Three Wildcats post three-point games

Phil DeSimone had two goals and an assist for the Wildcats

DURHAM, N.H. - James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.), Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario) and Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) each recorded three points to propel the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire ice hockey team to Saturday night's 8-4 victory against St. Francis Xavier in an exhibition game at the Whittemore Center.

DeSimone tallied two goals and an assist while LeBlanc finished with a goal and two assists and van Riemsdyk had three assists. Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.; two goals), Mike Sislo (Superior, Wisc.; goal, assist) and Joe Charlebois (Potsdam, N.Y.; two assists) also finished with multiple points. Thomas Fortney (Webster Grove, Mo.) and Alan Thompson (Gilford, N.H.) accounted for UNH's other goals and five 'Cats tallied single assists.

Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) played the initial 51:26 of the game and exited with 18 saves and UNH leading 8-3. Matt DiGirolamo (Penilyn, Pa.) went the final 8:34; he yielded one goal and stopped two shots. X-Men goalie Danny Battochio went the distance and was credited with 39 saves, including 15 in the third.

The Wildcats struck three times early in the first period to build a 3-0 lead and took a 4-1 advantage into the first intermission. Butler quickly gave UNH a 1-0 lead at 1:17 when LeBlanc's pokecheck created a turnover in the neutral zone and sent Butler alone behind the defense.

DeSimone and Fortney netted power-play goals 3:16 apart - at 2:09 and 5:26, respectively - to give the 'Cats the three-goal cushion. DeSimone scored on a wrist shot from the slot off a pass from van Riemsdyk behind the net, and Sislo was also credited with an assist. Fortney scored on a rush in which Greg Collins (Fairport, N.Y.) fed the puck from the slot to Fortney in the right circle. Charlebois set up the tally.

The X-Men trimmed the deficit to 3-1 at 19:10 when Rob Warner scored from the right doorstep. Brett Lipcomb, who carried the puck deep into the right circle, set up the goal.

UNH responded before the intermission, however, with Sislo's tally at 19:36. DeSimone and van Riemsdyk were credited with assists.

The parade to the penalty box increased in the second period - UNH was whistled for five minor infractions and the X-Men for four - as the Wildcats extended their lead to 7-2 through 40 minutes.

Butler's second strike of the game, this time on a shot from the right circle, gave the 'Cats a 5-1 advantage at 1:16. DeSimone recorded his third point - and second goal - of the night at 11:50 when he collected van Riemsdyk's pass in the slot and scored from close range. Blake Kessel (Verona, Wisc.) with a pass through the neutral slot to van Riemsdyk at the left point, set up the tally.

Liscomb's power-play goal at 15:46 trimmed St. Francis' deficit to 6-2. Foster stopped Jevin MacLellan's initial shot from the right circle, but Lipscomb corralled the rebound in the slot and scored. Phil Magnan, with the outlet pass along the right dashers, was also credited with an assist.

LeBlanc potted a power-play goal at 19:53 of the second stanza off a pass from Charlebois.

Thompson, with the assistance of Danny Dries (Lake Orion, Mich.) and Mike Beck (Long Beach, Calif.), scored UNH's eighth goal at 2:51 of the third to extend the lead to 8-2.

Will Colbert struck on a 4x3 power play at 6:37 and Brett Robertson netted an even-strength goal at 15:15 to close the scoring.

UNH finished with a 47-24 shot advantage. The Wildcats were 3-for-8 on the power play and 6 of 8 on the penalty kill.

New Hampshire opens the 2008-09 season at home Oct. 11 against the University of Wisconsin. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.