Senior forward Austin Block celebrates his second goal of the game for the Wildcats
DURHAM, N.H. - Senior Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) recorded a pair of goals and sophomore Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) posted 27 saves in net as the ninth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team blanked Vermont, 4-0, Saturday night at the Whittemore Center.
New Hampshire improves to 6-1-1 overall and 4-1-1 in Hockey East after registering its second shutout in as many days following a 4-0 victory at Maine last Sunday. Vermont dips to 1-3-2 on the season and 1-3-2 in league play.
Block now has seven goals on the season, including four in the last two games. Junior Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) posted a trio of assists in the victory.
DeSmith has posted back-to-back shutouts in net for the Wildcats, marking the first time a UNH player has accomplished the feat since Kevin Regan blanked Providence on March 8-9, 2007 in the quarterfinal round of the Hockey East Tournament. DeSmith also notched his first career point with an assist on the game-winning goal just minutes into the contest.
New Hampshire opened up the scoring with a shorthanded goal 5:27 into the stanza. Goumas made a clearing attempt to center ice and the puck slid through a pair of Catamount skaters, allowing sophomore Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, B.C.) to grab sole possession on the breakaway and send a shot high blocker side for the goal. DeSmith was also credited with an assist on the play.
UNH tacked on its second goal of the period at the 12:07 mark. While on the power play, senior Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.) won the face-off and dropped the puck back to junior Justin Agosta (East Meadow, N.Y.), who then hit junior Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.) open in front. Knodel buried his shot past the reach of Vermont netminder Brody Hoffman for his third goal of the season to give the Wildcats the 2-0 advantage heading into first intermission.
The Wildcats struck again less than two minutes into the second stanza for the 3-0 advantage. Sophomore Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) sent a shot from the left circle and the rebound fell right in front of then, where Block muscled in a shot through traffic for the early goal at the 1:56 mark. Goumas started the play and was credited for the assist to earn his second helper of the game.
UNH remained on the offensive for the rest of the period, outshooting the Catamounts by a margin of 11-6, but could not find the back of the net as the Wildcats held a 3-0 lead at second intermission.
The Wildcats padded their lead with a fourth and final goal 5:44 into the third period. Block received a pass from Goumas just in front of the blue line and blasted a shot right at the goal, where the puck flipped over a defenseman's stick and into the net for the 4-0 advantage and eventual victory. Additionally, van Riemsdyk picked up his second assist of the game on the play.
UNH held a 29-27 shot advantage and went 1-3 on the power play, while the Catamounts were 0-4 with the extra skater.
The Wildcats return to action on Friday, Nov. 16 when they visit UMass.-Lowell at 7 p.m.