UNH's Explosive First Period Leads to 6-3 Victory Over Dartmouth
DURHAM, NH - Goalies cringed around the world after a first period that saw UNH score six goals on 16 shots at the Whittemore Center Friday night as Dartmouth clashed with the Wildcats.
The first goal of the night came at 7:43 of the first period off the stick of Dan Correale, who scored his 10th goal of the season. After using his speed to blow past opposing defenders, Correale faked toward the goal, then cut across the goal line. He extended the puck before pulling it behind the goal for a wrap around and banking it off of Dartmouth starting goaltender Devin Buffalo to give UNH a 1-0 lead.
Just over a minute later, Andrew Poturalski was found sitting just outside the crease of Buffalo as John Furgele stepped down into the offensive zone and went tape to tape with a pass to Poturalski. He buried it to make it 2-0, 9:50 into the first. UNH freshman Frankie Cefalu recorded his first collegiate point on the goal with an assist.
The magic man wasn’t done there. At 11:13 of the first, Poturalski extended the lead to 3-0 as he once again parked himself in front of the net. A shot from Matias Cleland rang off the post and bounced into the crease. Poturalski was able to get a stick on it and score a garbage goal for his second of the game and 16th of the season.
Just when UNH fans thought the start couldn’t get better, a minute later it was 4-0. Maxim Gaudreault received a beautiful pass from behind the net from line mate Kyle Smith. Smith sent Gaudreault a no look, behind the back pass and Maxim sniped the shot top shelf at 12:13 of the first.
Dartmouth's starting goalie Devin Buffalo was chased from the game after making just two saves on six Wildcat shots.
Dartmouth would take back momentum and score two goals before the end of the first. Overall, what could have been UNH's best period of the year was overshadowed by a few breakdowns late and some spotty goaltending by Danny Tirone. Tirone was fighting the puck off in the first period, leaving multiple rebounds in the slot and handcuffing himself on a few shots, including the second goal scored by Dartmouth’s Corey Kalk. The puck deflected off Tirone’s shoulder and sat in the crease for an easy goal.
UNH went to a 5 on 3 power play in the second period and went with five forwards on the ice. It worked as planned. After playing pass for the first 20 seconds Tyler Kelleher sent a pass to Gaudreault who one-timed it to the back of the net for his second goal of the game. UNH lead 5-2 lead at 13:09 of the second period.
In the third period, Jamie Hill extended the Wildcats' lead with a tip on a pass from Shane Eiserman who was driving toward the goal. UNH was up 6-2 at 11:13 of the third.
Dartmouth would add a goal late against Jamie Regan , who came into the game for the final six minutes to get some action in relief of Tirone. Tirone himself settled down as the game went on and again looked strong between the pipes for the ‘Cats.
John Furgele had a fantastic game for UNH, racking up five blocks on the night to go along with two assists and a plus two rating on the ice.
Andrew Poturalski and Tyler Kelleher continue to hold the #1 and #2 positions in NCAA scoring. Poturalski's 16 goals is the most in Division I hockey and his 32 points put him at the top of the scoring leaders. Kelleher's 23 assists are the highest in the nation and his 29 points are the second highest.
Here are the video highlights of UNH's 6-3 win courtesy of UNH Athletics:
UNH improved it's overall record to 6-6-4 while Dartmouth dropped to 3-7-1. The Wildcats have a nice winter break before facing UMaine at the end of December in two out of conference games at Portland and Manchester.