DURHAM — The second period has been the best period for the University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team this season, and the Wildcats turned in another strong second period during Saturday night’s Hockey East contest against the University of Connecticut.
After a scoreless first period, the Wildcats struck for three second-period goals en route to a 6-0 victory over the Huskies that gave UNH a 7-1-3 record in its last 11 games.
UNH has outscored its opponents 24-11 in the second period this season. The Wildcats have been outscored 29-20 in the first and have outscored the opposition 26-22 in the third.
The Wildcats (9-8-8, 5-5-5 Hockey East) collected their first two goals in a six-second span. After right wing Charlie Kelleher handed UNH a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 1:09 into the second, left wing Brendan van Riemsdyk doubled UNH’s advantage 1:15 into the period. Center Liam Blackburn made it 3-0 at 4:36 of the second.
Freshman Angus Crookshank scored UNH’s fourth goal on a shot from the slot at 6:28 of the third, and Patrick Grasso extended the lead to 5-0 at 10:14. Joe Sacco, a right wing on UNH’s fourth line, finalized the scoring with his first career goal during a UNH power play with 2:50 remaining.
UNH received 36 saves from goaltender Mike Robinson, a Bedford resident who recorded his third shutout of the season. Adam Huska stopped 25 shots for UConn (7-15-2, 2-11-2).
The Wildcats have scored at least one power-play goal in each of their last seven games, and have eight goals in 27 power-play chances during that stretch. UNH began the night ranked third in Hockey East and 15th among Division I teams in power-play percentage (22.2 percent).
UNH remained in seventh place in the Hockey East standings, two points behind Providence and two points ahead of Maine. Eight teams will qualify for the Hockey East tournament.
UNH was 0-6-1 in its last seven games against UConn entering Saturday night’s contest.
Saturday’s victory moved UNH over the .500-mark for the first time this season. … The Wildcats are 4-1-2 in their last seven Hockey East games. … UNH will play back-to-back home games against Maine on Friday and Saturday night. … Saturday night’s announced attendance was 5,858.