DENVER - Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) and Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) each scored their first career hat tricks as the third-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team rallied from a early 3-0 deficit to capture a 6-4 win over the No. 2 University of Denver on Saturday night in non-conference action at Magness Arena.
UNH, which is now 5-0-1 in its last six games, improves to 9-1-2 overall. Denver is now 9-3-0 after being swept out by Yale and UNH.
Goumas added a pair of assists for a career-high five points, while six other Wildcats factored in scoring. It marks the first time UNH had two hat tricks in the same game since Jerry Pollastrone and Matt Fornataro did so in the Hockey East quarterfinals against UMass on March 15, 2008.
Jeff Wyer (Reading, Mass.) came in net in relief and stopped 18-of-19 shots in 50:55 of time in net. He earns his first collegiate win. He is 1-0-0 on the season. Sam Brittain allowed five goals on 30 shots and falls to 4-2-0 on the season.
Trailing 3-0 after one period, the Wildcats rallied with six of the game's final seven goals including four third period goals to earn the come-from-behind win. UNH struck back with a shorthanded goal by Downing at 3:49 of the second. Brett Kostolansky (Denver, Colo.) chipped the puck to neutral ice where Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) played the puck to Downing the right wing. Downing raced down the boards and scored on a one-timer. New Hampshire cut it to 3-2 with a four-on-four goal by Downing a 7:41 of the frame. DU turned the puck over at the blue line to Goumas, who slide the puck to Downing for a wrister. Denver scored to make it 4-2 at 10:09 as Loney fired a shot that was blocked by a UNH defender and was lost. The puck bounced out to Loney, who had an open net for an unassisted tap in. Both teams had nine shots on goal in the period.
Downing completed the hat trick just 1:19 into the third period as he scored on a nifty backhander finishing off a one-on-none fast break. Credit Justin Agosta (East Meadow, N.Y.) and Wyer with assists on the goal that cut it to 4-3. UNH tied it at 13:24 of the third as Goumas scored on a rebound goal that appeared to get lost in the pads of DU netminder Brittain. Casey Thrush (Easton, Md.) and Maxim Gaudreault (Annapolis, Md.) assisted on the tying tally. Goumas scored the go-ahead goal, an unassisted goal, at 16:40 of the third period.
In the first, Denver struck first just 5:18 into the contest as Gabe Levin scored on a backhander from behind the net that bounced in off the back of UNH netminder Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.). Chris Knowlton and Josiah Didier assisted on the goal. DU doubled its lead just over a minute later as Daniel Doremus scored from the right slot on a wrister with assists from Nolan Zajac and David Makowski at 6:23. The Pioneers made it 3-0 as Matt Tabrum scored with assist from Ty Loney and Quentin Shore at 9:05. New Hampshire replaced DeSmith with Wyer after the third goal. The Wildcats would get some pressure on Denver in the second half of the first, but had to kill off three penalties in the period and were not able to crack the scoreboard. DU held a slim 11-9 shot advantage in the first.
The Wildcats outshot Denver 31-27 for the game. Denver was 0-5 on the power play, while UNH was 0-1 in just 19 seconds of power play time.
UNH returns to action Nov. 30 against the UMass-Lowell River Hawks. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at the Whittemore Center with TV coverage on WBIN-TV and FOX College Sports. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.