and came away with the puck. With about 2 minutes left, Matt Nieto received a pass at the UNH blueline. Agosta was right on Nieto and forced him to flip the puck harmlessly into the endboards.
~ Fittingly, with just seconds remaining in the game and BU playing with a 2-man advantage (pulled goalie), Agosta smothered the puck along the boards behind DeSmith.

Points of Interest

~ Lead by the outrageous enthusiasm of the students, the Whittemore Center has, once again, become an exciting place to watch a hockey game.
~ In his first NCAA game, Dan Correale showed good speed and strong physical play. As the left winger on the 4th line with Scott Pavelski and Matt Willows, Correale had a couple of rushes up the left side and around the BU defenseman. His one shot on goal - a wrister from the left circle in the first period - was mishandled by the BU goalie but didn't find the back of the net.
~ First line center Grayson Downing turned in another strong performance. He threw a few solid body checks and both of his shots on goal hit the iron.
~ Overall, UNH played a physically aggressive game - up to and including the after whistle action.
~ UNH's passing is becoming crisper and more accurate with each passing game.
~ Junior Nick Sorkin had the game-winning goal tonight, has 2 goals overall, and is UNH's second leading scorer.
~ Eric Knodel's goal was more difficult than he made it look. Moving to his right between the faceoff circles, he reached across his body and snapped a wrist shot past the BU goalie.
~ Although Coach Jack Parker must have been frustrated with the outcome of the game, he went out of his way to acknowledge both referees during the after game handshakes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

UNH Recruits Update: Oct-15-2012

Player of the Week - Tyler Kelleher

Over the weekend, Tyler Kelleher, Shane Eiserman, and the US NTDP U-18 team played two more NCAA Division I opponents. On Friday evening, Kelleher scored his first career goal in NCAA competition as Team USA fell to #2 Ranked North Dakota 4-6. The goal came on a power play. The following night, Kelleher scored his second goal of the weekend in a game against Bemidji State. The goal gave Team USA a 2-0 lead but Bemidji came back to win 4-3. Kelleher generated 2 shots on goal against North Dakota and 3 SOG against Bemidji. Playing for Team USA provides Kelleher with the unique opportunity to play in 15 NCAA D-I games prior to enrolling at UNH. So far, he's making the most out of it.

The statistics for the recruits, presented in the table, are categorized by the year the player and UNH coaches have targeted for enrollment in UNH. For example, the "2013 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2013 to begin playing for UNH.

2013 Recruits
Matias Cleland (D)WaterlooUSHL30227
Omaha LancersUSHL20002
Tyler Kelleher (F)USA U18 TeamUSHL00000
USA U18 TeamNCAA42020
Dylan Maller (D)Tri-City StormUSHL50004
Jordan Masters (F)Jersey HitmenEJHL00000
Andrew Poturalski (F)Cedar RapidsUSHL00000
2013 or '14 Recruit
Michael McNicholas (F)Nanaimo ClippersBCHL113470
2014 Recruits
Dylan Chanter (D)Merritt CentsBCHL112139
Adam Clark (G)Salmon ArmBCHL53W2L2.54.929
Shane Eiserman (F)USA U18 TeamUSHL11012
USA U18 TeamNCAA41012
Cam Marks (D)Coquitlam ExpressBCHL112132
2015 Recruits
Charlie Kelleher (F)Junior Bruins U18USEHL2275126
Jason Kalinowski (F)Salisbury Prep NEPSAC0 00 00
Joseph Masonius (D)Jersey HitmenEmpJHL9291110
2015 or '16 Recruit
Liam Darcy (D)Berwick Academy NEPSAC0 00 00
Patrick Grasso (F)Des MoinesUSHL20000
Omaha Lancers U16NAPHL44372

News & Notes

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2013 or 14 Recruit Mike McNicholas scored his 3rd goal of the season and earned the #3 Star as the Nanaimo Clippers shut out Alberni Valley 5-0. In just 11 games, McNicholas has nearly matched his scoring totals from last season when he played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL).

~ 2014 Recruit Dylan Chanter scored a goal as the Merritt Centennials defeated the Powell River Kings 4-2. The 6'3", 195 lbs. defenseman was awarded the #1 Star for the game. 11 games into the BCHL season, Chanter has already matched his goal total for all of last season.

~ Goalie Adam Clark of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks won his third game of the season making 31 saves against the Vernon Vipers. In his last two victories, Clark's goals against average was 1.90 with a save percentage of .937.

United States Hockey League:

~ 16-year-old Patrick Grasso played in the first two USHL games of his career over the weekend. The Des Moines Buccaneers won both games Grasso produced a shot on goal in each game.

Empire Junior Hockey League:

~ UNH's newest recruit Joe Masonius scored a goal and 3 assists for the Jersey Hitmen in their two weekend victories. Masonius' 11 points puts him in a tie for 3rd place in scoring among EmpJHL defensemen.

United States Elite Hockey League:

~ 2015 Recruit Charlie Kelleher and the Junior Bruins U18 are playing in the new USEHL, the first Midget Major league based in the East. In addition, the Junior Bruins have played and will play in several Showcase events. Complete player statistics are not yet available on the USEHL website. Head Coach Chris Masters has provided Kelleher's statistics for the first 22 games of the season. In addition to his 12 points in 22 games, Kelleher has a +/- rating of +14 which is the second highest on the team.

Monday, October 15, 2012

UNH Sweeps St. Cloud

DURHAM, NH - After winning his 500th career game on Friday night, Head Coach Dick Umile only had to wait a day to win his 501st. The Wildcats added a convincing 4-2 victory Saturday to sweep the weekend series against St. Cloud State University. Coach Umile became the 21st in college hockey history to earn 500 victories and the 3rd active Hockey East coach - joining Coach Parker and York - to reach the milestone. Notes of congratulation included tweets by former UNH players:
James van Riemsdyk: "Congrats to coach Umile on his 500th win, great man who takes care of his players #UNHfamily."
Jacob Micflikier: "Congratulations on win #500 to Coach Umile with the @unhwildcats. A great man who deserves the credit #respect."
Daniel Winnik: "#welldone."

Game Summary

After becoming more familiar with each other's style on Friday night, St. Cloud played a tighter checking game on Saturday. As a result, UNH managed 10 fewer shots on goal - 29 (Sat.) vs. 39 (Fri.). The third period was the key for UNH. Lead by outstanding goaltending and tight defense in their own zone, UNH successfully protected the lead earned late in the second period and added a third period goal for a two goal cushion. In the rubber game of the Hockey East quarterfinals last season, UNH relinquished a 3-goal lead to BU and lost in double overtime. Maintaining a hard earned lead is a key objective for UNH this season. Here's a game recap along with a highlight video courtesy of unhwildcats.com.

Between The Lines

The Forward Lines & Defensive Pairings
~ Starting Lineup: Nick Sorkin (LW)- Grayson Downing (C)- Dalton Speelman (RW); Trevor van Riemsdyk (LD)- Connor Hardowa (RD).
~ Forward Lines: Burke-Goumas-Block; Thrush-Silengo-Henrion; Gaudreault-Pavelski-MacDonald; Defensive Pairings: Kostolansky-Agosta; Knodel-Pesce.
~ Second-year defenseman Eric Knodel returned to the lineup after missing the season opener.
~ Two freshman forwards - Collin MacDonald and Maxim Gaudreault - played in their first NCAA Division I game.

UNH Stars of the Game

#1 Star - Casey DeSmith
~ Sophomore goalie Casey DeSmith made a number of big saves in the third period. About 4 minutes in, St. Cloud effectively cycled the puck and maintained a long puck possession in the UNH end. DeSmith made a save on a point blank, close-in shot to stop the flurry.
~ Midway through the final stanza, DeSmith faced a 2-on-1 St. Cloud rush and smothered a close in shot into his midsection. About 15 seconds later, DeSmith flashed his skate to stop a low shot headed just inside the post.
~ With 10 seconds left in the game, St. Cloud had a two-man advantage (Austin Block in the penalty box plus St. Cloud goalie pulled). In a scrum in front of the crease, DeSmith managed to keep the puck out of the net while sprawled prone on the ice.
~ In the weekend series, DeSmith made a total of 45 saves for a save percentage of .900

#2 Star - John Henrion
~ For the last three seasons, one UNH senior has stepped up and scored 20+ goals (Moses 22, Thompson 28, Butler 29). In order to go deep into the playoffs this season, UNH may need John Henrion to approach that total. His goal in the 1st period - a followup to his initial shot toward the goal - is an important step it that direction.
~ On Friday night, Henrion fired a remarkable 8 shots on goal. He added 2 SOG on Saturday.
~ On the game-winning, power play goal late in the 2nd period, Henrion set up the goal by firing on net from the left faceoff circle then charging the net. Fellow senior Austin Block knocked the puck in with he and Henrion on the doorstep.

#3 Star - Connor Hardowa
~ A stalwart on defense, Captain Connor Hardowa had a big weekend. He generated a total of 4 assists. More importantly, Hardowa's +/- ratings were +3 on Friday and +2 on Saturday.

Points of Interest

~ 2013 UNH Recruit Jordan Masters and the Jersey Hitmen (Eastern Junior Hockey League) were in attendance. Ten games into the EJHL season, the Hitmen are in first place in the Southern Division with a record of 7-3.
~ A number of NHL scouts were in attendance over the weekend. One was Mike O'Connell, Director of Pro Development for the LA Kings and former General Manager of the Boston Bruins.
. ~ In their NCAA debut, Collin MacDonald and Maxim Gaudreault held their own and each fired 2 shots on goal.
~ Grayson Downing's stick-handling skills were captured in the video highlight of UNH's second goal Saturday night. Watch the video closely and notice how Downing began a cross-ice pass to Nick Sorkin, then stopped the pass in an instant. This froze the St. Cloud defenseman, allowing Downing to carry the puck into the slot and rip off a shot.
~ Speaking of the video, check out Trevor van Riemsdyk's individual effort on the 4th goal of the night. How many D-I defensemen can rush down the left-wing like a forward, carry the puck to the net and score?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Top '97 Defenseman Joseph Masonius Commits to UNH

Hockey Essentials, based in Woodbridge, NJ and the Jersey Hitmen have announced that 1997-born defenseman Joseph Masonius (DOB: 2-17-1997) has verbally committed to play for the University of New Hampshire. In the above photo (Courtesy of Essentials Hockey), the 6'0", 170 lbs. defenseman is shown with Hockey Essentials Coaches Paul Losik and Mark Lotito at the 2012 Northeastern College Showcase held in late July. In the Under-20 Showcase, conducted by Hockey Essentials, Masonius was named as the Best Defensemen. UNH Coach Scott Borek was reportedly impressed with Masonius' play against older players.

Masonius has trained with the Hockey Essentials program over the last four Spring/Summer seasons. He has also participated in numerous showcase events for Hockey Essentials. UNH freshman Collin MacDonald has trained with Masonius at the Woodbridge facilities. In Masonius' announcement of his commitment to UNH, he had high praise for the program:
" I have learned to think the game and Hockey Essentials has raised my hockey IQ so much. All the coaches are there for me off the ice, I can go to them for anything and they help guide me with hockey and life. On and off the ice the staff is always there for me. Getting to play Division 1 hockey at UNH is an honor and I couldn't have done it without you guys."
Currently, Masonius is playing for the Jersey Hitmen's Empire Junior Hockey League team and their Midget Major U18 team, which plays in the United States Elite Hockey League. In 7 games with the Empire Team, Masonius has 1 goal and 6 assists. A couple of weeks ago, the 15-year-old scored a couple goals and helped lead the U18 team to the Championship of the Junior Bruins Shootout in Marlborough, MA. Incidently, fellow UNH recruit Charlie Kelleher of the Junior Bruins U18 competes in the same league as Masonius.

In the Hitmen's announcement of Masonius' commitment to UNH, written by Empire League Head Coach Chris Barling, Joseph provided this insight into his decision:
"The first time I visited UNH I knew it was the place I wanted to be. It's a perfect fit" said Masonius "I would like to thank, coach Barling, coach Lotito and entire Hitmen organization for the opportunities they have provided me. I would also like to thank my family for all of the time and sacrifices they have made to help me attain my dream. I am very excited to join coach Umile and his staff in a few years, but for now I look forward to continuing my development. This has been a great environment to play in and I look forward to continuing the early season success we have had."
Joseph Masonius becomes the 6th Jersey Hitmen to commit to play for UNH in recent years. He joins fellow Hitmen Justin Agosta, Matt Willows, Collin MacDonald, Brett Pesce and Jordan Masters.

There is one more interesting connection between Masonius and UNH players. Masonius is a sophomore at Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, NJ. Knowlegeable UNH fans will recognize CBA as the high school attended by former UNH star James van Riemsdyk and current standout Trevor van Riemsdyk. Last winter, Masonius had 3 goals and 14 assists for the CBA team that made it to New Jersey Non-Public High School Championship game. The youngest van Riemsdyk brother, Brendan, was a sophomore on that team.

Finally, Masonius has excelled at USA Hockey Select Development Camp. At the 2012 Select 15 Camp last July, Masonius was among the top-scoring defensemen with 2 goals and 1 assist. US Hockey Report ranked him as the #7 defenseman. Fellow UNH recruits Liam Darcy and Charlie Kelleher also played well at the Select 15 Camp. USHR has reported that Masonius is committed to join the Wildcats in the fall of 2015

UNH Begins Season with 5-3 Win Over St. Cloud

DURHAM, NH - If it's possible to blunt the bad memories of last season's dismal beginning in a single evening, then UNH has succeeded. Last fall, the 2011-12 Wildcats managed to score only one goal in their first three games. In the season opener against St. Cloud State University Friday night, UNH scored 5 times and blitzed the Huskies' goalie with 39 shots on goal. Preseason concerns about whether UNH will score enough goals while playing solid defense have been reduced.

Game Summary

Although the Whittemore Center was not filled to capacity - the crowd was estimated at 4300 - the remarkable turnout of UNH students filled the arena with electricity and enthusiasm. If you couldn't make it to the game or watch it on Comcast or Fox College Sports, here's a summary of the scoring plays plus some video highlights courtesy of unhwildcats.com.

UNH dominated the first period outshooting St. Cloud 15-6 and building a 2-0 lead. St. Cloud stormed out of the locker room at the beginning of the second period and immediately laid several robust body checks. At times, St. Cloud maintained extended possessions in the UNH zone. Shots on goal were fairly even - 10-9 in favor of St. Cloud - and they tied the score at 2-2. UNH picked up the pace in the 3rd period scoring twice within the first 3 minutes. UNH outshot St. Cloud in the final stanza 15-7.

Between The Lines

The Forward Lines & Defensive Pairings
~ Starting Lineup: Nick Sorkin (LW)- Grayson Downing (C)- Dalton Speelman (RW); Trevor van Riemsdyk (LD)- Connor Hardowa (RD).
~ Forward Lines: Burke-Goumas-Block; Thrush-Silengo-Henrion; Camper-Pavelski-Willows; Defensive Pairings: Kostolansky-Agosta; Quast-Pesce.
~ The four forward lines were exactly the same as in the exhibition game against St. Francis Xavier.
~ Notable was the absence of Eric Knodel from the lineup. In his place, Freshman Harry Quast played in his first NCAA Division I game.

UNH Stars of the Game
#1 Star - Dalton Speelman
~ In case anyone was wondering whether UNH missed the scoring punch of Dalton Speelman last season, the answer is a resounding "yes". The junior forward scored 2 goals, including the eventual game winner and added an assist. He had 6 shots on goal.
~ Both of Speelman's goals were scored as he received a pass while streaking toward the St. Cloud net.
~ Speelman was also strong on the penalty kill. With about 9 minutes left in the gain, St. Cloud got to within 2 goals. About a minute later, St. Cloud went on the power play with a chance to draw to within a goal of UNH. On two occasions, Speelman back checked as St. Cloud was entering the UNH zone and cleared the puck both times.
#2 Star - Trevor van Riemsdyk
~ On TvR's shorthanded goal in the second period, he matched the speedy Speelman stride for stride as they streaked into the St. Cloud zone. TvR appears to have gained some quickness and speed during the offseason.
~ On UNH's 4th goal, TvR created the scoring opportunity by stealing the puck just inside the blueline and laying a soft pass onto Speelman's stick.
~ He ended up with a +/- rating of +2. One-on-one in the defensive zone, TvR is difficult to beat.
#3 Star - Grayson Downing
~ As a left winger last season, Downing often had to rely on others to create plays. Now, as the first line center, Downing's extraordinary play-making abilities are becoming obvious. In the offensive zone, he can maneuver in tight spaces and dish out soft, on the stick passes.
~ It's noticable how much more physically demanding the center position is. On the forecheck, Downing is grinding against the defensemen. In his own zone, he's banging behind the net and in the corners helping his own defensemen to gain control of the puck.
~ Downing makes some flashy stick-handling plays. I'd need to see it on slow-motion replay to be sure, but a couple times he appeared to make a back-handed pass to himself while spinning away from an opposing player.
~ Downing finished the game with 2 assists and a +1 rating.

Points of Interest
~ All four centers - Downing, Goumas, Silengo, and Pavelski - did an excellent job helping the UNH defensemen behind their own net and in the corners. This type of play was lacking early last season.
~ Having Kevin Goumas and Austin Block on the same line is advantageous because they both have experience playing center. The combination leads to effective forechecking
. ~ UNH was particularly effective using their sticks to block shots and poke check in their own end.
~ As noted during the exhibition game, freshman defenseman Brett Pesce relies on quick skating and stick work to defend against opposing forwards - as opposed to physical play. He is very good at it.
~ Freshman Harry Quast held his own during his sporadic shifts on defense. He kept up with the St. Cloud forwards and played his man effectively.
~ A few times when UNH was shorthanded, sophomores Jay Camper and Matt Willows played on the first penalty kill unit. They too were effective
~ Sophomore Casey Thrush was very strong in the corners.
~ Casey DeSmith had a routinely solid game and made a few outstanding saves.
~ UNH students filled all four student sections plus one of the sections at the opposite end of the arena. The frequency and volume of cheering from the students is the best I've seen in years
~ Last but certainly not least, congratulations to Coach Dick Umile on his 500th career win.

Friday, October 12, 2012

UNH Opens Season Against St. Cloud

Much has been made of UNH's painfully slow start to last season - with good reason. Playing their first two games at Boston University then Northeastern, UNH did not score a goal. Opening night at the Whittemore Center against BC wasn't much better as UNH registered one goal in their third consecutive loss. The Wildcats finally started to find the back of the net in a road trip to St. Cloud State University in Minnesota - the team UNH faces this weekend. UNH scored 5 goals the first night in St. Cloud but lost 7-5. In the fifth game of the 2011-12 season, UNH earned its first point tying St. Cloud 3-3.

The two primary deficits during the first half of the season were inconsistent goaltending and ineffective team defense. In the second half of the season, UNH improved in these areas and won a fair share of games. Freshman goalie Casey DeSmith emerged as a top tender in Hockey East. First-year defensemen Trevor van Riemsdyk, Eric Knodel and Justin Agosta matured and the forwards improved their backchecking. As the season opens this weekend with back-to-back games against St. Cloud, UNH is hoping the solid defensive play will be the backbone of some early season victories.

Scouting Report

St. Cloud State University - SCSU

~ This will be St. Cloud's final season in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Next season, they will join a new conference - the National Collegiate Hockey Conference - with teams such as Denver, North Dakota, Minnesota-Duluth, and Miami.
~ SCSU has never won the WCHA Regular Season Title but has won the WCHA Playoffs once in 2000-01.

Upperclassmen to Watch:
~ Senior forward Ben Hanowski (#10) lead St. Cloud last season with goals (23) and points (43). The Pittsburgh Penguins selected Hanowski in the 3rd Round of the 2009 draft.
~ SCSU lost 3 of its top 5 goal scorers from last season. Junior forward Nic Dowd (#26) was the 4th leading goal scorer last season with 11 goals. Dowd is a 7th Round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings.
~ Junior defenseman Nick Jensen (#14) was the 3rd leading scorer last season with 32 points. Jensen was drafted in the 5th Round of 2009 by the Detroit Red Wings.
~ Like UNH, the starting goalie for SCSU will be a sophomore. Ryan Faragher (#29) finished his freshman season with an impressive 2.75 GAA and .915 Save%. Casey DeSmith numbers as a UNH freshman were 2.33 GAA and .926 Save%.

Freshmen to Watch:
~ 5'10" forward Joe Benick (#9) is a highly-touted recruit from the BCHL Champion Penticton Vees. Benick was the leading scorer for the Canadian Junior A Champion Vees with 38 goals and 76 assists. Benick reportedly broke his leg in practice and will be out of the Huskies' lineup for several weeks.
~ 5'7" forward Jimmy Murray (#16) put up big numbers last season with the Omaha Lancers (USHL) scoring 21 goals and adding 50 assists.

~ The WCHA Coaches Preseason Poll has St. Cloud finishing in 4th place behind Minnesota, North Dakota, and Denver.

~ UNH returns 7 out of the 8 top scorers from last season - Nick Sorkin, Kevin Goumas, Grayson Downing, Trevor van Riemsdyk, John Henrion, Connor Hardowa, and Austin Block.
~ UNH's first line of Nick Sorkin (LW), Grayson Downing (C), and Dalton Speelman (RW) is a novel configuration. Downing primarily played left wing last season and not on the 1st line. Sorkin played left wing on the 1st line with Kevin Goumas at center and Stevie Moses at right wing. Speelman missed most of last season with a wrist injury.
~ Downing and Speelman both played well in the exhibition game win with St. Francis Xavier.
~ Freshman defenseman Brett Pesce played a regular shift in the exhibition game.
~ Sophomore Trevor van Riemsdyk is the quarterback of the UNH power play.
~ Goalie Casey DeSmith stats as a freshman last season ranked him tied for 1st in Hockey East in save percentage and 4th in goals against average.

~ The Hockey East Coaches Preseason Poll has UNH finishing in 4th place behind BC, UMass-Lowell, and BU.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

UNH Recruits Update: The 2012-13 Season Begins

In the world of North American amateur hockey, three leagues - the United States Hockey League, British Columbia Hockey League, and Eastern Junior Hockey League - are the primary sources for players destined to play NCAA Division I hockey. Now that all three have begun the 2012-13 season, it's time to begin the "UNH Recruits Update" series.

This marks the second season for the "Update" series on The UNH Men's Hockey Blog. Fans will be able to follow the progress of the young players who have verbally committed to play for UNH over the next several years. The player statistics for each recruit, shown in the table below, will be updated on a regular basis. Outstanding individual performances will be reported on in depth. In addition, "News & Notes" about various recruits and their teams will be highlighted.

Since this is the first update of the season, I have included a brief writeup on each recruit. As you'll see, for a few of the future Wildcats, this season has already been an eventful one.

The statistics for the recruits, presented in the table, are categorized by the year the player and UNH coaches have targeted for enrollment in UNH. For example, the "2013 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2013 to begin playing for UNH.

2013 Recruits
Matias Cleland (D)WaterlooUSHL30227
Omaha LancersUSHL00000
Tyler Kelleher (F)USA U18 TeamUSHL00000
USA U18 TeamNCAA20000
Dylan Maller (D)Tri-City StormUSHL30002
Jordan Masters (F)Jersey HitmenEJHL00000
Andrew Poturalski (F)Cedar RapidsUSHL00000
2013 or '14 Recruit
Michael McNicholas (F)Nanaimo ClippersBCHL82460
2014 Recruits
Dylan Chanter (D)Merritt CentsBCHL91129
Adam Clark (G)Salmon ArmBCHL42W2L2.75.926
Shane Eiserman (F)USA U18 TeamUSHL11012
USA U18 TeamNCAA21010
Cam Marks (D)Coquitlam ExpressBCHL92132
2015 Recruits
Charlie Kelleher (F)Junior Bruins U18USEHL-----
Jason Kalinowski (F)Salisbury Prep NEPSAC0 00 00
2015 or '16 Recruit
Liam Darcy (D)Berwick Academy NEPSAC0 00 00
Patrick Grasso (F)Des MoinesUSHL00000
Omaha Lancers U16NAPHL44372

2013 Recruits

~ Matias Cleland - As I recently reported, the Waterloo Black Hawks have traded Cleland to the Omaha Lancers. In the first three games of the season, the 18-year-old defenseman had scored 2 assists while playing on Waterloo's power play unit.

~ Tyler Kelleher - This is Kelleher's second season playing for the U.S. National Team Development Program. The 17-year-old forward has moved up to the USA U18 Team. The NTDP U18 Team will play 28 games against USHL teams, 15 against NCAA Division I schools, 5 against DIII schools, plus 3 international tournaments. The early season highlight for Kelleher was his play in the first USA Hockey/CCM All-American Hockey Prospects game in which he scored an assist for the losing team. Also of note, Kelleher played on a line with fellow UNH Recruit Shane Eiserman (see below) during four USHL preseason games. Kelleher scored 2 goals and 1 assist with one goal being set up by Eiserman.

~ Dylan Maller - The 18-year-old Maller, a big defenseman, is in his second season with the USHL's Tri-City Storm.

~ Jordan Masters - After sitting out the last couple of months of last season, the 18-year-old Masters is eager to get back onto the ice for some real competition. Masters spent August and September resting and rehabilitating a minor back injury and is now ready to join the lineup of the Jersey Hitmen (EJHL). He is scheduled to make his season debut this weekend as the Hitmen play two games at the Tri-Town Arena in Hooksett, NH.

~ Andrew Poturalski - As I reported in July, 18-year-old Andrew Poturalski broke his leg during an informal practice and has been rehabilitating ever since. Before the injury, Poturalski had earned a spot with the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders of the USHL. Poturalski resumed skating in mid-September and has been travelling with the Rough Riders.

~ Michael McNicholas - After one season playing for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL, the 18-year-old McNicholas decided he could develop more effectively as a member of the Nanaimo Clippers in the BCHL. McNicholas is off to a strong start with his new team scoring 2 goals and 4 assists in 8 games. The UNH coaches and McNicholas have targeted the fall of 2013 or 2014 to arrive in Durham.

2014 Recruits

~ Dylan Chanter - Chanter just turned 17 years old and he is already a formidable defenseman at 6'3" and 195 lbs. With a goal and an assist in 9 games with the Merritt Centennials, Chanter is well on his way to exceeding the 2 goals and 11 assists he scored in his first BCHL season. When Chanter verbally committed to UNH last February, U.S. Hockey Report indicated that the fall of 2014 was the target for his enrollment at UNH. The player profile on the Centennials' website lists the fall of 2014 or 2015 as his commitment date.

~ Adam Clark - The newest UNH recruit is a 6'5", 195 lbs. goalie in his second season with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL). After a summer of intensive instruction and training, Clark is off to an impressive start this season. In 4 games, Clark's goals against average is 2.75 and his save percentage is .926 - placing him 5th among all BCHL goalies.

~ Shane Eiserman - After completing his sophomore season as the leading goal scorer for Cushing Academy, Eiserman's hockey career has really taken off. His strong showing at the USA Hockey Selects 17 Player Development Camp in June helped earn him a slot on the NTDP U18 Team. In his debut in USHL action, Eiserman scored his first goal of the season. Last weekend, in a game against Notre Dame, Eiserman scored Team USA's only goal in a 1-1 tie. Eiserman turned 17 yesterday. UNH fans will get a chance to watch Shane Eiserman, Tyler Kelleher, and the NTDP U18 team on December 9th as they take on UNH at the Whittemore Center.

~ Cam Marks - In his rookie season in the BCHL, the 17-year-old Marks is the leading scorer among defensemen on the Coquitlam Express. He has posted 2 goals and 1 assist in 9 games.

2015 Recruits

~ Charlie Kelleher - At 15 years old, Charlie Kelleher is two years younger than older brother and fellow UNH recruit Tyler Kelleher. After starring for Longmeadow High School last season as a freshman, Charlie has made the jump to the Boston Junior Bruins U18 Midget Major team. The Junior Bruins U18 team is playing in the newly formed United States Elite Hockey League. In the most recent rankings of Tier 1 Midget Major teams in the US, the Junior Bruins were ranked 5th. Detailed statistics on Kelleher will be available in future UNH Recruit Updates. He is one of the leading goal scorers on the Junior Bruins.

~ Jason Kalinowski - 17-year-old Kalinowski is a senior at The Salisbury School in northwestern Connecticut. Salisbury begins play in the New England Prep School Hockey Conference in November. Kalinowski is currently playing fall hockey for the Mid-Fairfield Midget Major team.

2015 or 2016 Recruits

~ Liam Darcy - Last season, as a freshman at Berwick Academy, Liam Darcy scored 5 goals and 17 assists in 21 games and was voted the Most Valuable Player on the team. The 15-year-old defenseman is a sophomore at Berwick Academy. Darcy is currently playing in the New England Prep Fall Hockey League. The regular season for Berwick begins in November.

~ Patrick Grasso - At 16 years of age, Patrick Grasso has burst onto the junior hockey scene this season. Over the summer, Grasso earned a spot on the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL. He decided to play part time for the Buccaneers and part time for the Omaha Lancers U16 team. The Lancers play in the North American Prospects Hockey League. Grasso is tied for 1st in scoring on the team with 4 goals and 3 assists. Tomorrow night, Grasso is scheduled to make his regular season debut in the USHL as Des Moines faces off against the Omaha USHL Lancers.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

2013 UNH Recruit Matias Cleland Traded to Omaha Lancers

18-year-old defenseman Matias Cleland (shown here in an August interview at the JCWC in Russia) has been traded from the Waterloo Black Hawks to the Omaha Lancers. The Black Hawks, who made it to the USHL Championship Series last season before falling to the Green Bay Gamblers, are off to another strong start this year. They've won 2 and lost 1 and have scored a lot of goals (18). However, they have also given up 16 goals in three games. In these games, Matias Cleland has 2 power play assists. Last season, as a 17-year-old rookie in the USHL, Cleland scored a goal and 9 assists in 41 games. Cleland has a target date of Fall 2013 to enroll at UNH.

In exchange for Cleland, Waterloo received 2013 Harvard recruit Victor Newell from the Omaha Lancers. Newell, also a defenseman, is one year older but smaller than Cleland. He has one assist in 4 games so far this season. Last season, Newell scored 6 goals and 14 assists. 10 of his points came on the Lancers' power play. This season, Omaha has scored half as many goals as Waterloo and have only won once in 4 games.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

UNH Defeats St Francis Xavier 5-2 in Exhibition Game

Picked to finish 4th in the Hockey East Coaches Poll, UNH took to the Whittemore Center ice for a preseason exhibition game against St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, Nova Scotia). The Wildcats have been practicing under the direction of Captain Connor Hardowa and Alternate Captains Greg Burke and Brett Kostolansky. Tonight, Coach Umile and his coaches got a chance to work with the full roster for the first time this season. It was first time fans got to see UNH's incoming freshmen.

Scouting Report

St. Francis Xavier
~ The X-Men play in the Atlantic University Sport Conference in eastern-most Canada. In the 2011-12 regular season, St.FX finished in 6th place with 10 wins and 18 losses.
~ St.FX has already played 5 exhibition games this season winning four and losing one.
~ The veteran team includes three 23-year-olds, five 24-year-olds and the 25-year-old goalie Joseph Perricone.
~ As is typical for Canadian Univeristy teams, St.FX is loaded with players with extensive experience in the Canadian Major Junior Hockey Leagues. 20 of their players have at least 3 years experience in Major Juniors. 9 of these have 5 or more years.
~ Three players - Ted Stephens, Michael Kirkpatrick and Jason Bast - were very successful in the Major Juniors scoring more than a-point-a-game in their final season.

~ With 7 players in the Class of 2016, this is one of the largest freshman classes in recent history.
~ UNH returns 7 out of the 8 top scorers from last season - Nick Sorkin, Kevin Goumas, Grayson Downing, Trevor van Riemsdyk, John Henrion, Connor Hardowa, and Austin Block.
~ Four players - Greg Burke (ankle), Dalton Speelman (wrist), Jeff Wyer (knee) and Brett Pesce (shoulder) - are returning after injuries which lead to missing multiple games.
~ Last season was the first in time in 11 years that UNH did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament

Game Summary

The UNH Wildcats knocked some of the offseason rust off as they defeated St. Francis Xavier 5-2 before an estimated 3,800 fans. Here's a detailed summary of the scoring plays plus some video highlights courtesy of unhwildcats.com.

Between The Lines

The Forward Lines & Defensive Pairings
~ Starting Lineup: Nick Sorkin (LW)- Grayson Downing (C)- Dalton Speelman (RW); Trevor van Riemsdyk (LD)- Connor Hardowa (RD).
~ Forward Lines: Burke-Goumas-Block; Thrush-Silengo-Henrion; Camper-Pavelski-Willows; Defensive Pairings: Kostolansky-Agosta; Knodel-Pesce.

The Freshmen
Brett Pesce
~ One month before his 18th birthday, the 6'3", 175 lbs. right shot defenseman played a regular shift on the third defense pairing the entire game.
~ I was pleasantly surprised at how often Pesce (pronounced PESH-ee) carried the puck out of the UNH zone and through center ice. Showing adept skating and agile stickwork, Pesce brought the puck into the offensive zone on a few occasions. Early in the 3rd period, Pesce rushed through the neutral zone and around the back of the St.FX goal before making a soft pass.
~ In the defensive end, Pesce relied on his quick feet and stick in 1-on-1 situations - he didn't throw his body around.
~Early in the 1st period, Pesce absorbed two heavy body checks and came away from the scrum with the puck.
Maxim Gaudreault
~ Although the 20-year-old Gaudreault (pronounced GO-DRO) did not play regularly early in the game, he got his opportunity to play a regular shift after senior Austin Block received a game disqualification at the end of the first period.
~ At 6'0", 190 lbs., the left shot, left winger is big and sturdy. Not as big as Greg Burke but he's a faster skater.
~ Throughout the last 2 periods, Gaudreault played regularly on the 4th line with Scott Pavelski at center and Matt Willows on right wing.
~ Showed tenacious play on either side of the UNH blueline keeping the puck in the zone and disrupting StFX's attempts to break out through the center zone.
~ Gaudreault finished with a +/- rating of +1 and had 2 shots on goal.
Harry Quast
~ Quast, a 6'4", 215 lbs., left shot defenseman entered the game midway through the 2nd period. Quast was rotated into the lineup, usually paired with Connor Hardowa, giving the top six defensemen some rest.
~ I was reminded by the first time I saw Quest play last season in the EJHL. He played with poise - similar to the deliberate, calm style of Eric Knodel.
~ Quast made a nice tape-to-tape, first pass out of the defensive zone in the 2nd period.
~ Overall, Quast skated smoothly in open ice and played the body effectively in the corners and along the backboard.
Dan Correale, Collin MacDonald, Kyle Smith, & Jamie Regan suited up for the pregame warmups and were individually introduced during the pregame ceremonies. They were not on the bench during the game.
Jamie Hill did not warmup with the team and was in the stands for the game.

UNH Stars of the Game
#1 Star - Trevor van Riemsdyk
~ If this exhibition game is any indication of how TvR will play this season, UNH fans have reason to be concerned about whether he will turn pro before he plays a full four seasons.
~ Every strength of TvR's game - quarterback of the power play, excellent passer, disrupter of play in the defensive zone, intuition for how the play in all zones will evolve - was showcased last night.
~ TvR finished the game with 2 goals on 8 shots and a +1 rating.
#2 Star - Grayson Downing
~ As a freshman, Downing played primarily on the left wing and was the team's third leading scorer with 10 goals and 13 assists. Playing as the first line center last night, Downing appeared to make the adjustment seamlessly. At center, his passing skills and play around the net stood out.
~ The respectable numbers that Downing posted - 1 assist, 3 shots, +1 rating - don't fully reflect his dominance while on the ice.
~ On UNH's 4th goal, Downing stole the puck just inside the blueline and flipped a perfect backhand pass to Dalton Speelman, sending him on goal alone.
~ Playing on the first powerplay unit, Downing effectively controlled puck movement from his position near the right faceoff circle (reminiscent of Phil DeSimone's play from that spot).
#3 Star - Dalton Speelman
~ Although Speelman missed most of last season with a wrist injury, he quickly reminded UNH fans why he is a first-line forward. His speed and movement in the offensive zone should help fill the gap left by the departure of Stevie Moses.
~ Speelman posted a goal and an assist with 2 SOG and a +1 rating.
Honorable Mention - Jay Camper
~ Last season, Camper showed signs of solid play but seemed to hold back somewhat perhaps the result of recurring concussion symptoms. Last night, Camper was going fullout and was noticable for his forechecking, penalty kill play, quickness and ability to create space in the offensive zone.
~ Late in the 2nd period, Camper effectively back-checked as StFX tried to enter the UNH zone, stole the puck, and made a tape-to-tape breakout pass to Casey Thrush.

Points of Interest
~ Playing on the left point, Justin Agosta was paired with TvR on UNH's first powerplay unit.
~ Casey DeSmith looked solid again - really enjoy watching him use his glove to snatch shots out of midair.
~ Jeff Wyer also played well making 7 saves on 8 shots.
~ Kevin Goumas, with his speed and knack for being around the puck, is exciting to watch.
~ A clear strength of the 2012-13 Wildcats will be the play of the defensemen.
~ Outstanding cheering from the student section!
Web Site Hit Counter

Firefox 2