DURHAM — The University of New Hampshire hockey team did what it could not do at Army West Point, securing a 4-1 victory over Yale in front of 3,575 fans Friday night at the Whittemore Center.
The Wildcats (9-8-1) took a one-goal lead into the second intermission and scored twice in the third period to clinch their triumph over the Bulldogs (5-8).
UNH led Army, 4-3, after two periods on Sunday before the Black Knights scored twice in the final frame to earn a 5-4 comeback win.
UNH is 4-3 in games in which it led after two periods this season.
“Sunday we were in a similar situation and we end up losing the game,” Wildcats coach Mike Souza said. “That’s what we talked about between periods — just trusting the process and seeing a game through and how we managed the puck in the third period. I thought we did a nice job with that. I thought it was our strongest period of the night and I was proud of our kids.”
The Wildcats led, 2-1, entering the third period and took a two-goal advantage with 7:40 remaining. Sophomore Filip Engaras, who assisted on Eric Esposito’s second-period tally, scored his third career goal in his ninth game as a Wildcat off an assist from Kohei Sato on a two-on-one counter rush.
“I think they’re a real good transition team,” Yale coach Keith Allain said of the Wildcats. “We tried to prepare our guys for that. They’re dangerous on the rush.”
Patrick Grasso’s empty-net goal that capped the game’s scoring with 2:04 left came 13 seconds after Yale pulled goaltender Corbin Kaczperski (21 saves) for the extra skater.
UNH sophomore forward Angus Crookshank scored a program-record nine seconds into the contest, off assists from Charlie Kelleher and Max Gildon, to open the game’s scoring. Jackson Pierson, who missed the Wildcats’ previous eight games with an upper-body injury, won the opening faceoff to start the scoring sequence.
The Wildcats’ previous record for fastest goal to start a game was 10 seconds, a mark that Glenn Hunter (at Clarkson, 1975), Bob Brandt (against Dartmouth, 1968) and Donald Perkins (against Springfield, 1941) each reached during their time in the program.
Esposito built a 2-0 UNH lead 6:59 into the second period with a top-shelf goal — his first of the season — from the left circle shortly after the Wildcats forced a Yale defensive-zone turnover.
Each of Esposito’s four points this season have come over UNH’s past four games.
Yale trimmed the Wildcats’ lead to 2-1 with 6:34 left in the second frame when Will D’Orsi notched a power-play goal from the slot off Dante Palecco’s feed from along the left boards.
UNH went 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. The Wildcats have allowed 13 goals on the penalty kill and scored four power-play goals over their past 11 games.
UNH sophomore goalie Ty Taylor made 28 saves, including 11 in the third period, to earn his fourth win in as many starts this season.
UNH junior forward Eric MacAdams did not play due to a muscle spasm. Classmate Joe Sacco left the game after his first shift due to a similar ailment, Souza said.
Yale’s Justin Pearson, a sophomore forward from Nashua, had his four-game point streak snapped in the loss. The Bishop Guertin of Nashua graduate, who logged two goals and two assists over the streak, tallied two shots on goal and hit the crossbar with a backhander in the third period.
“Too many times this year, I think, we’ve gone into the third with the lead (and lost) so (Friday) was really good for us,” Esposito said. “Hopefully it’s contagious and hopefully we can finish teams more often for the rest of the season.”
Dartmouth 4, Princeton 3: Drew O’Connor scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season 61 seconds into overtime, giving Dartmouth the road victory. The game was Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet’s 1,000th career game.
Princeton forced the OT by scoring with 16 seconds remaining in regulation.
Cam Strong, Colling Rutherford and Mark Gallant also scored for the Big Green, who improved to 7-4-2 overall, 5-2-1 in the ECAC. They visit Quinnipiac on Saturday night.
Bowdoin 5, Saint Anselm 4: At Sullivan Arena in Goffstown, Chris Brown’s power-play goal with 6:31 remaining was the difference as Bowdoin edged Saint Anselm. John Femia, Jack Murphy, Matt Chisholm and Trey Aiello scored for the Hawks (7-6-1). The Polar Bears improved to 5-4.
Penn State 3, UNH 0: Freshman Ava Thewes, in her first career appearance, stopped 25 of 28 shots for the visiting Wildcats (9-8-2 overall). The teams play again Saturday at 2 p.m.
Dartmouth 4, RPI 0: Freshman Hannah Humphreys stopped 14 shots for her first college shutout for Dartmouth (5-7-2 overall, 2-4-2 in the ECAC).
The Big Green host Union Saturday at 3 p.m.