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November 19. 2012 10:49PM

UNH men's hockey climbs to No. 3 in national polls; football team drops

While the University of New Hampshire football team dropped from the top 10 in national rankings, the men's hockey team climbed two spots to No. 3 in the country following another impressive weekend on the ice.

UNH goalie Casey DeSmith of Rochester picked up Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week honors after recording his fourth shutout of the season at Lowell, a 3-0 win, and then stopping 45 of 46 shots in a 3-1 triumph at No. 11 Boston University.

DeSmith, who has yielded only one goal in his past four games, was named Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time this season. The sophomore set a program record by working a consecutive 203 minutes, 32 seconds without allowing goal. DeSmith ranks first among Hockey netminders in every statistical category.

The Wildcats (8-1-1) ranked No. 3 in both the USCHO.com Division I Men's Poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll. Boston College (9-1-0) retained the No. 1 spot in both polls. Denver (9-1-0) stayed at No. 2 and has a date with UNH on Saturday night.

The Wildcats play at No. 14 Colorado College on Friday night at 9:37, followed by a meeting at Denver on Saturday night at 9:07.

Dartmouth College (5-1-2) moved up one place to No. 11 in both national polls.

The UNH football team slipped to No. 11 in The Sports Network FCS Top 25 following its 64-35 defeat against Towson in the regular-season finale at Cowell Stadium.

UNH is ranked 13th in the FCS Coaches' Poll.

The following day, however, the Wildcats (8-3) were awarded a bid to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision tournament and received a first-round bye. They play at Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C., in second-round playoff action Saturday, Dec. 1. Game time at Gibbs Stadium is 2 p.m.

UNH received some more good news on Monday when 11 members of the football team were named to the Colonial Athletic Association All-Conference Teams. Manchester Central product Seamus O'Neill earned First Team recognition, along with linebacker Matt Evans, receiver R.J. Harris and defensive tackle Jared Smith.

Selections for the All-CAA Second Team include running back Nico Steriti, cornerback Dontra Peters and safety Manny Asam. Named to the Third Team were tight end Harold Spears, center Mike Coccia, left guard Chris Zarkoskie and place kicker Mike MacArthur of North Hampton and Winnacunnet High.

kgray@unionleader.com


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