Tirone, UNH Shut Out RPI 5-0
DURHAM, NH - Outstanding goaltending, stingy defense, and plenty of goals - the UNH Wildcats put it all together in their 5-0 drubbing of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute before a pre-Thanksgiving crowd at the Whittemore Center. In the recent article "UNH Captain's Corner: #1 Offense in Hockey East", I described how top goal-scorers Patrick Grasso, Tyler Kelleher, Jason Salvaggio, Michael McNicholas, Liam Blackburn and others have turned the UNH offense into the most potent in Hockey East. While that offense continued to excel against RPI, junior goalie Danny Tirone stole the show in his second shutout of the 2016-17 season.
In all, Tirone made 25 saves - some timely and some spectacular. This video of Tirone highlights starts with a big save just 4 minutes into the game. It was particularly important given UNH's tendency to fall behind in a few games early in the season. The second save in the sequence shows Tirone making perhaps his best glove save of the season. Then there's the key saves as UNH killed off a 2-minute, 5-on-3 in the second period. The Wildcats were only ahead 2-0 at the time.
Although Tirone got off to a slow start in his first three games of the season, he has turned it around in his last 8 starts. Since the 4-1 win at UMass in late October, Tirone's has posted a record of 5-1-2. During that stretch, his save percentage improved from .876 to .919 and his goals against average decreased from 3.74 to 2.26.
And yes, the UNH offense scored more than enough goals to cover Tirone's shutout. Here's the game-winner by sophomore center Chris Miller:
Miller has done an outstanding job filling in for the injured Ara Nazarian on UNH's second line. His speed has complimented the strong physical play of wingers Shane Eiserman and Marcus Vela.
UNH also got goals from Tyler Kelleher (8), Liam Blackburn (4), Dylan Maller (3), and Michael McNicholas (7). Here are the highlights of their goals courtesy of UNH Wildcat Productions:
With the win against RPI from the ECAC, UNH improved it's overall record to 6-5-2. Next Saturday, UNH travels to Madison Square Garden for a matchup with Cornell University.