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DURHAM, N.H. - Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.) and Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) each notched a goal and an assist, and goaltender Matt DiGirolamo (Ambler, Pa.) recorded his first career shutout, as the eighth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team used a three-goal second period to blank the University of Massachusetts on Friday night, 3-0, in front of a sellout crowd at the Whittemore Center.
The Wildcats, who improve to 5-1-2 on the season, including 3-0-1 in Hockey East, win their fourth straight and run their unbeaten streak to seven consecutive games (5-0-2). The Minutemen fall to 0-6-2 overall and 0-3-2 in the league.
DiGirolamo stopped 19 shots, including nine in the final period. The Wildcats, who outshot UMass, 38-19, including 12-2 in the opening period, netted three power-play goals in a game for the first time since Jan. 16 versus Dartmouth.
UNH jumped on the board just 2:15 into the second period as it skated 5-on-3. Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) took a shot from the top of the slot that was saved by UMass goaltender Jeff Teglia, but the rebound caromed to the bottom of the left circle for Sislo, who wristed a shot into the top left corner of the net for the 1-0 lead. DeSimone also earned an assist on the play
The Wildcats added to that lead only 1:45 later on the power play. Sislo initiated the sequence with a pass from the left circle to the left end line for Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.), whose shot ricocheted off the post and out to the right circle for Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, British Columbia). Kipp rifled a shot just under the crossbar and into the left side of the net to give his team the two-goal advantage.
The 'Cats then capped the middle-stanza scoring with some quick passing on the power play. Brett Kostolansky (Denver, Colo.) began the play with a cross ice pass from the top of the right circle to the bottom of the left circle for Thompson. Thompson quickly slid the puck across the goalmouth to DeSimone, who buried it in the right side of the open net.
DiGirolamo made eight saves in the second period, including a stellar one just five minutes in. UMass tried to take advantage of a 2-on-0 break when Chase Langeraap slid the puck from left to right to Peter DeAngelo. DeAngelo looked to bury the puck in the open net, but DiGirolamo quickly slid to his left and used his left pad to thwart the dangerous chance.
Teglia made 35 saves for the Minutemen.
The Wildcats return to action Saturday night (Nov. 13) in the finale of the two-game set with UMass at Whittemore Center. Puck drops at 7 p.m. Tickets for the game and all UNH home contests are available online at UNHWildcats.com.