Thursday, March 20, 2014

UNH's Goumas, Knodel Named Hockey East All-Stars

Kevin Goumas
Eric Knodel

On the eve of UNH's first appearance in the Hockey East Semifinals since 2011, two of it's leaders have been named Hockey East All-Stars. At the Hockey East Annual Banquet, held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, seniors Kevin Goumas and Eric Knodel were honored as Hockey East Second-Team All-Stars. Each season, the Hockey East Head Coaches select the All-Stars.

Kevin Goumas

Last season, as a junior at UNH, Kevin Goumas was named to the Hockey East Honorable Mention All-Star squad. The speedy forward scored 10 goals and 32 assists and helped the Wildcats advance to the Elite Eight of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

This season, Goumas potted 17 goals, dished out 33 assists, and lead UNH in scoring. He was the 5th leading scorer in all of Division I NCAA Hockey and the 3rd leading scorer in Hockey East. Goumas' 33 assists tied him for 4th highest in Division I and he was the 3rd highest in Hockey East. Down the stretch, with UNH battling for a home-ice berth in the Hockey East Quarterfinals, Goumas showed his prowess as a big-game player. Over the final 11 games of the regular season, he scored 4 goals and 14 assists. In a must-win game against Merrimack College on the last night of the regular season, Goumas lead the Wildcats to a 5-2 victory, scoring a goal and 3 assists.

In the just completed Hockey East Quarterfinal Series, UNH held the home-ice advantage in the best-of-three round for the first time since the 2010-2011 season. The Wildcats won the first game 1-0 and Northeastern University forced a third game with a 5-4 win on Saturday night. On Sunday, UNH faced a do or die situation. Win and they would advance to the semifinals, lose and their season was over. Once again, Kevin Goumas came up huge scoring a hat trick and adding an assist as UNH downed Northeastern 5-4.

With at least one game remaining in his UNH career, Kevin Goumas has secured his place as one of the top-scoring Wildcats of all time. He recently became the 14th player in UNH Hockey history to post 100 or more assists. Goumas was the first player to reach this goal since Darren Haydar scored his 102nd assist back in the 2001-02 season. A number of exceptional UNH players such as Sean Collins (2001-2005: 96 assists), Lanny Gare (1999-2003: 94), Jacob Micflikier (2003-2007: 92), Collin Hemingway (1999-2003: 81), and Phil DeSimone (2007-2011: 79) did not reach the 100 assist milestone.

In all, Goumas has scored 42 goals and 102 assists for a total of 144 points. He's the first UNH player to reach this lofty level since Jacob Micflikier (2003-2007) scored his 150th point. Goumas' 144 points puts him ahead of such notables as Lanny Gare (1999-2003: 142 points), Preston Callander (2001-2005: 130), Bobby Butler (2006-2010: 121), Matt Fornataro (2004-2008: 118), and Steve Saviano (2001-2005: 117).

Here's a highlight reel of some of Kevin Goumas' outstanding plays dating back to a game against the University of Michigan in early October of this season:

Eric Knodel

In his third season in the UNH lineup, senior captain Eric Knodel has emerged as one of the premiere defenseman in Hockey East. In retrospect, it's difficult to imagine but Knodel did not suit up for any games as a freshman. The 6'6", 225 lbs. draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs scored 7 goals and 21 assists this season.

As a key point man on UNH's first power play unit, Knodel scored 5 of his 7 goals on the power play. He is tied for 2nd in scoring among all Hockey East defensemen and is first in assists. A defensive stalwart, he is also first in blocked shots with 95. In all, Knodel scored 20 goals and 40 assists in his three seasons.

These video highlights show some of Eric Knodel's power play goals and assists as well as his defensive skills:


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