ST. CLOUD, Minn. - St. Cloud used four power play goals and held off a late charge to push past the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team, 7-5, Friday night at the National Hockey Center.
UNH moves to 0-4-0 on the season, while the Huskies are now 2-3-0. Friday's game mark just the second all-time meeting between these teams, UNH capture a 5-2 win over the Huskies in the NCAA's on March 28, 2003 in Worcester, Mass. SCSU was 4-5 on the power play, while UNH was 2-5 in its extra-skater opportunities.
UNH struck first for the first time this season as Scott Pavelski (Plover, Wis.) scored on a tip in from the right slot. Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) collected a pass from Casey Thrush (Easton, Md.) at center ice and fired a shot was redirected in by Pavelski at 3:17. The goal was Pavelski's first collegiate goal and the first collegiate point for Thrush. The Huskies answered 2:16 later as Nic Dowd scored on the power play from the point with assists from Ben Hanowski and Nick Jensen at 5:33. St. Cloud took the lead at 10:25 as Travis Novak scored after rushing the net on the rebound of a Mitch MacMillan shot. Jordy Christian also assisted on the goal. New Hampshire netted the equalizer at 18:29 of the frame with a power play tally. Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) scored his second power play goal in as many games as he backhanded in a long rebound of a Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) wrister. Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) started the play by winning a stick battle below the net and shoveling it puck out in front to van Riemsdyk, it was the first collegiate point for both Downing and van Riemsdyk. Each team had 10 shots in the frame and had a power play goal.
The Huskies struck three times in the frame to make it 5-2 at the end of two. SCSU regained the lead with a power play goal at 2:25 as Drew LeBlanc scored with assists from Hanowski and Jensen. The Huskies doubled its lead when Cam Reid scored his second of the season with assists from LeBlanc and Andrew Prochno at 4:54. New Hampshire had a few opportunities to cut into the Husky lead in the middle of the stanza, but John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) one-timer rattled off the pipe as did a bid from Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.). The Huskies stretched it to 5-2 with its third power play goal of the game as Jarrod Rabey scored on a one-timer from the left point with assists from Novak and Reid. UNH had quality chances, but did not score in its two second-period power play attempts, while SCSU was 2-3 on the power play in the second and held a 14-7 shot advantage.
New Hampshire started the period by lifting Matt Di Girolamo (Ambler, Pa.) in favor of Jeff Wyer (Reading, Mass.). Wyer saved his first shot against and started a transition that led to a UNH goal. Wyer played the puck down to Knodel, who fired a pass to Henrion at the top of the blue line. Henrion skated in and beat Lee with a wrister at 1:55 to make it 5-3. SCSU scored its four power play goal of the game at 6:14 as Jensen scored with assists from LeBlanc and Hanoski. UNH responded with an even-strength goal at 12:47. Just as a Wildcat power play was expiring, Downing fought to stop a SCSU clearing attempt and pushed the puck towards the net. The rebound found the stick of Sorkin slid the puck to Moses for a tap in on the short side. The Wildcats cut it to 6-5 as Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, British Columbia) scored on a one-timer from the right point with an assist from Knodel. The Huskies sealed the victory with an empty-net goal at 19:17 by Hanowski with assists from LeBlanc and Novak.
Di Girolamo stopped 19 shots including 11 in the second period during his two periods of action and falls to 0-4-0. Jeff Wyer stopped 11-of-12 shots in his period of play. Mike Lee of SCSU improves to 2-2-0 stopping 28 shots including 13 in the third period.
UNH and St. Cloud complete the two-game set Saturday night (7:07 CT) at the National Hockey Center. The Wildcats return home for a homecoming tilt with Union on Oct. 28 (7 p.m.) for tickets to the Union game and more information on UNH hockey including live stats, live video and audio log onto www.UNHWildcats.com