Freshman Brian Foster makes 26 saves to post shutout in first career start

DURHAM, N.H. – Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) stopped 26 shots to record a shutout in his first collegiate start to lead the 10th-ranked University of New Hampshire hockey team to Saturday night’s 4-0 Hockey East victory against the University of Massachusetts-Lowell at the Whittemore Center.

UNH extended its unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1) to improve to 7-2-1 overall and 5-1-1 in Hockey East, which puts them atop the league standings. UML, defeated 5-2 Friday night at home by the Wildcats, is now 3-5-3, 2-3-2.

Foster recorded nine saves in both the second and third periods and held the River Hawks scoreless on five power-play opportunities. With UML on the power play late in the middle stanza, he denied an unmarked Jeremy Hall after he collected a loose puck in the low slot. In the final frame, Foster denied Mike Potacco’s wrist shot from the slot then slid to his left to stop Nick Monroe off the rebound at the right post with 6:30 to play.

The ‘Cats quickly took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.) at 1:12 of the first period. In a faceoff to the right of UML goaltender Vinny Monaco, Trevor Smith (North Vancouver, British Columbia) drew the puck back to Pollastrone, whose high shot from the point sailed into the net.

New Hampshire struck twice early in the second period to build a 3-0 lead. Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.; goal, assist) netted his ninth goal of the season at 48 seconds when he lifted a shot off a rebound into the open top half of the net. Brad Flashains (Glendale, Ariz.; two assists), with the initial shot from the high slot, and Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba; two assists) were credited with assists.

Shawn Vinz (Rochester, Minn.) extended the advantage to three goals at 2:16. Danny Rossman (Boxford, Mass.) swung the puck from the left circle to the high slot, where Flashain’s shot was tipped by Vinz high in the air over Monaco and the puck landed just across the goal line. The assist was Rossman’s first career point.

Brett Hemingway (Surrey, British Columbia) finished off a 2-on-1 rush by shooting into an open right side of the net to give the ‘Cats a 4-0 lead at 11:52 of the third period. Radja collected Micflikier’s outlet pass in the neutral zone and made a toe-drag move in the left circle to elude the UML defenseman, then feathered the puck across to Hemingway.

Monaco recorded eight of his 18 saves in the opening stanza.

New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 22 (7 p.m.) at Boston College. The Wildcats’ next home game is Dec. 3 vs. Vermont. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 3 p.m.