action:article | category:SPORTS | adString:SPORTS | zoneID:40

Home » Sports

November 16. 2012 10:41PM

Another game, another shutout

LOWELL, Mass. - If anybody still questions why the University of New Hampshire ranks first nationally in team defense, just ask UMass Lowell.

Casey DeSmith "pitched" his fourth shutout of the season Friday night and his teammates blocked 18 shots as the Wildcats blanked the River Hawks, 3-0, in a Hockey East game.

The victory was UNH's third consecutive shutout, the first time a Wildcat team has accomplished that feat since the 1928-29 season.

"The team is playing unbelievable defense right now," DeSmith said. "All the credit goes to them.

"They're not letting much through and when they do, it's a good thing that I'm there to make the save. But they're doing a terrific job in front of me."

As a result of that "terrific job" UNH (7-1-1, 5-1-1) lowered its goals-against average to a microscopic 1.22.

In addition, DeSmith (23 saves) extended his scoreless streak to 178 minutes and 52 seconds (the school record is 181 minutes and 31 seconds set in the 1968-69 season) which lowered his goals-against average to 1.21 and upped his save percentage to .957.

"When you get on a run like this, the pucks start not going in, whereas they might have gone in before," DeSmith said. "It's not really a matter of my focusing but I'm confident.

"There were a couple shots from the hash marks tonight that I just knew weren't going in because I'm seeing the puck so well. It's a good roll to be on."

Ironically, while Trevor van Riemsdyk and Connor Hardowa led UNH's blue-liners, they also contributed on offense.

Van Riemsdyk recorded a goal and an assist while Hardowa assisted on the game's final goal - by Austin Block at 19:41 of the third while UNH was on a power play (the Wildcats have scored a power-play goal in each of their seven victories).

What's also noteworthy was the fact UNH was assessed only one penalty.

"We've really bought in as a team this year," van Riemsdyk said. "Everyone's blocking shots.

"They're a really physical team. Maybe in the past when you play a physical team like that, it gets chippy and turns into a mess. But we took their physicality and let them hit us and took advantage of their over-aggressiveness."

The Wildcats and van Riemsdyk gave DeSmith the only goal he would need at 15:53 of the second period when he beat Doug Carr (28 saves) with a wrist shot from the right circle.

Arguably the goal that clipped the wings of the River Hawks (2-5-1, 1-4-1) came at 10:52 of the third.

Settling a rebound, van Riemsdyk fed Grayson Downing, who carried the puck over half the length of the ice and then beat Carr to the upper-right corner.

"Downing's goal was huge for us," coach Dick Umile said. "Overall, it was a gritty game by us. The guys believe in team defense and are playing good, smart hockey.

"Everybody's contributing so I'm pleased with the way the team's playing right now."

 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, right, tangles with Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period of Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals hockey playoff series in this 2013 file photo.

NH-based insurer sues NHL to limit its defense in players concussion lawsuits

A's claim former Fisher Cat Marcus Walden

Mariano Rivera's son to pitch for NH squad

Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

Exeter-based Bauer continues to expand beyond hockey with $330M purchase of baseball firm Easton-Bell

Hollis-Brookline head football coach resigns unexpectedly

New owners for Waukewan Golf Club

Matches announced for USA v. Cuba clash at Rockingham Park this weekend

Boston Marathon victim Jeff Baumann throws out the first pitch prior to the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park last year.

Service's creed on display in support of airman affected by Boston bombing

40-year-old Manchester mechanical engineer wins MMA decision

New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon

USA Knockouts Tamed in Cuba

U.S., Cuba boxers clash in Havana, U.S. bouts set for Rockingham Park in Salem

Lee USA Speedway opens season April 13

Newmarket woman plans world-record cross-country run for charity

CHIP KELLY

Is Chip Kelly racist?

World Series of Boxing event moved to Rockingham Park - USA vs. Cuba

Manchester man in top 30 candidates for Padres public address announcer

NH man helps MLB players deal with stresses on, off the field

Review of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook

New Hampshire Motor Speedway may run Sprint Cup race in 2015 under the lights

How Boston lost the Patriots and 'New England' grabbed the NFL's 'Gold Standard'

Twin State Speedway gets new manager

Yale promotes former UNH coach to offensive coordinator

Bulldogs sign UNH's Nick Sorkin

Flyers Notes: Flyers sign speedy New Hampshire forward

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!