DURHAM, N.H. - Five different Wildcats contributed goals as University of New Hampshire men's hockey team defeated Merrimack, 5-2, at the Whittemore Center on Sunday night. Junior Charlie Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.) posted the game-winning goal and an assist, and freshman Chase Stevenson (West Kelowna, British Columbia) also had both a goal and assist. Senior Liam Blackburn (Prince George, British Columbia), junior Patrick Grasso (Ankeny, Iowa), and junior Kohei Sato (Nishitokyo, Japan) each had two assists on the night. Sophomore goalie Ty Taylor (Richmond, British Columbia) made 16 saves for the Wildcats.
With the win, UNH takes the three-game regular season series against Merrimack 2-1-0. The Wildcats are now 8-7-1 (4-5-0 HEA) and the Warriors fall to 4-10-2 (2-5-2 HEA).
UP NEXT: The Wildcats will return to action on Sunday, Dec. 29, when they travel to West Point, N.Y., to play Army West Point at 4 p.m. at Tate Rink.
NEXT HOME GAMES: UNH will return to the Whittemore Center on Friday, Jan. 3 versus Yale and Saturday, Jan. 4 against Brown. Both games are on NESN at 7 p.m. On Friday there will be $1 hot dogs and the third set of trading cards will be given away to the first 1,000 fans, while Saturday is Youth Night as the Wildcats will hold a postgame autograph session. Individual game tickets with affordable options that start as low as $9 and a convenient six-ticket flexible miniplan can now be purchased for the season by calling the Whittemore Center Box Office at (603) 862-4000 or by visiting UNHWildcats.com.
Score: New Hampshire 5, Merrimack 2
Records: UNH (8-7-1, 4-5-0 HEA), Merrimack (4-10-2, 2-5-2 HEA)
Location: Durham, N.H. (Whittemore Center)
Date: Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019
Time: 7 p.m.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Just 46 seconds into the game, sophomore Angus Crookshank (North Vancouver, British Columbia) put the Wildcats up 1-0 with a goal netted into the upper glove-side. Kelleher sent the puck in, which deflected off of Blackburn's stick and Crookshank collected it right in front of goalie Jere Huhtamaa for the shot.
- Thirty-seven seconds later, UNH's lead was increased to 2-0 with a goal from Stevenson that went off Huhtamaa and into the lower glove-side. Grasso passed to Sato who sent the puck across the slot for Stevenson to rip.
- At 7:27 in the first period, Kelleher netted a goal to make the score 3-0. Blackburn stole the puck from behind the net and sent it to Kelleher at the faceoff circle for a shot that was buried into the upper glove-side corner.
- The Warriors got on the board at 12:41 in the first period with a goal from Jordan Seyfert into the upper stick-side. Zach Uens sent the puck up the boards to Chase Gresock who passed across the slot to Seyfert for him to shoot.
- During the first period, UNH outshot Merrimack 10-7.
- At 9:54 in the second period, Regan Kimens decreased Merrimack's deficit with a goal that entered just under Taylor's glove. Tyler Irvine gave the puck to Liam Walsh who passed to Kimens for him to take a wrist shot from the faceoff circle.
- In the second period, UNH outshot Merrimack 14-8. The Wildcats went 0-1 on the power play and the Warriors went 0-2.
- Sophomore Ryan Verrier (Reading, Mass.) gave the Wildcats another two-goal lead at 9:03 in the third period. Sato skated the puck down the boards and around the back of the net to send it into the slot. The puck tipped off of Grasso's stick and went out to Verrier at the point, where he fired his shot into the upper glove-side.
- Junior Eric MacAdams (Salem, Mass.) scored at 15:34 in the third to make the score 5-2. Sophomore Eric Esposito (West Haven, Conn.) collected a turnover and skated towards the net to send a pass into the slot for MacAdams to bury into the lower stick-side. Stevenson also posted an assist.
- The Wildcats were able to hold off the Warriors for the remainder of the period, making the final score 5-2.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- UNH outshot Merrimack by a 31-18 margin.
- Taylor made 16 saves, while Troy Kobryn had 23 and Huhtamaa had three for the Warriors.
- Both teams went 0-2 on the power play.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- With the win, the Wildcats are now 5-1-0 at home.
- UNH is 5-2-0 this season after a loss.
- Taylor is now 3-0-0, with tonight being his second win versus Merrimack.
- Tonight was Stevenson's first multi-point game.
- Kelleher leads the team with three game-winning goals.