COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Junior netminder Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) posted a 32-save shutout as the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team blanked Colorado College, 3-0 Saturday night at World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo. Senior Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) had three points on two goals and an assist while classmate Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) had a goal and two assists.
Sorkin was first to strike for either team as he buried his third goal of the series and 11th of the season at 12:28 of the second period to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. The play started when Justin Agosta (East Meadow, N.Y.) received the puck just inside of the blueline in the CC zone. He faked a shot and slid a pass to Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) who redirected the pass on net. Thorimbert made the save on the initial shot, but Sorkin honed in on the rebound and put it away.
The Wildcats started the first period with an offensive flurry with consecutive shots by Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia), Dan Correale (Prince George, British Columbia) and Matt Willows (Congers, N.Y.). Each of the three attempts were saved by Tiger netminder Josh Thorimbert. The Tigers stepped their pressure up in the following minutes as Wildcat goalie Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) made four consecutive saves to keep CC of the board. CC's Jared Hanson nearly broke the stalemate as he fired a shot at the UNH net from the slot that ricocheted off the post and away from the net.
Through the first period of play, DeSmith made saves on each of the 12 shots he faced. New Hampshire skaters blocked a total of eight shots by the Tigers. Willows led the Wildcat attack in the first period with three shots. Downing, Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) and Maxim Gaudreault (Annapolis, Md.) each notched a pair of attempts. CC held a 12-9 shot advantage at the end of the frame.
Through the second period, the Wildcats outshot the Tigers, 16-12 and holding a 25-24 advantage through the two periods. DeSmith remained resilient with everything Colorado College sent at him, tallying 24 saves through the two periods. The Wildcats blocked an additional seven shots in the frame.
In the third period, Goumas extended the UNH lead to 2-0 with a laser from the slot that hit the bottom of the crossbar and went into the net. Sorkin served a pass to Goumas who in turn carried the puck across the blueline and laced a shot at the goal. The puck sailed over the glove of Thorimbert and into the net. With 41 seconds left in regulation, Goumas struck for his second goal of the game on an empty netter as Colorado College had pulled Thorimbert seconds earlier. Sorkin gathered the loose puck in the UNH zone and played a pass in stride to Goumas at center ice. Goumas sent his shot directly into the empty net for the goal. At the end of the third period, UNH prevailed, 3-0.
DeSmith posted a 30-plus save effort for the second straight night as he made 31 in Friday night's contest. The shutout improves his record to 7-5-0. Thorimbert made 32 saves on the 34 shots he faced in net for the Tigers. His record falls to 1-10-2.
UNH improved to 9-7-1 with the win.
The Wildcats are back in action next weekend with a home-and-home series against Hockey East foe Boston College. The first game will be held at Boston College on Friday, Dec. 6 while the 'Cats return home for the second game on Saturday, Dec. 7. Both games are set for 7 p.m.