College Hockey: UNH looks to make the climb
The challenge now is to not just stay there, but to climb a little higher and solidify things a little more for the postseason.
The Wildcats are at 16-13-1 and 8-6-0.
They are in fourth place in the league, but just a point behind UMass-Lowell and Northeastern, who are tied for second. But they are also only a point ahead of Providence and two ahead of Maine. Vermont is six points behind UNH, but has played two fewer games.
His highlight film-worthy short-handed goal in the second period on Saturday, when he turned on the jets to get around a defender and in on the Notre Dame goalie, proved to be the game-winner.
Willows leads the Wildcats with four game-winning goals. Freshman Tyler Kelleher and senior forward Nick Sorkin have two each.
Umile was pleased with many aspects of UNH's game against Notre Dame, including the Knodel-led defense.
Sophomore defenseman Brett Pesce had a goal and two assists in Friday night's game and an assist on Saturday.
UNH goalie Casey DeSmith, a junior from Rochester, had a big weekend as well and now has a save percentage of .924 and a goals-against average of 2.24.
Vermont had last weekend off and split a series at Boston University the weekend before.
The Catamounts are young in net with a freshman and sophomore splitting the duties. Freshman Mike Santaguida is 8-5-2 with a 2.32 goals-against average and one shutout. Sophomore Brody Hoffman is 5-4-1 with a 2.10 GAA. Senior forward Chris McCarthy leads the Catamounts with 13 goal and 14 assists for 27 points and freshman Mario Puskarich is at 11-12-23. Defenseman Michael Paliotta (3-16-19) is a Chicago Blackhawks draft pick.
DARTMOUTH moved past Princeton in the league standings with a 5-3 win over the Tigers on Saturday and look to make another move in their next couple of games. The Big Green play only one game this weekend — at Harvard tonight — and then play at St. Lawrence and Clarkson next weekend.
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PERENNIAL Division III power Norwich came to New Hampshire last week with a 10-1-1 ECAC East record. The Cadets, coached by former UNH player Mike McShane, went home on Saturday night with a 10-3-1 mark in the league.
St. Anselm, 8-9-4 overall and 4-7-4 in the ECAC East, followed up with a 2-0 win over Southern New Hampshire on Tuesday. Senior goalie Nick Dries made 48 saves to beat Norwich and had 35 saves against SNHU.
The Hawks beat the Pilgrims, 4-1, in Henniker on Dec. 6 ...
The Southern New Hampshire men, 13-7-1 overall and 5-3-0 in the Northeast-10, play host to Stonehill, 12-9-0 and 6-0-0, on Saturday at 7:30 ... The Plymouth State men, 9-10-0 overall and 7-5-0 in the MASCAC, play Fitchburg State on Saturday at home at 6.
THE UNH women, 9-16-2 overall and 4-9-2 in Hockey East, play Boston University, 18-9-1 and 11-5-0, at home on Saturday at 3 and Connecticut, 7-19-2 and 4-10-1, at home on Sunday at 2 ...
The St. Anselm women, 17-3-0, have a pair of home games, with Holy Cross today at 4 p.m. and Salve Regina on Saturday at the same time for Senior Day.