Junior Mike Radja nets two goals for Wildcats

DURHAM, N.H. – Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) scored two goals to propel the second-ranked University of New Hampshire hockey team to Sunday afternoon’s 4-1 Hockey East victory against No. 18 University of Vermont at the Whittemore Center.

UNH won its seventh consecutive game to extend its unbeaten streak to 10 games (9-0-1) and improve to 11-2-1 overall and 9-1-1 in Hockey East. UVM is not 9-5-1, 6-2-1.

Wildcats’ goaltender Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) improved to 10-2-1 this season with 22 saves, including eight in both the first and second periods. UVM goalie Joe Fallon stopped 21 shots, 10 of which came in the middle stanza.

UNH took an early 1-0 lead at 1:28 of the opening stanza on a Kevin Kapstad (Boxborough, Mass.) slapshot from the left point. Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.), with the pass from the right point to open ice at the left point where Kapstad skated onto the puck, and Colin Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.), with the outlet pass to Pollastrone through the neutral zone, set up the tally.

Vermont then killed off a stretch of 1:23 with two skaters in the penalty box, then capitalized on a two-skater advantage to tie the score, 1-1, at 8:46. Regan stopped Colin Vock’s initial shot from the right circle, but Brayden Irwin scored off the rebound at the right post. Kenny Macaulay, with a pass from the high slot to Vock, was also credited with an assist.

New Hampshire regained the lead, 2-1, with 34 seconds remaining in the second period. From the defensive zone, Craig Switzer (Peachland, British Columbia) made an outlet pass to Radja at center ice. Radja then entered the offensive zone at the left point and continued forward to the circle, where his high blast beat Fallon near side.

Josh Ciocco (Atco, N.J.) extended the Wildcats’ lead to 3-1 at 11:33 of the third period when his high shot from the left circle once again beat Fallon near side. Brad Flashains (Glendale, Ariz.) earned an assist on the tally.

UVM called time out with 1:17 remaining in the game and pulled Fallon in favor of an extra skater. The Catamounts could not sustain pressure in the offensive zone, however, and sent the puck into UVM’s defensive zone. Radja then won the puck off the left halfboards and shot the puck into the open net with 50 seconds to play to secure the victory.

New Hampshire returns to action Dec. 6 (7 p.m.) at UMass-Lowell. The Wildcats’ next home game is Dec. 8 vs. St. Lawrence. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.