DURHAM, N.H. - With the Wildcats trailing 2-0 after two periods, UNH scored three straight goals which included the overtime game-winner by sophomore Benton Maass (Elk River, Minn.) as the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team defeated Vermont, 3-2, on Saturday night in the home-opener at the Whittemore Center. This victory was Mike Souza's first career win as the head coach of UNH. With the win, the Wildcats start the Hockey East season with a 1-0-0 record, while the Catamounts begin with a 0-1-0 mark. Sophomore goaltender Mike Robinson (Bedford, N.H.) also earned his first career victory.
- The Wildcats will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7:00 p.m. for another home game at the Whittemore Center. You can buy tickets by calling the Whittemore Center Box Office at (603) 862-4000 or by visiting UNHWildcats.com.
Score: New Hampshire 3, Vermont 2 (OT)
Records: New Hampshire (1-3-1, 1-0-0 HEA), Vermont (1-2-0, 0-1-0 HEA)
Location: Durham, N.H. (Whittemore Arena)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018
Time: 7:00 p.m.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Vermont opened up the scoring 13:07 into the first period when Alex Esposito sent the puck flying into the upper glove side of the net off of a Wildcat turnover caused by Liam Coughlin.
- With 20 seconds left in the first period, Vermont's Joey Cipollone knocked the puck in the stick-side off of a rebound from Jake Massie's shot, making the score 2-0 in favor of Vermont going into the second period.
- After the first period, UNH and Vermont recorded seven shots each, while the Catamounts went 0-1 on the power play.
- Fourteen minutes into the second period the score remained 2-0 as the Wildcats were able to hold off any power-play opportunities by the Catamounts.
- One minute later the Catamounts went on their second power-play of the night and Vermont's Matt Alvaro took a shot that ricocheted off of the pipe, but the Wildcats were able to keep the score at 2-0.
- At the end of the second period, the Wildcats had outshot the Catamounts 9-8, while Vermont went 0-2 on the power play.
- At 3:50 of the third period the Wildcats got on the board as sophomore Patrick Grasso (Ankeny, Iowa) sent a pass from behind the net to freshman Jackson Pierson (Zionsville, Ind.) who buried a one-timer into the back of the net from right outside the circle.
- Five minutes later the Wildcats tied it up 2-2 on the power play as junior Liam Blackburn (Prince George, British Columbia) sent a pass to senior Marcus Vela (Burnaby, British Columbia) in the slot, who fired it past goaltender Stefanos Lekkas.
- The score remained 2-2 as the clock ran out, forcing the game into overtime.
- Just 1:40 into overtime sophomore Charlie Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.) sent a pass across the ice to sophomore Benton Maass (Elk River, Minn.), who blasted a one-timer into the back of the net, giving the Wildcats the overtime victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- UNH outshot Vermont by a 31-21 margin.
- Robinson made 19 saves, while Lekkas recorded 28.
- The Wildcats went 1-3 on the power play and the Catamounts went 0-2.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- Maass' overtime goal was his first game-winning-goal of his collegiate career.
- Robinson posted his first collegiate victory in net.
- Pierson scored his second collegiate goal during his home debut.
- Pierson tallied two points which marks his first collegiate multi-point game.
- Kelleher posted two assists on the night as he is on a three-game point streak with five assists.
- Freshman Angus Crookshank (North Vancouver, British Columbia) recorded an assist as he is also on a three-game point streak with one goal one assist for three points.
- UNH leads the all-time series versus Vermont, 79-26-10.
- The Wildcats are now 46-34-10 all-time in home openers and 15-6-3 in home openers at the Whittemore Center.
- This is the Wildcats' first overtime win since March 15, 2015 when they defeated Providence in the Hockey quarterfinals.
- The last Whittemore Center overtime win was a 2-1 victory on October 28, 2011 against Union.