DURHAM, N.H. - Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) and Connor Hardowa (Edmonton, Alberta) recorded three points apiece to lead the University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team to Friday night's 5-3 non-conference victory against St. Cloud State University in the season opener for both teams at the Whittemore Center. The win marked the 500th in the 23-year tenure of head coach Dick Umile.
Speelman finished with two goals and an assist while Hardowa tallied three assists. Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J) finished with a goal and an assist while both Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) and Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) had two assists.
UNH goaltender Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) finished with 20 saves and SCSU counterpart Ryan Faragher stopped 34 shots, including 13 in the first period and 12 in the third.
Umile becomes the 12th coach in Division I history to win 500 games and just the sixth active coach to do so. He is one of just eight coaches to win 500 games at one program.
UNH opened up the scoring with a goal by Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.) at 16:54. Hardowa controlled Goumas' pass off the boards at the point and then dumped the puck to a Burke in front of the net, who tipped it past Faragher for the 1-0 advantage.
The Wildcats struck again less than two minutes later with a shorthanded goal by van Riemsdyk at 18:11. Speelman raced down the right side after a feed by Hardowa and took advantage of the 2-on-1 situation, sending a pass to van Riemsdyk right in front of the net for the 2-0 lead. UNH outshot the Huskies by a 15-6 margin in the stanza.
St. Cloud evened up the score with a pair of goals in the second period. The first tally was netted by Andrew Prochno, who blasted a rocket from the blue line and past the glove of DeSmith for the powerplay goal at 14:39. Ben Hanowski, with the pass from the left faceoff dot, and Drew LeBlanc set up the tally.
The Huskies pulled even with less than a minute left on the period with Hanowski's goal at 19:26. Nic Dowd stormed down the right side and sent a pass through traffic to Nick Jensen, who sat to the right of the net and set up Hanowski in front for the equalizer.
The Wildcats opened the third period on the power play and capitalized on the man advantage 31 seconds into the stanza to regain the lead, 3-2. From the top of the right circle, Downing made a diagonal pass low to Speelman, who redirected the puck in the net from the left doorstep. Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) was also credited with an assist.
UNH struck again less than three minutes later to reestablish a two-goal lead. van Riemsdyk slipped a pass down the slot to Speelman, who shifted around a defender and wristed a shot into the net at 3:10. Downing picked up his second assist on the play.
SCSU called time out at 4:55 but UNH struck next to take a 5-2 lead at 10:43 when Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), positioned off the right doorstep, redirected Hardowa's blast from the high slot into the cage. Goumas earned his second assist.
The Huskies responded 33 seconds later to trim the deficit to 5-3 at 11:16 on a goal by Tim Daly from close range on the left side. Garrett Milan and David Morley set up the tally.
SCSU pulled Faragher with two minutes remaining but did not get another shot on DeSmith the rest of the way.
UNH and SCSU conclude the two-game series Oct. 13 at the Whittemore Center. Game time is 7 p.m.