Hockey East: Goal with 13.4 seconds left wins for UNHBy ALEX HALL
New Hampshire Union Leader
October 07. 2017 1:28AM
LOWELL, Mass. — The University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team refused to allow its new season to begin the same way its previous one concluded.
The Wildcats clawed their way to a season-opening 4-3 victory over No. 5 UMass Lowell Friday night at the Tsongas Center.
The River Hawks defeated UNH in the Hockey East quarterfinals on their way to the league title last season.
Shane Eiserman scored the game-winning goal with 13.4 seconds remaining. The Wildcats senior scored a backhanded rebound goal from the crease following a Max Gildon shot.
“It felt like we all knew were just somehow going to pull out a win,” Eiserman said. “It was just a great play. Gildon put the puck on net and I was just the recipient. It was just great to get the two points and we’re rolling now.”
UMass Lowell’s Jake Kamrass knotted the score at 3-3 with 1:14 left when he tipped home a power-play goal following a Ryan Lohin wrister from the right circle.
Kamrass’ tally came with UMass Lowell outnumbering UNH six skaters to four. The River Hawks pulled goaltender Tyler Wall (25 saves) at the beginning of their power-play opportunity.
UMass Lowell scored two of its three goals on the power play but finished 2-for-7 overall on the man advantage. Four of the River Hawks’ power-play opportunities came in the final period.
“For early in the season, they did a real good job against a good power play,” UNH coach Dick Umile said of his players.
UMass Lowell senior John Edwardh’s rebound power-play goal with 4:52 remaining tied the game at 2-2.
UNH (1-0, 1-0 Hockey East) turned a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead over a 45-second span in the second period.
Wildcats junior Marcus Vela knotted the score at 1-1 when he scored 9:53 into the second frame during four-on-four play on a shot through traffic in front of the River Hawks goal. Chris Miller, a junior from Windham, and Brendan van Riemsdyk assisted on Frankie Cefalu’s power-play goal at 10:38 of the period that gave UNH a 2-1 advantage.
Cefalu was called for hooking at 8:28 of the second frame to put UNH on the penalty kill. Lohin was called for the same penalty 34 seconds later to set up the four-on-four situation that led to Vela’s goal.
After facing 10 shots in the opening period, UNH senior goaltender Danny Tirone (20 saves) was far less busy in the second frame. The Wildcats outshot UMass Lowell 15-4 in the middle stanza.
“I saw four shots in the second period so I didn’t see a whole lot of urgency,” UMass Lowell coach Norm Bazin said. “We were on the wrong side of the puck the whole second period.”
The River Hawks scored three seconds after their first power play expired. Connor Wilson put home a wrister from the right circle off a feed from Tommy Panico in the high slot top open the game’s scoring 6:06 into the contest.
“I think it’s the leadership on our team that kept us in the game,” Umile said. “From the beginning, we thought this team had leadership and character and they showed it tonight.”