DURHAM, N.H. – Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.) recorded two goals and two assists to lead the 13th-ranked University of New Hampshire hockey team to Saturday night’s 7-1 victory in an exhibition game against the U.S. National Under-18 Team at the Whittemore Center.
Trevor Smith (North Vancouver, British Columbia) and Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta), Pollastrone’s linemates, finished with two goals and an assist and two assists, respectively.
Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) made 21 saves and exited with UNH leading 5-1 at 12:40 of the third period. Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) played the final 7:20 and was credited with five saves. Team USA’s Brad Phillips stopped 28 shots, including 15 in the third period.
Smith and Chris Murray (Dover, Mass.) netted first-period goals 73 seconds apart to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Smith, standing at the top of the goaltender’s crease, jammed the puck into the net at 4:04. Fornataro, whose initial shot from deep in the left circle was stopped by Phillips, and Pollastrone were credited with assists. Shawn Vinz (Rochester, Minn.) set up Murray’s low, hard shot from the high slot with a pass from the left circle.
The Wildcats scored two more goals in the second period to extend their lead to 4-0. Smith netted his second of the night at 11:14 – just four seconds after a UNH power play expired – on a high wrist shot from the low slot. Pollastrone, with a pass from the right circle, and Fornataro were credited with assists. Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) gave the ‘Cats a four-goal lead with 28.3 seconds remaining in the middle stanza when he maneuvered down the slot and scored. Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) set up the strike with quick passes through the neutral zone.
Pollastrone opened the third-period scoring with a goal at 2:31 before USA’s Matt Rust netted a 5-on-3 power-play goal at 4:58. Regan stopped Rust’s initial two shots from point-blank range but could not stop his third attempt. Pollastrone struck again at 15:28 and Josh Ciocco (Atco, N.J.), off a pass from Jamie Fritsch (Odenton, Md.), capped the game scoring at 17:11.
UNH opens the regular season with a two-game series Oct. 20-21 at Colorado College. The Wildcats’ regular-season home opener is Oct. 26 against the University of Massachusetts. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.