UNH Defeats Michigan State 5-2: Goal-by-Goal Breakdown
DURHAM, NH - On Friday night, in the first of a two-game, Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge against Michigan State University, UNH fell behind by two goals with about 9 minutes left in the game. The Wildcats drew to within one on a Tyler Kelleher goal a minute later, then tested Michigan goalie Jake Hildebrand with several quality scoring bids until the buzzer sounded. The Spartans held on for a 4-3 victory. Overall, UNH outshot Michigan State 45-20 but did not bury enough of their chances.
In the Saturday night rematch, the shots on goal were far more even; 24 for State and 21 for UNH. New Hampshire was able to come out on top by doing what they do best - scoring transition goals. As this breakdown of the goal-scoring shows, UNH gained possession of the puck in their defensive zone, quickly broke out through center ice and rushed the Michigan State goalie.
Goal-by-Goal BreakdownAndrew Poturalski (from Tyler Kelleher & Dylan Maller) 5:40 of Period 1 - UNH 1, Michigan State 0 ~ Junior defenseman Brett Pesce stole the puck behind the UNH goal line then flipped a backhand pass to sophomore Dylan Maller. ~ Maller passed to freshman Andrew Poturalski skating out of the UNH zone. ~ Poturalski spotted sophomore Tyler Kelleher on the opposite side of the ice and began a long-distance, give-and-go play by zipping a cross-ice pass onto Kelleher's stick. ~ Kelleher stick-handled through the faceoff circle to Hildebrand's right and fed Poturalski in stride as he rushed the net. Poturaski snapped the puck into the open side of the goal for his third goal of the season.
Mackenzie MacEachern (unassisted) 2:06 of Period 2 - UNH 1, Michigan State 1 ~ Pesce sent the puck up the boards, out of the UNH zone. ~ Michigan State's Ebbing intercepted the puck and tried to feed MacEachern with a pass. ~ Sophomore defenseman Dylan Maller attempted to gather the errant pass but appeared to be leaning up-ice at the same time. The puck hopped over Maller's stick. ~ MacEachern pounced on the loose puck and beat freshman goalie Adam Clark over his blocker.
Michael Ferrantino (Cox & Walsh) 11:05 of Period 2 - UNH 1, Michigan State 2 ~ With about 30 seconds remaining in a Michigan State power play, the puck went around the boards behind Adam Clark and out to Walsh at the point. Walsh passed down to Cox to the right of Clark. ~ Cox passed to Ferrantino on the baseline. Senior defenseman Ryan Randall was in a good position to defend against Ferrantino but he was playing without his stick (it had broken). ~ Ferrantino lifted a shot over a sprawling Randall and over Clark's blocker.
Matt Willows (from Ryan Randall) 12:45 of Period 2 - UNH 2, Michigan State 2 ~ Senior Captain Matt Willows cleared a puck from the crease in front of Adam Clark. Ryan Randall gathered the puck off the half wall to Clark's left. ~ Randall calmly looked up ice and saw Willows streaking through the neutral zone. Randall banked a long pass off the boards at center ice which caromed right to Willows. ~ In the first period, Willows had broken in alone on Hildebrand and fired a shot that just missed the top corner of the net over Hildebrand's blocker. This time around, Willows broke in alone and didn't miss. It was Willows' third goal of the season. ~ For Durham, NH native Ryan Randall, the play resulted in his first point as a NCAA player. ~ This second video shows Willows' goal from my vantage point at rink side.
Tyler Kelleher (from Warren Foegele and Andrew Poturalski) 14:53 of Period 2 - UNH 3, Michigan State 2 ~ UNH's third line of Warren Foegele-Andrew Poturalski-Tyler Kelleher are a legitimate threat to score whenever they're on the ice. On Saturday night, they combined for what turned out to be the game-winning goal. ~ The scoring play can be traced back to freshman Foegele's high-speed, back checking. After he knocked the puck free from the Michigan State forward deep in the UNH end, Kelleher swooped in and rushed the puck up ice. ~ A passing play from Kelleher to Poturalski back to Kelleher to Foegele produced a close-in shot that Hildebrand turned aside. ~ Both Poturalski and Kelleher dug the puck free along the half wall and Poturalski backhanded a pass to Foegele deep in the faceoff circle to Hildebrand's right. Foegele finessed a between-the-legs, centering pass to Kelleher charging down the slot. Kelleher flipped it over Hildebrand's glove for the game-winner. ~ The goal was Kelleher's third in two nights and fourth of the season. He's tied with Grayson Downing for the most goals on the UNH team.
Dan Correale (from Grayson Downing and John Furgele) 6:55 of Period 3 - UNH 4, Michigan State 2 ~ This scoring play got started with freshman defenseman John Furgele hustling into the corner to Adam Clark's right, winning the battle for the puck and poking it up the boards to Grayson Downing. ~ Downing eluded 4 Michigan State players through center ice and into the offensive zone. Meanwhile, Dan Correale was racing down the right wing and into the slot. ~ Downing threaded a pass through 3 State players to Correale who backhanded it over Hildebrand's glove. ~ The goal was Correale's second of the season. John Furgele earned his first NCAA point.
Grayson Downing (unassisted) 18:02 of Period 3 - UNH 5, Michigan State 2 ~ With 2:16 left in the game, Michigan pulled Hildebrand for an extra skater. This set the stage for a remarkable goal by Grayson Downing. ~ Matt Willows gathered a loose puck in the UNH zone, skated into the neutral zone, and flipped a shot that was blocked by a Michigan State player. ~ Another State player tried to clear the puck back into the neutral zone but it bounced off a teammate's skate and Grayson Downing managed to get a stick on it as he was falling backwards. While seated on the center ice faceoff dot with his legs out in front of him, Downing wristed the puck down the ice and into the empty net. You've got to see it to believe it.
Adam Clark shutout the Spartans over the last period and a half. He made a number of key saves including these:
UNH improved its overall record to 3-5-0. Next weekend, they return to Hockey East action with a home-and-home series against Northeastern University. NU's current record is 0-7-1.