Friday, November 24, 2017

UNH Captain's Corner: Reviewing the First Third of the 2017-18 Season

UNH Captain Dylan Chanter

Hard to believe the first third of the 2017-18 regular season is in the books. In the initial 11 games, UNH has won 6, lost 4, and tied 1. The Wildcats are currently ranked #13 in the Division I National Poll. In Hockey East competition, they are 3-3-1 and tied for 4th place. The remainder of the regular season includes 17 Hockey East games and 6 nonconference matchups.

It's an opportune time to reflect on the performance of the 2017-18 team so far and take a look forward with UNH Captain Dylan Chanter. For background, here's my take on some of the accomplishments and areas for improvement.


~ UNH won the first 5 games of this season, the most since the 1993-94 team won the first 7 games.

~ For the first time since 2012-13, the year UNH advanced to the Regional Finals of the NCAA Tournament, the team cracked the top 10 national rankings - #9 on November 6th.

~ UNH's scoring offense is 3.09 goals per game, 2nd best in Hockey East and 18th in NCAA Division I. Power play efficiency is 22.7%, 3rd in Hockey East and 14th in the nation.

~ Balanced scoring: 8 players have scored 2 or more goals. Max Gildon has 6 goals. Brendan van Riemsdyk, Liam Blackburn, and Ara Nazarian have 4 goals.

~ 18-year-old freshman Max Gildon is tied for 1st in goal-scoring among all NCAA defensemen and has the highest goals per game (0.55).

~ Freshman Benton Maass, who turns 19 tomorrow, is tied for 4th among all NCAA defensemen in assists (9) and is 4th assists per game (0.82).

~ UNH's overall defense is the best in Hockey East in terms of goals against per game (2.27) and 7th best in the nation. The Wildcats' penalty kill efficiency is 88.2%, second best in Hockey East and 8th in the nation.

~ Senior goalie and alternate captain Danny Tirone's save percentage is .926, second best in Hockey East and tenth among all Division I goalies.


~ UNH is in the midst of a three-game losing streak. By comparison, the 2012-13 team, the last to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, never lost more than two games in a row.

~ During the regular season last year, UNH had three forwards who scored goals at a 0.50 pace (one goal for every two games played) or better - Tyler Kelleher (0.65 goals per game), Jason Salvaggio (0.62) and Patrick Grasso (0.50). So far this season, no forwards have reached that level of goal-scoring. Brendan van Riemsdyk has the highest goals per game (0.40) among all UNH forwards.

~ Although UNH's total defense has improved substantially as compared to last season - 2.27 goals against per game vs. 3.47 GA/GP - shots on goal allowed has only showed a small improvement - 30.84 shots on goal against per game vs. 33.26 SOGA/GP.

Captain's Interview

Here's the interview with UNH Captain Dylan Chanter regarding the first third of the 2017-18 season:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): The Wildcats have completed the first third of the regular season. Prior to last weekend, the team was undefeated in Hockey East play (3-0-1) and ranked #9 in the nation. That was followed by three consecutive loses against UMass-Lowell, Boston University and Boston College. What has the team done well over the first 11 games?

Dylan Chanter: There are a lot of things we have done well early on this season. After our great start, teams started to take note to the way we play and took advantage of some costly mistakes on our part. Our overall effort on the defensive side of the puck has been emphasized and I believe that it has been much better so far this year. Goal scoring is another area that has helped us immensely, especially to start off the season. Lastly, I think strong goaltending has given us a chance to win every night thanks to Danny Tirone.

Mike Lowry: What areas have room for improvement?

Dylan Chanter: As far as improvement goes, we are always looking to improve every part of our overall team game. Getting back to consistent 60 minute efforts is a huge aspect in winning hockey games. Everything that comes with a 60 minute effort are areas that we can improve on. Whether it is goal scoring, getting pucks to the net to create scoring chances, preventing grade-A scoring chances, blocking shots, etc., we need to continue to get better in those areas in order to win games.

Lowry: Do you believe UNH is one of the top ten teams in the nation? If so, why?

Chanter: As a team, we try not to listen to the outside noise of national rankings. One of our team goals is to finish as a top-four team in Hockey East this year. By doing so, we would put ourselves in a good spot nationally and have a great shot at making the tournament. At the end of the day, we are mostly concerned with ourselves, our league, and what we can do to best prepare for our next opponent.

UNH returns to action tomorrow night for a nonconference game at Yale University. On the first weekend in December, UNH will play a home-and-home series against Providence College.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Web Site Hit Counter

Firefox 2