DURHAM, N.H. - Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) and Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) scored goals 11 seconds apart late in the third period to lift the sixth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Tuesday night's 5-5 non-conference tie against Brown University at the Whittemore Center.
UNH moved to 6-2-4 overall by remaining undefeated (2-0-3) at home. Brown, coming off a pair of league road wins this past weekend, is now 3-2-2.
Trailing 5-3, the Wildcats called time out with 2:33 remaining and pulled goaltender Matt DiGirolamo (Ambler, Pa.) in favor of an extra skater. Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) swung the puck from the right circle to Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.) at the opposite side. Sislo quickly made a touch pass to Kessel in the high slot and his shot sailed into the net at 18:07.
Borisenok leveled the score, 5-5, at 18:18 when he corralled a loose puck in front of the net and beat Brown goalie Mike Clemente.
DiGirolamo finished with 22 saves, including four in the five-minute overtime session. Clemente stopped 36 shots, including two in OT and 14 in the third period. It was the seventh time this season New Hampshire registered 40-plus shots on net.
UNH's offense was led by Sislo (two goals, two assists) and DeSimone (three assists). Kessel tallied a goal and an assist. For Brown, Harry Zolnierczyk (2g, 1a), Jack Maclellan (3a) and Jeff Buvinow (2a) had multiple-point games.
Both teams struggled to generate scoring chances in the first period but the Wildcats struck late to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) advanced through the left circle and snapped a pass across the slot to Sislon, who was unmarked at the right post and redirected the puck into the open right side of the net. DeSimone, with the initial pass to Thompson, was also credited with an assist on the tally, which was scored at 17:36.
The Bears netted three goals less than three minutes into the second stanza to take a 3-1 lead. The outburst began with just 51 seconds elapsed when Chris Zaires collected Zolnierczyk's centering pass, turned and fired a shot inside the right post. Buvinow, with the pass from the neutral zone to Zolnierczyk on the left wing, also set up the game-tying goal.
Brown then scored goals 53 seconds apart to build a two-goal advantage. In the waning seconds of a penalty kill, Bobby Farnham gained possession along the right boards at center ice and skated past the UNH defense for a breakaway down the slot and from close range he lifted a shot past DiGirolamo's glove at 4:02.
UNH then generated a scoring chance in transition, but Clemente extended his left leg pad to deny Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.). Buvinow cleared the rebound to Maclellan, who quickly advanced the puck to Zolnierczyk at the center ice faceoff dot. Zolnierczyk converted the breakaway into a goal at 4:55.
The Wildcats netted a power-play goal at 4:39 of the third period to trim the deficit to 4-3. Sislo collected Kessel's pass in the left circle, maneuvered past a pair of defenders to the slot and wristed a shot into the upper-left corner of the cage.
Less than two minutes later, Brown's Farnham skated behind the UNH defense at the left point, charged towards the net and dragged the puck across the slot to the right post. DiGirolamo slid across the crease with him, however, to make the save and keep the 'Cats within one goal.
The Bears reestablished a two-goal lead, 5-3, at 9:34 when Zolnierczyk skated from behind the net to the right circle and deposited a wrist shot into the upper-right corner. Maclellan was credited with an assist.
New Hampshire went on its fourth power play of the night at 13:40 and 35 seconds later Kessel's blast from the high slot caromed off the left post. Then with 2:40 remaining, DeSimone's shot from the top of the crease trickled behind Clemente but wide of the left post.
New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 27 (7 p.m.) at home against Merrimack College. Tickets are available at the Whittemore Center Box Office, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or going online to www.unhwildcats.com.