Goumas leads UNH into Hockey East semifinals
The University of New Hampshire senior forward stared down the end of his collegiate hockey career and the Northeastern Huskies and led his team to a 5-4 win in front of 2,765 at the Whittemore Center on Sunday and into the Hockey East semifinals.
“He was like possessed tonight,” said UNH coach Dick Umile. “He played great. He played hard defensively. He was all over the puck. He’s just a tenacious forechecker. But the most important thing about him is he’s a very smart hockey player.”
No. 8 Notre Dame and No. 2 UMass-Lowell play in the first semifinal at 5 p.m. The championship game is at 7 on Saturday.
The Wildcats last made it to Boston in the 2010-11 season. They had lost in three games in the quarterfinals each of the last two seasons.
The Wildcats survived a wild third period to win it.
Goumas blasted a power play goal past Witt to complete his second career hat trick and give UNH a 4-3 lead 4:40 into the third period.
Three minutes later, Northeastern’s Mike McMurtry deflected a Mike Szmatula shot into the net. It was ruled no goal on the ice because McMurtry’s stick was too high. The ruling held after a lengthy video review.
The goal came in handy after Szmatula scored with 3:50 to go to make it 5-4.
The Wildcats held on from there.
On UNH’s first goal, Goumas picked up a loose puck at center ice and moved it ahead to Nick Sorkin as he crossed the blueline. Sorkin shot from the top of the left faceoff circle and beat Witt to the far side 3:29 into the game.
Goumas crossed in front of the net and deflected in a Pesce shot to make it 3-1 with 2:47 to go in the period.
Szmatula, who scored the game-winner in overtime on Saturday, put a rebound over DeSmith at 4:28 to make it 3-2.
Things got a little crazy with reviews and goals called back in the third. UNH survived it all, though, and is going to Boston.