Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Poturalski Scores Hat Trick; Tirone Struggles; RPI 4, UNH 3

UNH's Andrew Poturalski Leads
Nation in Goals and Scoring

The UNH Wildcats' third game in five days turned out to be a microcasm of the 2015-16 season. UNH drove into the campus of RPI in Troy, New York with an overall record of 3 wins, 5 loses, and 3 ties. Their top scoring line of Tyler Kelleher, Andrew Poturalski and Dan Correale had produced the bulk of the team's offense. Kelleher and Poturalski were the #1 and #2 scorers in college hockey.

On the downside, UNH had surrendered 43 goals in 11 games which put that them in the bottom 10 of all Division I teams. Sophomore goalie Danny Tirone, who had played in 9 of 11 games, entered the RPI game with a record of 1-6-3 and a goals against average in the bottom 10 of all goalies who had played in at least 33% of their teams' minutes.

Over the first 30 minutes of tonight's game, UNH and Tirone surrendered 3 goals to the RPI Engineers. Andrew Poturalski spearheaded a UNH comeback by scoring a hat trick late in the second period and into the first minute of the third period. Linemates Kelleher and Correale were on the ice for all three goals. Then, as has happened too often this season, UNH gave up the game-winning goal in the closing minutes of play.

As college hockey heads into the Thanksgiving break, UNH can still boast of having the top 2 scorers in the nation. Sophomore Andrew Poturalski has scored the most goals (11) and points (23) in the nation. Junior Tyler Kelleher has the most assists (16) and is the second leading scorer with 22 points. However, the Wildcats now have a record of 3-6-3, the 4th most goals allowed (47 goals in 12 games) in Division I hockey, and a starting goalie with the 5th highest goals against average (4.01) out of the 81 Division I goalies.

Sophomore goalie Adam Clark has played in two games so far this season - victories against Union and Merrimack. Clark has a goals against average of 2.00 and a save percentage of .939. When he hurt his shoulder in practice during the first week in November, the initial estimate was he'd be out of the lineup for one to two weeks. He has not practiced or played in three weeks which suggests the injury may be more serious than originally hoped.

Here are the highlights of tonight's 4-3 victory by RPI.

The first 3 RPI goals were scored by Mike Prapavessis, Drew Melanson, and Riley Bourbonnais:

2nd Period goal by Andrew Poturalski with assists from Matt Dawson and Chris Miller at the 12:38 mark:

2nd Period power play goal by Andrew Poturalski with assists from Matias Cleland and Cameron Marks at the 13:21 mark:

3rd Period goal by Andrew Poturalski with assists from John Furgele and Tyler Kelleher at the 1:04 mark:

3rd Period Game-Winning Goal by Alex Rodriguez at the 15:59 mark:

Here is the box score for the 4-3 loss. UNH returns to action on Saturday night against Bentley College at the Whittemore Center.


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