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

Home » Sports

December 23. 2012 6:42PM

UNH Notebook: Trying to keep a good thing going

University of New Hampshire senior defenseman and captain Connor Hardowa felt torn.

Sure, he looked forward to a Christmas break and the chance to get home to Edmonton, Alberta, and see family and friends and pick up a few presents.

But he wasn't crazy about interrupting a season that got off to a great start and that he, and others, thinks has the potential to be something special.

"You've got a season like this going, you don't really want to leave it for too long," Hardowa said before the Wildcats left campus for their break. "You want to keep playing and keep playing. It will be nice to get away from everything and take your mind off hockey for a little bit, but it will also be nice to come back."

Hardowa and his teammates are due back on campus on Wednesday to begin preparing for the second half of the season.

It starts with a bang in the Ledyard National Bank Classic in Hanover on Sunday when two of the best teams in the nation, UNH and Dartmouth, square off at 7 p.m.

UNH, 11-2-2 overall, is ranked No. 2 in the country behind Boston College. Dartmouth, 7-2-2, is No. 10.

In the PairWise rankings that figure in strength of schedule and various other calculations, Boston College is No. 1, UNH No. 2 and Dartmouth No. 3.

Bemidji State and Massachusetts play in the first game of the Ledyard tournament in Thompson Arena at 4 p.m. on Sunday. UNH and Dartmouth are the nightcap.

"It will be great," said UNH coach Dick Umile. "It's going to be great for the state of New Hampshire. We're the two Division I programs in the state and we're both in the top three. It doesn't get any better than that."

UNH plays either Bemidji State or Massachusetts at 5 on New Year's Eve for either the tournament championship or in a consolation game, depending on the outcome of Sunday's games. Dartmouth plays at 7 on Monday night.

The Wildcats have a home game against Rensselaer on Jan. 5. After that, it's Hockey East the rest of the way, starting with a home-and-home series against Boston College on Jan. 11 and 12. UNH is at BC on Friday night and the teams meet in Durham the next night.

BC is 11-2-1 overall and holds down first place in Hockey East with a 9-2-1 record for 19 points.

UNH is 8-2-1 for 17 points in the league.

Hardowa thinks the Wildcats have the pieces to make a run at championships.

"We have scoring pretty much through all our lines," he said. "We've got defensemen who can play both offense and defense and we've got a goalie, two goalies, who can sit there and stop pucks for us all night long if we make mistakes."

Junior forward Kevin Goumas leads Hockey East in scoring with eight goals and 16 assists for 24 points. Sophomore forward Grayson Downing is at 7-6-13 and sophomore defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk at 5-8-13.

Senior forward Austin Block tops UNH in goals at 9-3-12.

Casey DeSmith, a sophomore goalie from Rochester, has the best save percentage (.939) and goals-against average (1.82) in the league. Junior Jeff Wyer came on in relief at Denver and earned a win when UNH rallied for a 6-4 triumph. He has a .947 save percentage and 1.18 GAA.

- - - - - - -

The men's and women's basketball teams each are down to one non-conference game remaining before they open the America East portion of their schedule.

Both Wildcat teams play at Colgate next weekend and then begin conference play against Vermont on Wednesday.

The women are at Colgate on Saturday at 4 and then at Vermont on Wednesday night. The men play at Colgate on Sunday at 3 and play Vermont at home on Wednesday.

The UNH women fell to 5-6 with a 58-47 loss at Cleveland State on Saturday.

The Colgate women are 4-7 and have lost their last six games. Iona beat them, 73-47, on Friday.

The UNH men got belted at Penn State, 72-45, on Sunday and are now 4-7.

The Colgate men are 3-9 and lost, 73-61, at St. Francis (N.Y.) on Saturday.

Last season, point guard Jordan Bronner, then a sophomore, scored 24 points in a 71-64 UNH win over Colgate in Durham.

Looking ahead a week, the Vermont men are 7-4 and the Vermont women are 3-9.

  • Should public schools in NH provide students with firearms safety instruction?
  • Yes
  • 65%
  • No
  • 35%
  • Total Votes: 1958
 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

New OT rule in AHL generating buzz

Slam thunk! Sarah Silverman nearly hit by basketball at Knicks game... but luckily John McEnroe is there to shield her

Spurs' Matt Bonner will wear new Adidas Crazy 8 shoes for Christmas game

Jason Saltmarsh: Runners should never have to pay for their race photos

Ex-official pleads guilty to embezzling thousands from Pembroke football nonprofit

Former New Hampshire goalie DeSmith tells his side of arrest, dismissal from team

NH hockey team moving to Maine could be worth at least $1 million in economic activity say city officials

New owners of Claremont plan to put speedway back on track

Speedway in Claremont bought for nearly $519,000

Lebanon marathoner qualifies for US Olympic Trials

Matt Bonner talks about the end of the run, making the simple play, and playing until he's 40

Ex-UNH goalie agrees to diversion,receive counseling, avoids jail

Wildcats will face Chattanooga in prime time

New England Revolution forward Charlie Davies teaches supporters how to believe

Helmetless Football? Its the new practice at UNH


DeSmith officially dismissed from New Hampshire team, but can return to class as of Dec. 20

San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (15), of Concord, N.H., shoots the ball against Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller (44) during the second half at TD Garden.

Rapper Lil B gives shoutout to…Matt Bonner?

Manchester Central's Tyler Stratton watches his shot get by Spaulding High School (Rochester) goalie Derek Scott during a shootout at the 2012 Bauer Christmas Hockey Classic hosted at JFK Coliseum in Manchester.

VFW downsizing threatens Spaulding hockey due to loss of venue for Bingo fundraisers

Eagles notes: Kelly committed to current job

5 face riot charges in beating incident at football game

Ayotte rips top sports league commissioners for snubbing hearing on domestic violence

Manchester Monarchs sign Josh Gratton to AHL contract


 New Hampshire Events Calendar


Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory