Sunday, November 26, 2017

UNH Plays of the Game: UNH 4 Yale 0

Danny Tirone
3rd Shutout of Season

UNH needed a win. After starting the 2017-18 season with 5 consecutive wins and moving up to #9 in the Division I National Poll, the Wildcats had lost 3 in a row. The loses came against top Hockey East competitors: 2-1 to UMass-Lowell, 4-0 to Boston University, and 3-2 to Boston College.

In a review of the first third of the season on the most recent "UNH Captain's Corner", Dylan Chanter credited the play of senior goalie Danny Tirone with "giv(ing) us a chance to win every night". Last night at the historic Ingalls Rink on the campus of Yale University, Tirone did it again. He made 34 saves and earned his third shutout of the season and ninth NCAA shutout. Tirone currently has the second best Goals Against Average (2.10) and Save Percentage (.932) of all the Hockey East goalies.

Here's a video review of what I believe were the key plays of the 4-0 shutout of Yale.

Play of the Game: Anthony Wyse

Every hockey game has a key play at a critical moment which shifts the momentum toward the win. I think the key play against the Yale Bulldogs came midway through the third period. Although UNH was ahead 2-0, Yale was pressing to get on the scoreboard and back in the game. With the Bulldogs buzzing around the UNH net, sophomore defenseman Anthony Wyse cleared the puck away from the crease, then blocked a pass and stole the puck. He then cleared the puck up the half-wall which sent UNH off on a 3-on-2 breakout. Michael McNicholas nearly beat Yale goalie Sam Tucker and Marcus Vela rifled home the rebound. Vela's second goal of the season effectively put the game out of reach.

Goal and Assist of the Game: Ara Nazarian and Shane Eiserman

Midway through the first period, senior Shane Eiserman reminded UNH fans why he's such a key ingredient in the team's success. After a faceoff in the Yale end, Eiserman hustled below the goal line, knocked the puck away from a Bulldog, and ladled a centering pass to linemate Ara Nazarian. He snapped it home for the game-winning goal and his fifth goal of the season.

Saves of the Game: Danny Tirone

Of all the 34 saves Danny Tirone made against Yale, these two stood out as extraordinary. Both came when UNH was nursing a 1-0 lead - one late in the first period and the other early in the second.

Hit of the Game: Shane Eiserman

For a game against an ECAC opponent, the Yale game was not particularly physical. Similarly, this hit by Shane Eiserman wasn't particularly heavy. However, it signaled that he was back to his intimidating style after missing 6 games with a knee injury.

Defensive Play of the Game: Anthony Wyse

Less than 2 minutes into the second period and UNH ahead 1-0, Joe Snively, Yale's leading goal scorer (9 goals in 9 games) broke into the UNH Zone. Anthony Wyse caught up with him and steered him away from the slot. Then, Wyse made one of the most heads up defensive plays of the year as he swatted an airborne rebound away from the crease.

UNH improved it's overall record to 7-4-1. The Wildcats return to Hockey East action next weekend in a home-and-home series against Providence College.


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