UNH Back On Track with 5-2 Win Over RPI
UNH finished off its slate of out-of-conference (OOC) games with a convincing 5-2 win over the Engineers from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). This season, UNH was 5-1-1 in OOC games with wins over St. Cloud State (2), Denver, Bemidji State, and now RPI. These wins, combined with a 8-2-1 record in Hockey East action, placed UNH third in the PairWise Rankings. The "PWR" predicts which teams will be selected for the NCAA tournament at the end of the season. From here on out, UNH will play Hockey East teams exclusively with a key home-and-home series against Boston College next weekend.
16:50 - On their first shift of the night, the Correale-Camper-Willows line picked up where they left off against Bemidji State. Jay Camper won a faceoff and the C-C-W line, along with Agosta and Kostolansky, maintained control of the puck in the RPI end for over 35 seconds. Willows and Camper were tenacious in their forechecking along the backwall.
13:23 - Casey DeSmith made his best save of the period. RPI defenseman Bo Dolan blasted a slap shot from just inside the blueline which DeSmith saved in traffic. Two RPI forwards were parked on either side of DeSmith as he covered up the puck.
9:45 - Second-year defenseman Eric Knodel scored his 5th goal of season. Knodel stole the puck near the redline in the neutral zone, skated around one RPI player at the blueline, then past another at the top of the faceoff circle to the right of RPI goalie Scott Diebold. Knodel then snapped off a wrist shot near the faceoff dot and beat Diebold low over his left pad. UNH 1, RPI 0.
3:12 - RPI entered the UNH zone on a 2-on-1 break. An RPI pass went wide off the sideboards but deflected back out to the faceoff circle to the right of DeSmith. Connor Hardowa batted the puck toward the blueline but defenseman Curtis Leonard blasted the loose puck from just inside the blueline. The puck beat DeSmith high on his glove side. DeSmith was screened by 6 players between himself and Leonard but still managed to get his glove up an instant too late. UNH 1, RPI 1.
:31 - UNH went on the power play when Grayson Downing was tripped in the UNH end. UNH worked the puck nicely around the RPI penalty kill unit. Eric Knodel snapped a wrist shot from the blueline which was tipped by Greg Burke right in front of goalie Diebold. It was his best save of the period.
Shots on Goal for the period: UNH 6, RPI 11.
Second Period: 18:00 - Early in the period, UNH raised their forechecking pressure a notch or two. The Goumas-Burke-Henrion maintained the puck in RPI zone with some tenacious forechecking. The puck came loose to John Henrion at the right faceoff circle and he ripped a quick slap shot. Goalie Diebold made the save.
14:40 - Kevin Goumas blocked a shot with his skate and quickly moved the puck out of the UNH end, through center ice, and into the RPI zone. Just after he crossed the blueline, he fed a beautiful pass cross ice to Henrion who was streaking toward the net to the right of Diebold. John Henrion snapped a one-timer over Diebold's right shoulder for his 6th goal of the season. UNH 2, RPI 1.
The UNH defensemen were doing a better job preventing RPI from getting the puck deep. They were hustling to get to the puck along the backboards in their own end before the RPI forwards could get there.
12:55 - Jay Camper stole the puck along the endwall behind DeSmith and carried the puck into the neutral zone. He threaded a cross-ice pass to Correale streaking down the left wing. At the top of the faceoff circle, Correale dumped a pass back to Justin Agosta. Agosta fed a pass in the direction of Matt Willows, who was skating into the slot, and the puck deflected off an RPI defender's skate into the goal. It was Agosta's 2nd goal of the season. UNH 3, RPI 1.
1:55 - An RPI shot was blocked before it reached Casey DeSmith and bounced out to Austin Block just inside the UNH blueline. Block laid a soft backhand pass on the stick of Dalton Speelman who was racing up ice. Speelman broke in alone on Diebold. In the low slot, Speelman drew the puck from his forehand to backhand and tried to lift it over Diebold's pad. Diebold made his best save of the period. At that time, UNH had built up a 16-14 lead in shots on goal.
1:20 - Shortly after Diebold's big save, Casey DeSmith made one of his own. RPI entered the UNH zone on a 3-on-2 break. Curtis Leonard fired a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle and DeSmith snatched the puck with his glove.
SOG: UNH 16, RPI 16.
Third Period: 17:14 - Dan Correale carried the puck across the red and bluelines into the RPI zone. He quickly put on the brakes along the halfwall and threaded a pass to Jay Camper at the bottom of the faceoff circle to the right of goalie Diebold. Camper made a perfect backhand pass to Connor Hardowa who was barreling toward the net. Hardowa banged home a one-timer over Diebold's glove. It was Captain Hardowa's 1st goal of the season. UNH 4, RPI 1.
14:16 - The Correale-Camper-Willows line put together another dominant shift. Correale carried the puck into the RPI zone with a head of steam. Willows and Camper controlled the puck along the endwall and corner. All three buzzed around the net and worked the puck back out to Knodel at the point who dumped it back down low.
10:09 - Playing with a 3-goal lead, UNH continued their offensive pressure. Scott Pavelski executed an end-to-end rush and passed to Casey Thrush in the high slot. Thrush fired a one-timer which forced Diebold to make a stick save. It was Diebold's best save of the period and prevented a disastrous 4-goal lead.
4:28 - Eventually, Jeff Silengo would get the 4-goal lead for UNH but it came with an empty RPI net. Silengo stole the puck at the UNH blueline and skated the puck down into the RPI end for a gimme wrist shot into the empty net. It was Silengo's 1st goal of the season. UNH 5, RPI 1.
1:57 - Austin Block was penalized for slashing. RPI won the draw, got the puck back to the point, and defenseman Curtis Leonard sent a slap shot past Casey DeSmith for his second goal of the night. DeSmith was screened by a couple players. UNH 5, RPI 2; too little, too late.
Final SOG: UNH 27, RPI 22.
#2 Star - Jay Camper (2 assists, +2 rating)
#3 Star - Dan Correale (2 assists, +2 rating)
Here are video highlights courtesy of UNHWildcats.com.