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

Home » Sports

December 02. 2012 2:59AM

Wildcat skaters top UMass-Lowell again, 5-2

LOWELL, Mass. - Like all coaches regardless of sport, New Hampshire's Dick Umile could find a nit to pick regarding his team's play.

But after Saturday night's 5-2 Hockey East victory over UMass-Lowell, Umile may need a telescope to find it.

Dalton Speelman scored two goals and Grayson Downing assisted on two as the Wildcats (11-1-2, 8-1-1) exited Tsongas Arena with the fewest losses through the first 14 games of a season in program history.

Moreover UNH is the only team in Division I hockey with only one loss on its record.

UNH was ranked No. 2 in the country last week, but with the weekend sweep of UMass-Lowell and No. 1 Boston College's weekend split with BostonUniversity, it's quite possible the Wildcats will emerge as the top-ranked team in the country when the newest polls are released on Monday.

"We can nit-pick but right now we're playing pretty good hockey in all three zones," Umile said. "We have one more game before our Christmas break against Boston University on Thursday night so we're just focusing on playing 60 minutes of good hockey.

"It was a good effort by everybody."

Not only are the Wildcats playing "good hockey" but they're also playing confident hockey.

"I think the confidence on the team is unbelievable," Speelman said. "I think we come into every game thinking we're going to win.

"I think coach puts a good game plan together for us. I think we do the little things right and I think that helps with our confidence."

Another sign of a confident team is its ability to maintain its composure when it falls behind.

That was the case again Saturday when the River Hawks (4-7-1, 2-6-1) grabbed a 1-0 lead at 8:54 of the first period when Stephen Buco scored the first of his two goals by burying the rebound of a Terrence Wallin shot.

UNH tied it with 18 seconds left in the period when Eric Knodel one-timed the rebound of a John Henrion shot past Doug Carr (30 saves).

"We fell behind 1-0 but there wasn't even a worry," Umile said. "We took control from the middle of the second period on and played an excellent third period."

Justin Agosta scored his first goal of the season at 1:34 of the second on a slap shot from the right point to give UNH a 2-1 lead. But the River Hawks tied it 22 seconds later when Buco caught Casey DeSmith (22 saves) out of position and flicked the puck into an open net.

Speelman put UNH ahead for good at 11:41 when he deflected in a cross-ice pass from Brett Kostolansky for a 3-2 lead.

Brett Pesce applied the crusher at 10:56 of the third when he snapped home a shot from the left point and Speelman added an empty-net goal with 17 seconds remaining.

"In Denver we were down 3-0 and came back to win (6-4)," Speelman said. "I think one thing that's a positive for our team is we don't really get flustered. We don't get too worried. We keep our composure and we do the little things we need to do. We work hard in our defensive zone and in our offensive zone which is why I think things have been working out well."


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

Former Monarch suspended from NHL after domestic violence arrest 58min

UNH research behind NFL crackdown on non-standard facemasks

Kings sign former Monarch to $20M extension

UNH's McDonnell seen as prospect to replace fired Buffalo coach

Republican candidate Scott Brown mobbed at UNH homecoming tailgate

Myrtle Beach Caddy Girls owner NH native Meghan Tarmey to be featured on ABCs Shark Tank

At Dartmouth, sidelines robot could be key to quickly diagnosing football concussions

Portland named best minor league baseball town in nation; Manchester #25

Hampton police: Motorist exposed himself to jogger

More than a decade in the making, motorsports-themed country club to open next September

Hampstead driver closing in on Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship

N.H. husband, wife coordinate, run Army 10-Miler Shadow Run

Seabrook's Charles Rosa steps up fighting game, signs with UFC

Nashua boxing pilot program for Hollis Brookline students this fall

Speedway Motorsports, Inc. driving fan experience initiatives, partners with Sporting Innovations

Undefeated Middleweight Antoine Douglas to take on Tilton's Jose Medina on October 24

UNH's Thompson takes leave of absence

Toronto Maple Leafs James van Riemsdyk still has plenty of room to grow after breakout season

Keene State hoops program mourns death of former teammate killed on duty

Keene State College alumnus killed in NYPD van crash on way to providing security for climate change march

Grantland.com: 15 Questions for San Antonio's Matt Bonner

Former KSC basketball player killed months after joining NYC police in patrol van crash

Speed and thrills at Kingston hydroplane races

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!