Blackburn Scores a Pair as New Hampshire Tops UMass Lowell, 3-1
Sophomore forward Liam Blackburn scores two goals for Wildcats

Sophomore forward Liam Blackburn scored two goals for the Wildcats
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 14:08  UML1-0 EV Kenny Hausinger (1)Ryan Lohin/3
2nd 1:32  UNH1-1 EV Liam Blackburn (1)Benton Maass/2, Chris Miller/2
2nd 9:22  UNH2-1 PP GW Anthony Wyse (1)Cameron Marks/2, Shane Eiserman/1
3rd 6:09  UNH3-1 EV Liam Blackburn (2)Ara Nazarian/1
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
UMass Lowell  1001
New Hampshire  0213
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
UMass Lowell  1351533
New Hampshire  98724
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
UMass Lowell (0-2-0)  0/3 4/8 0
New Hampshire (2-0-0)  1/4 4/8 0
UMass Lowell Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Tyler Wall (L, 0-2-0)57:113 96621
Empty Net2:490     
New Hampshire Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Daniel Tirone (W, 2-0-0)60:001 1251532

DURHAM, N.H. - Now that's the way to start a season.

The University of New Hampshire men's hockey team got itself a bit of revenge and the start to the 2017-18 season it was looking for this weekend: The Wildcats, with a renewed focus on defense, completed a series sweep of No. 5 UMass Lowell on Saturday night with a 3-1 triumph at the Whittemore Center.

The win followed up a 4-3 victory on Friday night at the Tsongas Arena and left UNH undefeated through the first two games of the season for the first time since 2012.

"It's obviously a great weekend," said UNH coach Dick Umile, who opened his 28th and final season in grand fashion. "The guys played hard all weekend. Danny Tirone stood tall tonight when we needed him to make a big save. Obviously winning two games against UMass Lowell is a huge weekend for us.

The Wildcats kicked off their longest homestand of the season with Saturday's game.

Colgate University is in for a pair of games next Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13 and 14.

The first game against Colgate features a "Friday the 13th" theme that will include a special t-shirt giveaway.

Tickets for the Colgate games, along with season tickets and tickets for all other home games, are available by CLICKING HERE or by calling 603-862-4000.

Umile was especially pleased with the defense his team played, which is a focus for this season.

As a bonus, sophomore defenseman Anthony Wyse contributed the game-winning goal as well with a power play blast just under the crossbar. Senior defenseman Cameron Marks and senior forward Shane Eiserman had assists on the play, which came midway through the second period.

The goal gave the Wildcats a 2-1 lead and Tirone and the defense protected it from there.

Wyse has two career goals, both of them game-winners.

Sophomore Liam Blackburn's second goal of the game, 6:09 in the third period, provided a little cushion.

The Wildcats kept playing hard with the lead.

"We took the lead, but we know who we're playing," Wyse said. "We know what happened last year."

The River Hawks eliminated the Wildcats from the Hockey East tournament in the quarterfinals last March.

UNH won the first game of the best-of-three series, 3-1, but lost the next two games, 3-1 and 8-2.

"They embarrassed us and knocked us out of the playoffs," Wyse said. "We know what happened even last night. We got up and they came back and we got a late goal, but we know they can come back. It's excitement, but you've got to keep your cool. If you get too up and start thinking that the game's over, forget about it. You're playing Lowell and they're going to come back. I think it started with our leadership. Our coaches said remain calm: 'We've got a lot of hockey left and let's keep doing what we're doing, don't change anything.'"

The Wildcats kept coming.

"I thought their attack was pretty tenacious," UMass Lowell coach Norm Bazin said. "They had some good hustle and their goaltender battled. I give him a lot of credit. He was good tonight. You need good goalies in Hockey East."

Tirone finished with 32 saves and stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third period.

The improved defense helped, too.

"That was something we had to do," Umile said. "I know they got some shots there in the third period, but overall we handled it pretty well. We've improved quite a bit there. We needed to. As a unit we engaged and took away time and space and did a much better job."

Now the Wildcats play four straight nonconference games starting with Colgate.

Colorado College comes to the Whittemore Center for games Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20 and 21.

The Wildcats resume Hockey East play with games at Vermont on Oct. 28 and at UMass on Nov. 4.

The next home league game is Friday, Nov. 10 when UMass Lowell is back at the Whitt. UNH plays at BU on Nov. 11.