DURHAM, N.H. - Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) made 17 saves to record his third career shutout and backbone the sixth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Friday night's 1-0 non-conference victory against Rensselaer Polytech Institute at the Whittemore Center.
UNH improves to 2-0-0 while Rensselaer falls to 0-2-0. It is Foster's first shutout since Dec. 8, 2006 vs. St. Lawrence, and UNH last shut out an opponent Feb. 22, 2008 at Boston College.
Following a scoreless first period, Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario) scored what proved to be the game's only goal at 18:25 of the middle stanza when he snapped a wrist shot from the right circle into the upper-right corner of the net; it was his second goal in as many games this season. Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) and Joe Charlebois (Potsdam, N.Y.) set up the tally.
Rensselaer went on the power play with 2:41 remaining in regulation and pulled goaltender Mathias Lange with 1:20 on the clock to gain a two-skater advantage. UNH's penalty kill was effective at disrupting the visitor's attack and did not allow a shot. With approximately 25 seconds to play, a shot caromed off an Engineer skater in the slot to Tyler Helfrich at the left doorstep. Helfirch's quick shot was denied by Foster. The puck was cleared and Rensselaer was unable to generate another rush before time expired.
Foster made seven of his 17 saves in the second period. Lange made half of his 40 saves in the final frame, including 15 on five UNH power-play opportunities.
UNH began to sustain pressure midway through the second stanza. LeBlanc was stoned by Lange on a one-timer from the low slot off a pass from behind the net. Minutes later, James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) had a 1-on-1 breakaway in which he maneuvered around the defenseman from the left circle to the slot, but then was turned aside by Lange.
In the scoreless third period, UNH threatened multiple times on the power play but could not extend its one-goal lead. In the ninth minute, a Kevin Kapstad (Boxboro, Mass.) shot from the left point caromed high off Lange and was cleared out of the crease by a defenseman. The puck remained in the zone, however, and Blake Kessel's (Verona, Wis.) shot from the slot was stopped by Lange, who then had to turn and cover the loose puck behind him.
With UNH again on the power play in the 11th minute, Charlebois' slapshot from the slot was snared by Lange's glove. With a teammate in the penalty box, Lange again kept the Engineers within one goal when he turned aside a Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.) redirection in the slot off a shot by Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) in the 17th minute.
New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 19 (5 p.m.) against Hockey East rival Boston University. The game will be televised live on ESPNU.