4-Goal Blitz Lifts UNH Over UMass: Goal-by-Goal
DURHAM, NH - In the Friday night loss to UMass, UNH did not play particularly well in their defensive zone. They also surrendered a power play goal. On Saturday, the defense was tighter and held UMass off the board up until the last minute of the second period. However, it took until the third period for the UNH offense to crank up. The Wildcats trailed UMass 2-1 with 13 minutes left in regulation when the flood gates opened up. UNH scored 4 unanswered goals and won 5-2.
UNH was without the services of it's top scoring forward and top defenseman. Tyler Kelleher missed the game with the stomach flu and Brett Pesce missed his second consecutive game with an upper respiratory illness. To make matters worse, second line winger Warren Foegele was forced to leave the game in the second period due to the stomach bug. Jamie Hill, who had brought energy to the 4th line in the previous two games, moved up to right wing on the second line and scored his first NCAA goal. Hill will have two years of eligibility left at the end of this season since he did not play in his freshman year.
Freshman Andrew Poturalski, who has played center on one of the top two lines in every game this season, has shown poise and patience with the puck. On his game-winning goal, Poturalski controlled the puck around the UMass net, carefully weighed his options, and found the top corner over goalie Henry Dill's glove. Senior Alternate Captain Grayson Downing continued his torrid scoring pace adding two goals to his season total of 14. He has scored 10 goals in his last 7 games. Downing is now the third leading goal scorer among Hockey East players.
Freshman goalie Danny Tirone has started three games since he enrolled at UNH for the second semester. He has won all three games and compiled a Save Percentage of .935 and Goals Against Average of 1.67. On Monday, Tirone was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week.
Goal-by-Goal BreakdownPERIOD 1
Matias Cleland-3 (Assisted by Cameron Marks-3 & Casey Thrush-11)
00:18 of 1st Period - UNH 1, UMass 0
~ Sophomore defenseman Matias Cleland scored his third goal of the season on the first puck possession of the game. ~ Casey Thrush sent the puck from the goal line out to freshman Cameron Marks at the right point. Marks passed the puck along the blueline to Cleland on the left point. ~ Cleland snapped a quick shot which easily best UMass goalie Henry Dill.
Danny Tirone Saves ~ In his third NCAA start and second at the Whittemore Center, freshman goalie Danny Tirone only faced 20 official shots on goal. In the first period, he was tested a few times and maintained UNH's one-goal lead. ~ Here are some of Tirone's stops including a couple when UNH was on the penalty kill.
UNH Bids ~ On the first two shifts of the second period, UNH nearly extended their lead to two goals. With Tyler Kelleher out with a stomach flu, senior Captain Matt Willows playied up on the first line with Grayson Downing and Casey Thrush. Downing fed Willows in the low slot for a point blank shot on UMass goalie Henry Dill. ~ On the next shift, Andrew Poturalski nearly scored on a wraparound and fellow freshman Warren Foegele fired the rebound at Dill.
Danny Tirone - More Saves ~ Tirone helped UNH maintain its slim one goal lead with a number of key saves in the second period. ~ Here are some of Tirone's stops including a couple when UNH was on the penalty kill.
Steven Guzzo (From LaRue)
18:46 of Period 2 - UNH 1, UMass 1 ~ UNH turned the puck over at the redline and Guzzo carried it down the right wing.
~ At the top the faceoff circle, Guzzo wristed a shot that partially deflected off UNH defenseman Ryan Randall's stick. Tirone's glove appeared to be in a position to make the save but he did not time it properly.
Ryan McDougall (From Burchett & Hetnik)
4:59 of Period 3 - UMass 2, UNH 1 ~ UMass advanced through the center zone on a 2-on-2 break. UNH appeared to have back-checking players in place to stop the play.
~ Burchett passed to the trailing McDougal uncovered in the mid-slot and he one-timed it past the partially-screened Tirone.
Casey Thrush's No-Goal, Goal ~ With 14:25 left in the third period, Senior Casey Thrush appeared to tie the game up but after an extensive review, the goal was disallowed. ~ Grayson Downing stole the puck in the corner to Dill's left, carried it to the lower faceoff circle and lifted a shot at Dill. ~ Downing's shot knocked Dill's helmet off. An instant later, Thrush knocked the rebound past Dill, but it was ruled a no-goal by the referee on the ice. The ruling was upheld after a review. ~ Here's the play in slow motion:
Jamie Hill-1 (Assisted by Kyle Smith-3 & John Furgele-7)
6:52 of 3rd Period - UNH 2, UMass 2
~ Jamie Hill's first NCAA goal was a big one. On the play, freshman defenseman John Furgele wristed a shot from the blueline that was knocked down by a UMass defenseman.
~ Kyle Smith gathered the loose puck and skated low to Dill's right. He fed a centering pass to Hill who had circled into the low slot and Hill one-timed it past Dill.
Andrew Poturalski-7 (Unassisted)
8:24 of 3rd Period - UNH 3, UMass 2 ~ Less than 2 minutes after Jamie Hill's game-tying goal, freshman Andrew Poturalski dominated puck possession around the UMass net and scored the game-winner.
~ Poturalski initially took a point blank shot at UMass goalie Henry Dill. He then gathered the puck near the goal line to Dill's left and skated around behind the net and out to the lower faceoff circle on Dill's right.
~ Poturalski patiently weighed his options, initially looking to pass but then whipped a wrist shot over Dill's glove and into the top corner of the net.
Grayson Downing-13 (Assisted by Cameron Marks-3 & Matt Willows-10)
9:49 of 3rd Period - UNH 4, UMass 2
~ The UNH pressure continued unabated. Senior Captain Matt Willows reversed direction at the half-wall, skated to the top of the faceoff circle and fed freshman defenseman Cameron Marks at the blueline.
~ Marks skated to the hash marks and fired a wrist shot. Downing redirected the puck past Dill for his 14th goal of the season.
Grayson Downing-14 (Unassisted)
17:46 of 3rd Period - UNH 5, UMass 2
~ UMass pulled goalie Henry Dill with 2:20 left in regulation. Grayson Downing intercepted a pass at the redline, skated across the blueline, deked around a UMass defender and flipped it into the open net.
UNH improved its Hockey East record to 3-6-1. Overall, they are now 8-12-2. The UMass Minutemen fell to 7-16-0 overall and 2-11-0 in Hockey East. Next up for the Wildcats is the home-and-home series against the University of Maine.