COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The No. 12 ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team opened its 80th season of Wildcat hockey with a 4-3 win over WCHA foe Colorado College on Friday, Oct. 20 at the World Arena.
Junior defenseman Brad Flaishans (Glendale, Ariz.) gave UNH a 3-2 lead at 9:29 of the third period to give the 'Cats their first lead of the game. Radja set-up Flaishans' fifth goal of his Wildcat career. Sophomore forward Trevor Smith (North Vancouver, B.C.) extended UNH's lead to 4-2 with 5:09 remaining in the game on a great takeaway by Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta). Fornataro stole the puck from a CC player and redirected the puck to sophomore forward Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.) in the Wildcat offensive zone. Pollastrone shuttled the puck to a streaking Smith down the slot and beat Zaba with a wrist shot over his right shoulder.
Colorado College struck first in the game with two goals in the first period by Braydon Cox and a power-play tally by Lee Sweatt.
The Wildcats got on the board for the first time in 06-07 on a goal by freshman forward Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) to cut the Tigers lead 2-1 at 8:35 of the second period. Butler scored his first collegiate goal on his first collegiate shot beating CC goalie Matt Zaba high blocker side over his left shoulder. Freshman forward Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario) earned his first collegiate point as he was credited with the assist on the Butler tally. UNH then tied the game at 2-2 on a goal from junior forward Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) on a great odd-man rush with seniors Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) and Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba). Micflikier posted a team-high six shots on net, followed by senior captain Josh Ciocco (Atco, N.J.) who amassed five shots on net in the victory for the 'Cats. Radja led the Wildcats with two points (1g, 1a), he was the lone Wildcat to score multiple points.
CC capitalized on a 6 on 4 at the end of the game with 18 seconds left as Addison DeBoer closed the gap to 4-3, slipping the puck past Kevin Regan's (South Boston, Mass.) right pad. Regan came up in the clutch at the end of the game making 15 saves in the final period, including several huge saves on the last few flurries of shots by the Tigers. Regan notched 32 saves in goal for the 'Cats in his 42nd career start, while Zaba totaled 35 saves in the game. UNH outshot Colorado College, 39-35, which included a 12-8 shot advantage in the second period.
UNH improves to 1-0-0 on the year, while the Tigers drop to 3-1-1 early on in the season.
Colorado College went two for 9 on the power play, while UNH went 0 for 7 in the game.
UNH finishes up the two-game set with Colorado College on Saturday, Oct. 21. Game time is 9 p.m. EST at Colorado Springs' World Arena. The Wildcats' regular-season home opener is Oct. 26 against the University of Massachusetts. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.