DeSmith & Pesce Keep Fighting Irish at Bay, UNH Wins 4-2
DURHAM, NH - In their first Hockey East game at the Whittemore Center, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame played as if they owned the place. The Notre Dame offense kept coming at UNH wave-after-wave and fired a ton of rubber at the net. Thanks in large part to numerous stellar saves by junior goaltender Casey DeSmith and shutdown defense by sophomore defenseman Brett Pesce, the puck only crossed the goal-line twice. UNH managed just enough offense and came away with a critical win.
With second line center Grayson Downing out of the lineup with a shoulder injury and third line center Kyle Smith out with a possible concussion, Coach Umile broke up the first line of Sorkin-Goumas-Willows with the goal of achieving a more balanced offensive attack. As a result, all 4 forward lines were out of sync at times, particularly in the first period. The UNH goals didn't come on pretty passing plays or odd-man rushes. It was outstanding individual efforts by Kevin Goumas (1 goal, 1 assist), Jeff Silengo (2 goals) and Brett Pesce (1 goal, 3 assists) that got the job down.
1st Period12:31 - UNH 4th Line of MacDonald-Camper-Bourque Apply Early Pressure - UNH 0, Notre Dame 0 ~ Freshman Collin Bourque (#20) fired one of only two UNH shots on goal during the first period.
5:50 - Brett Pesce Shines on UNH Penalty Kill - UNH 0, Notre Dame 0 ~ With Matias Cleland in the penalty box for hitting from behind, UNH was effective on the penalty kill only allowing 1 shot on goal. ~ In this sequence, #22 Pesce first stops a play behind the net then eventually clears the puck.
2:49 - Casey DeSmith Makes First of Several Glove Saves - UNH 0, Notre Dame 0 ~ DeSmith's glove work was outstanding all night long and this was his first big glove save:
2nd Period17:39 - Notre Dame Strikes First - UNH 0, Notre Dame 1 ~ Sophomore Mario Lucia redirected an Eric Johnson slap shot past DeSmith.
14:42 - Brett Pesce Answers with Power Play Goal - UNH 1, Notre Dame 1 ~ With Trevor van Riemsdyk out of the lineup with a broken ankle, Pesce has taken his place on UNH's first power play unit. Here, he launches two slap shots from the top of the umbrella with the second beating ND goalie Steven Summerhays.
10:32 - Pesce Shines Again on Penalty Kill - UNH 1, ND 1 ~ Captain Eric Knodel was called for interference giving ND it's second power play of the game. Once again, Pesce put a stop to the ND attack.
7:57 - Jeff Silengo Redirects Eric Knodel Shot - UNH 2, ND 1 ~ More than half-way through the second period, UNH had only registered 9 shots on goal. Silengo made one of them count by tipping in a wrist shot from Eric Knodel.
4:44 - Casey DeSmith Stymies ND with His Glove - UNH 2, ND 1 ~ With the Fighting Irish on their third power play of the game, DeSmith flashes his glove again:
4:08 - Moments Later, Pesce Shuts Down Hinostroza - UNH 2, ND 1 ~ Pesce takes on high-scoring freshman Vince Hinostroza (6 goals, 16 assists) 1-on-1 and comes away with the puck:
00:02 - DeSmith Gloves Another with 2 Seconds Left - UNH 2, ND 1 ~ Another faceoff in the UNH end, another shot on DeSmith, and another glove save
3rd Period15:12 - Pesce Dominates in Defensive End - UNH 2, ND 1 ~ Early in the third period and Notre Dame is outshooting UNH 24-15. Here they keep the puck in the UNH zone but Pesce frustrates them again
12:51 - DeSmith's Glove Still There in Third Period - UNH 2, ND 1 ~ DeSmith thwarts another Fighting Irish play with his glove.
10:56 - DeSmith Again - UNH 2, ND 1
5:31 - DeSmith Robs Mike Voran - UNH 2, ND 1
4:34 - Notre Dame Sneaks One Past DeSmith - UNH 2, ND 2 ~ Bryan Rust scores a short-handed goal as the puck trickles over the goal line.
4:03 - Kevin Goumas Scores Game-Winner - UNH 3, Notre Dame 2 ~ Stephen Johns commits an untimely interference infraction and UNH capitalizes on the power play. ~ Goumas is becoming known for his sharp-angle shots from along the goal line. This one went in off Summerhays' stick.
2:44 - Pesce Puts on a Clinic - UNH 3, ND 2 ~ Less than 3 minutes left in regulation and ND is pressing. Pesce rises to the occasion with a remarkable display of shutdown defense.
1:21 - Pesce Frustrates ND Again; Silengo Score ENG - UNH 4, ND 2 ~ A truly fitting ending to the game - Brett Pesce controls the puck in the corner and launches the play which leads to Silengo's empty net goal.
With the victory, UNH improves its Hockey East record to 7-6-0. 14th-ranked Notre Dame falls to 4-7-1. The two faceoff again Saturday afternoon at 4:00 at the Whittemore Center.