Sunday, October 06, 2013

UNH Downs Acadia 6-3 in Exhibition

On the strength of two goals each by sophomore Kyle Smith and junior Grayson Downing, UNH opened the 2013-14 season with a convincing 6-3 win over the Axemen of Acadia University (Nova Scotia). A recap and video highlights of the UNH goals are available on

The play of 4 Wildcats - Tyler Kelleher, Kyle Smith, Matias Cleland, and Jeff Wyer - was outstanding and worth a second look.

In his first game in a UNH jersey, freshman Tyler Kelleher played right wing on the first line with the offensively gifted pair of Kevin Goumas on left wing and Grayson Downing at center. The chemistry between the threesome was evident from the first shift of the game.

Here are some highlights of #16 Tyler Kelleher's performance including his first shot on goal as a Wildcat, drawing the first penalty of the season, and his creative play on two UNH power plays:

As a freshman last season, Kyle Smith played in just 2 games in February. Last night, the 6'1", 185 lbs. forward played center on the third line with Matt Willows on the right wing and Casey Thrush on the left. In addition to scoring the first two goals of his college career, Smith was mobile and aggressive at the center position. Next to the first line of Goumas-Downing-Kelleher, Smith's line generated the most chances in the offensive zone.

Here are some highlights of #23 Kyle Smith featuring his forechecking, passing and play in the corners. In one sequence, Smith played left point on the power play:

Defenseman Matias Cleland was the other UNH freshman to play in the game against Acadia. He joined senior Justin Agosta on the 2nd defensive pairing. Cleland was poised in his college debut playing tenacious defense in the UNH zone.

These highlights of #2 Matias Cleland show him pinching up from the blueline to maintain puck possession for UNH as well as solid play in the corner and near the UNH net:

For some observations on Jeff Wyer's play, including highlights, see "UNH's Jeff Wyer: Senior Goalie and Alternate Captain" .


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