Saturday, January 17, 2015

UNH Opens Gate for UMass Win: Goal-by-Goal

Sophomore Tyler Kelleher
1 Goal, 2 Assists

AMHERST, MA - Following UNH's impressive 2-1 victory over Providence, Senior Alternate Captain Grayson Downing said:
"Defensively, we're starting to get the structure down that coach has in place for us. When we're playing solid defensively, the goalies don't have to make the big saves."
Just a few nights later at the Mullins Center on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, the UNH defensive play did not live up to this standard. The Wildcats eliminated a one-goal deficit three times only to give the lead right back to UMass. When the defensive coverage around and in front of the net broke down, freshman goalie Adam Clark was not always able to come up with the big save. The result was a 4-6 loss to the last place UMass Minutemen.

Scoring goals was not an issue for UNH. They converted on two power play opportunities and outshot UMass 33-20 including a lop-sided 13-3 in the final period. Longmeadow, MA native Tyler Kelleher didn't disappoint local friends and family who came out to see the former Western Mass star play. Kelleher added a goal and two assists to his team-leading total of 23 points. He just barely missed two other scoring opportunities in the first period.

The absence of top defenseman Brett Pesce was noticable. He was an unhealthy scratch resulting from an upper respiratory illness. In addition to his 2 goals and 2 assists, Pesce has a +/- rating of +7. Of the remaining UNH defensemen who have played at least a dozen games this season, only sophomore Matias Cleland has a positive rating - he's a +1. Freshman Dylan Chanter, who has played in 6 games, is a +3. UNH fans are hoping that Pesce quickly recovers and is back in the lineup tonight as UMass visits the Whittemore Center.

Goal-by-Goal Breakdown


Andrew Poturalski-6 (Assisted by Matt Willows-9 & Shane Eiserman-4)
1:22 of 1st Period - UNH 1, UMass 0
~ On their first shift of the game, UNH's second line of Shane Eiserman-Andrew Poturalski-Matt Willows got UNH on the board. As they rushed into the UMass zone, Willows sent a cross-slot pass to Poturalski breaking down the right wing.
~ Poturalski carried the puck even wider, drawing UMass goalie Henry Dill to the edge of the crease, then zipped a wrist shot to the far side.

Tyler Kelleher's First Bid
~ With about 7 minutes left in the first period, Grayson Downing carried the puck below the goal line and fed Kelleher in the low slot. Kelleher's first wrist shot was blocked by Dill.
~ Kelleher pounced on the rebound and bang-bang, slid the puck behind Dill. It hit the inside of the left post and ricocheted away.

Ryan McDougall (From Burchett & Montour)
12:01 of Period 1 - UNH 1, UMass 1

Tyler Kelleher's Second Bid
~ UNH went on the power play with 3 minutes left in the first period. Casey Thrush gathered the puck on the half-wall and passed to Kelleher in the low slot.
~ Once again, Kelleher's initial shot was blocked by Dill but Tyler scooped up the rebound and lifted a shot over the sprawled Dill that just barely missed the top corner.


Marc Hetnik (From Lee & Kravchenko)
1:31 of Period 2 - UNH 1, UMass 2
~ 3 UMass players penetrated deep into the faceoff circle to Adam Clark's right.
~ Hetnik skated the puck wide and squeezed a wrist shot between Clark's blocker and the post.

John Furgele-2 (Assisted by Casey Thrush-10 & Tyler Kelleher-14)
8:06 of 2nd Period - UNH 2, UMass 2

Jake Horton (From Trento & Vatrano)
18:12 of Period 2 - UNH 2, UMass 3
~ UMass defenseman Horton was open at the hash marks to Clark's right and he zipped a wrist shot under Clark's armpit on the blocker side.


Tyler Kelleher-8 (Assisted by John Furgele-6 & Grayson Downing-8)
7:54 of 3rd Period - UNH 3, UMass 3
~ On UNH's fourth power play of the game, Tyler Kelleher finally converted from his familiar position on the doorstep to the right of Henry Dill. Once again, he beat Dill but this time, the puck found the back of the net.

Shane Walsh (From Lee & Baxandall)
8:14 of Period 3 - UNH 3, UMass 4

Casey Thrush-3 (Assisted by Tyler Kelleher-15 & Harry Quast-2)
10:32 of 3rd Period - UNH 4, UMass 4
~ Midway through the final period, UNH went on their 5th power play. This time Tyler Kelleher gathered the puck below the goal line to Dill's left and fed Thrush on the opposite side of the net.
~ Thrush one-timed it past Dill. It was the third and final time that UNH tied the game.

Shane Walsh (From Vatrano & Kravchenko)
14:29 of Period 3 - UMass 5, UNH 4

Troy Power (From Montour & Lee)
15:26 of Period 3 - UMass 6, UNH 4

With the loss, UNH's Hockey East record fell to 2-6-1. Overall, they are now 7-12-2. The UMass Minutemen improved their record to 7-15-0 overall and 2-10-0 in Hockey East.


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