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Willows’ hat trick helps UNH finish sweep of Nebraska-Omaha
The Wildcats scored four goals in a four-and-a-half minute span to come from behind and blow the game open.
“We just liked the way the team competed all weekend,” said UNH coach Dick Umile. “It was fun. It was exciting. It got the building going.
UNH swept the weekend series against the Mavericks and won its third straight game overall to up its record to 12-10-1.
Nebraska-Omaha fell to 8-9-1.
UNH plays Dartmouth on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the annual Battle for the RiverStone Cup contest.
The Wildcats scored two power-play goals for the third straight game.
They were 0-for-5 on the power play before Willows scored one to tie the game at 2-2 with 6:14 to play. Kevin Goumas and Nick Sorkin had assists.
Less than two minutes later, Willows kept on a two-on-one on the left with Goumas breaking toward the net from the right. Willows shot and beat Maverick freshman goalie Kirk Thompson for the game-winner.
Goumas centers a line for Sorkin on the left and Willows on the right.
Sorkin finished with the goal and two assists. Goumas had three assists.
The Mavericks took a 2-1 lead on a Ryan Walters four-on-three power-play goal 3:21 into the third period.
The Wildcats were in all kinds of trouble as the second period ended.
They held the lead through the midway point of the period, but the Wildcats weren’t getting anxious, Umile said.
“It’s only a goal,” he said. “It’s not like we were down by two.
As they did on Friday night, the Mavericks struck first on Saturday.
Josh Archibald, who had two goals on Friday, threw the puck on net from a tough angle to DeSmith’s left and it went off the glove of UNH defender Brett Pesce and into the net as he tried to knock it away.
On Friday night, UNH answered the Maverick goal with a couple of Knodel power-play goals. On Saturday, Thompson stopped all six first-period shots he saw.
The Wildcats, who scored on two of their first three power-play chances on Friday, came up empty on four power plays in the second period.
After the Datmouth game next week, UNH is back here for a pair against No. 6 Union on Jan 17 and 18. The Union games wrap up UNH’s nonconference schedule.