Men's Hockey: Block's two goals help Wildcats
There's something about the University of Vermont that seems to bring out the best in University of New Hampshire forward Austin Block.
Block, a senior, scored twice to help UNH defeat Vermont 4-3 Friday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Block also scored twice when UNH beat Vermont 4-0 in November.
Block's first goal in Friday's contest made it a 1-1 game with 56 seconds left in the opening period. His second goal came during a UNH power play and handed the Wildcats a 3-1 lead at 16:23 of the second. He has 13 goals in 29 games this season.
Junior forward Dalton Speelman (No. 7) and sophomore forward Matt Willows (No. 3) also scored for the Wildcats, who improved their record to 17-8-4 overall and 12-7-3 in Hockey East.
UNH began the night in third place, but moved past Boston College and into a first-place tie with Merrimack. UNH has five regular-season games remaining. BC and Merrimack each has six. BC will play at Merrimack on Sunday.
Sophomore defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk had three assists for UNH, which scored three power-play goals in the victory.
H.T. Lenz, Nick Bruneteau and Jonathan Turk scored for Vermont, which fell to 10-15-4 overall and 7-11-4 in league play. The Catamounts entered the contest on a three-game winning streak, and had won four of their last five.
UNH goaltender Casey DeSmith made 11 saves. Vermont had two shots on goal in each of the first two periods.
Vermont received 19 saves from freshman Brody Hoffman, who had a 0.67 goals-against average and a .974 save percentage in his last three starts.
It was 1-1 after one period, and UNH led 3-1 entering the final 20 minutes. Vermont pulled within a goal when Bruneteau scored 55 seconds into the third, but Willows answered with a power-play goal at 5:18. The Catamounts made it a one-goal game again on Turk's goal with nine minutes to play, but that capped the scoring.
Lenz opened the scoring 1:52 into the contest. After UNH tied the game on Block's first goal, the Wildcats went in front when Speelman scored while UNH had a two-man advantage at 8:43 of the second. Block's second goal came while Vermont's Caylen Walls was in the penalty box for boarding.
Grayson Downing was credited with an assist on UNH's first goal, and has 12 points (four goals) in his last seven games. Kevin Goumas, UNH's leading scorer, also collected an assist on that goal to end a four-game scoreless drought.
Vermont was scoreless in three power-play opportunities. The Wildcats allowed five power-play goals in their previous four games.
The teams will meet again this afternoon (4 p.m.) in Vermont. The game can be seen on CBS SportsNet.
Providence 6, Northeastern 2: Merrimack, N.H.'s Tim Schaller registered five points - a goal and four assists - as the Friars jumped into a tie for third in Hockey East with Boston College.
UMass Lowell 3, Boston U. 0: Connor Hellebuyck notched 25 saves to lift the River Hawks.
Maine 2, UMass 0: Martin Oullette stopped 26 shots for the Black Bears' shutout.