UNH Captures RiverStone Cup, Downs Dartmouth 4-2
|Kevin Goumas' 2 Goals|
Leads UNH Over Dartmouth
MANCHESTER, NH - Loyal UNH and Dartmouth fans who cut through the thick fog on New Hampshire's byways to get to the Verizon Wireless Arena were treated to a spirited competition for the 13th RiverStone Cup. Don't let the Big Green's record of 3-12-2 fool you. Since early December, they've lost one-goal games to highly-ranked Union and Providence and clipped Boston University 4-2 on the road a few days ago. Dartmouth has been the victim of injuries all season and were without 5 forwards - including high-scoring Tyler Sikura and Eric Robinson - against UNH.
The final shots on goal were UNH 32, Dartmouth 34, and on this occasion, the stat reflected just how tight the game was. The outcome hung in the balance right up until the final horn. UNH played with a slim 2-1 lead from midway through the first period all the way to the 3:20 mark of the third period. Dartmouth generated several, prime scoring bids in the final stanza and tied it up 2-2 with a few minutes remaining.
Senior Dalton Speelman - who was named the MVP of the game - scored the game-winner on a redirect of a Justin Agosta shot with 2:15 left in regulation. The Big Green was eager to pull freshman goalie Charles Grant with a minute to go but the Sorkin-Goumas-Willows line prevented a breakout. Sorkin stole the puck, broke in for a point-blank shot, Willows gathered the rebound and fed Goumas for the back-breaker.
1st Period18:53 - Dartmouth's Schierhorn Scores First Goal - UNH 0, Dartmouth 1 ~ For the third game in a row, UNH gave up the first goal of the game. ~ UNH's second line of Speelman-Downing-Correale were caught in the Dartmouth zone and the Big Green entered the UNH zone on a 3-on-2 break. ~ Grant Opperman snapped a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle to Casey DeSmith's right. Sophomore Brad Schierhorn tipped the shot with the back of his stick beating DeSmith on his stick-side.
17:28 - Kevin Goumas Scores First of 2 Goals - UNH 1, Dartmouth 1 ~ UNH's first line answered quickly. Goumas won the draw back to senior Justin Agosta who slid it across to freshman Dylan Maller at the left point. ~ Maller flipped a shot off the backboards which bounced to Goumas at the right of the Dartmouth net. With a deft backhand, Goumas buried it from a very sharp angle. ~ The goal was Goumas' 9th goal of the season and Maller's 2nd assist of his NCAA career.
8:59 - Matt Willows' Power Play Goal Puts UNH Ahead - UNH 2, Dartmouth 1 ~ UNH got it's second power play opportunity midway through the period on a high-sticking penalty. ~ The 1st Power Play unit of Sorkin-Goumas-Willows up front and Knodel-van Riemsdyk on the points struck quickly. TvR sent the puck point-to-point to Knodel. ~ The senior captain moved toward the top of the faceoff circle and snapped a wrister toward the net. In a deft stick move, Willows redirected the shot past goalie Grant. ~ UNH's power play has been steadily improving in recent games. They are now ranked 3rd overall among Hockey East teams. ~ Matt Willows is now tied with Nick Sorkin for the most UNH goals with 12.
2nd PeriodThe middle stanza featured back-and-forth action with UNH holding a 13-7 advantage in shots on goal. Both goalie's made outstanding saves.
3rd Period10:30 - UNH Goalie Casey DeSmith Makes Big Saves - UNH 2, Dartmouth 1 ~ As the final period progressed, Dartmouth applied increasing pressure in the UNH zone, forcing junior goalie Casey DeSmith to make several key stops. ~ In this flurry, DeSmith faced a 2-on-2 break coming at him from his left. He kicks out the initial shot, glides to the far post, and rejects the followup shot with his stick.
3:20 - Junior Charley Mosey Ties It Up - UNH 2, Dartmouth 2 ~ Big Green defenseman Josh Hartley blocked a UNH clearing effort at the blueline and the puck went to Jesse Beamish at the half-wall. ~ Beamish flicked a shot through traffic and DeSmith made the initial stop. The rebound went to a wide-open Mosey in the low slot and he beat DeSmith over his glove.
2:15 - Dalton Speelman Tips in Game Winner - UNH 3, Dartmouth 2 ~ The game-winning play was very similar to Dartmouth's game-tying effort. After Grayson Downing kept the puck in the Dartmouth zone, the puck came out to Justin Agosta on the half-wall. ~ Agosta snapped a wrist shot toward the net. Speelman, positioned at the faceoff dot midway between Agosta and the goal, shoveled the shot up high beating Grant. ~ It was Speelman's 4th goal of the season.
00:34 - Kevin Goumas' Finisher - UNH 4, Dartmouth 2 ~ With a minute left in regulation, Dartmouth desperately wanted to get goalie Grant to the bench for an extra skater. ~ Nick Sorkin read the Dartmouth breakout attempt perfectly, intercepted the pass, and accelerated between two Big Green defenders. ~ Grant made the initial save on Sorkin's shot from point-blank range but Matt Willows immediately passed the rebound over to Goumas parked on the doorstep. It was another example of UNH's top line knowing where each other is on the ice. ~ The goal was Goumas' second of the night and 10th of the season
With the victory over Dartmouth, UNH has now won 4 in a row. They improved their overall record to 13-10-1. Next up is a stern test against 4th-Ranked Union College. The two teams meet for a pair of games next Friday and Saturday at the Whittemore Center. Union has only lost 4 games so far this season.