Thursday, November 16, 2017

UNH-Boston College Preview With BC Interruption



BC Interruption, the independent blog covering Boston College sports, previews every game for both the men's and women's hockey teams. One of their features is a Question & Answer segment with bloggers who cover the team BC is about to face.

Earlier this week, Peter Caliguri from BC Interruption interviewed me for the article "Men’s Hockey Preview: Q&A with UNH Men’s Hockey Blog". His questions were insightful and fun to answer. The final one asked for my prediction for Friday's game at the Whittemore Center. I'm thinking 4-4 in a wide-open game with very good goaltending.

Next Guy Up

UNH entered last weekend's contests against UMass-Lowell and Boston University ranked #9 in the USCHO.com Division I National Poll. The Wildcats were undefeated in Hockey East (3-0-1) and 6-0-1 overall. However, the UNH team that skated onto the Whittemore Center ice on Friday against UMass-Lowell was without a few key forwards. Second line left winger Shane Eiserman (lower body injury) and center Marcus Vela (appendicitis/appendectomy) and first line right winger Charlie Kelleher (upper body injury) were out of the lineup. Third line left winger Brendan van Riemsdyk left the game midway through the first period with an upper body injury.

In a tightly contested match, Lowell scored the game-winning, second goal with less than 4 minutes remaining in the third period. Here are links to the video highlights and postgame press conference courtesy of UNH Wildcats Productions. Head Coach Dick Umile offered this analysis:
"We had a chance to win it. Injuries or no injuries, you can’t feel sorry and you’ve got to find ways to pull it out. The guys are competing and have that next-guy-up kind of attitude. Overall, the guys did a good job. I’m not disappointed in their effort, just disappointed in the outcome."
The energetic play of the fourth line - Frankie Cefalu (center), Kohei Sato (left wing), and Joe Sacco (right wing) - represents the best of the "next-guy-up" attitude. They generated 4 of UNH's 20 shots on goal against UMass-Lowell. These video highlights show the shots, tenacious forechecking, play-making, and defensive zone play of Cefalu-Sato-Sacco:



On Saturday night at Boston University's Agganis Arena, forwards Kelleher, Eiserman, Vela and van Riemsdyk were out of the lineup again. Cefalu and Sato moved up to UNH's third line with Eric MacAdams at right wing. The final clip in the highlights shows them generating one of the best scoring opportunities against BU. Although the overall shots on goal were relatively even (UNH 29, BU 31), the Terriers handily defeated the Wildcats 4-0.

In the weekly press conference on Wednesday, Coach Umile said Charlie Kelleher and Marcus Vela will likely be back in the lineup on Friday against BC. BvR's playing status for Friday was uncertain but possible. Shane Eiserman is still injured but may start skating next week. Joe Sacco aggravated an injury which kept him out of the lineup earlier this season.

Friday, November 10, 2017

UNH Commits Update: November-10-2017

The Angus Crookshank Show

Player Spotlight - Angus Crookshank

2018 UNH commit Angus Crookshank's goal-scoring barrage just keeps going. Since the last "UNH Commits Update" a week ago, Crookshank has tallied 3 goals in 3 games. On these video highlights, the Langley Rivermen announcer on hockeytv.com said "this 18-year-old has the shot of a professional hockey player" (He just turned 18 on October 2nd):



Crookshank has now buried 12 goals in 14 games this season. He leads the British Columbia Hockey League in goals per game with .86. Although he has played in 5-8 fewer games, only 5 players have scored more total goals. Angus is also tied for 1st in the league in game-winning goals (4) and tied for 3rd in power play goals (4). Finally, he has scored the 7th most points per game (19 pts in 14 games; 1.32 PPG) in the league.

Before the 2017-18 season began, the Neutral Zone scouting service rated Angus Crookshank as a 4 Star prospect on their 5-Star scale. Based on his early season performance, Neutral Zone has upgraded his rating to 4.25 stars. UNH freshman Charlie Kelleher, who plays on the first line and is tied for 3rd in scoring for the Wildcats (1 goal, 6 assists), also had a 4.25 star rating in his final year of junior hockey.

Angus signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH a year ago during the November early signing period. He graduated from high school last spring. He is on track to enroll at UNH next fall.

2017-18 Statistics

NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2018 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2018. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the commit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the commit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The commit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2018 Commits
Joey Cipollone  (F) Junior Bruins NCDC 19 5 13 18 8
Angus Crookshank*  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 14 12 7 19 4
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 14 0 6 6 2
Eric Esposito*  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 9 3 2 5 40
Corson Green  (D) Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 10 1 0 1 12
2018 or '19 Commits
Ryan Verrier*  (D) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 10 1 2 3 6
2019 Commits
Lucas Bahn  (D) Sioux City Musketeers USHL 9 1 1 2 0
Chase Stevenson  (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 21 5 7 12 14
2019 or '20 Commits
Jackson Pierson  (F) Culver Academy Prep 4 2 10 12 -
Green Bay Gamblers USHL 2 0 0 0 0
Connor Sweeney  (F) Lawrence Academy NE Prep - - - - -
Marek Wazny  (F) Burlington Cougars AJHL 4 1 3 4 0
Brookings Blizzard NAHL 7 0 0 0 0
* = Signed National Letter of Intent

News & Notes

National Letter of Intent Early Signing Period:

~ The early signing period began on Wednesday November 8th and extends to November 15th. On the first day, Ryan Verrier, a left-shot defenseman from Reading, Massachusetts, signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH. A decision on his enrollment date will be made later this season. In his first season in the USHL, Verrier has scored a goal and 2 assist with the Green Bay Gamblers.

~ I anticipate 2 and possibly 3 current UNH commits will sign a National Letter of Intent before the early signing period is over.

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2019 Commit Chase Stevenson, who recently committed to UNH, scored his 5th goal of the BCHL season in the West Kelowna Warriors victory on Wednesday night. Before the 2017-18 season began, the Neutral Zone scouting service rated Stevenson as a 3.75 Star prospect. They have upgraded Stevenson's rating to 4 stars on their 5 Star scale. Here's his most recent goal:



Ontario Junior Hockey League:

~ 2019 or '20 Commit Marek Wazny began this season with the Brookings (South Dakota) Blizzard. They had selected him in the 1st Round of the 2017 North American Hockey League Draft. Over his first 4 NAHL games, he was getting significant playing time including starting at center in 2 games. Wazny's playing time diminished with the Blizzard and he moved to the Burlington Cougars (OJHL) near his family’s home in Mississauga Ontario. He’s become a key player for the Cougars playing center on their second line and wing on their first power play unit and scoring a goal and 3 assists in 4 games. Marek now has the opportunity to finish his senior year of high school near his home. Wazny is also on the affiliate list of the Omaha Lancers in the USHL.

Prep School:

~ After playing two games with the Green Bay Gamblers as an affiliate, 2019 or '20 Commit Jackson Pierson began his senior season with Culver Academy on October 29th. The Eagles have won their first 4 games and Pierson leads the team with 2 goals and 10 assists.

~ 2019 or '20 Commit Connor Sweeney has been preparing for the New England Prep School season by playing in the New England Fall Prep Hockey League. Sweeney and the U19 North team advanced to the playoff finals and he assisted on the game-tying goal. When the New England Prep season begins in early December, Sweeney will play for Lawrence Academy.

Friday, November 03, 2017

UNH Commits Update: November-3-2017

Angus Crookshank
BCHL Goals/Game Leader

Player Spotlight - Angus Crookshank

2018 UNH commit Angus Crookshank continues his torrid goal-scoring. After missing the exhibition season and first 8 games of the BCHL regular season with an injury, he has scored at least one goal in 7 of 11 games. Since the last "UNH Commits Update" two weeks ago, Crookshank has scored a goal-a-game during a 4-game win streak by the Langley Rivermen. Here are the video highlights of his 6th thru 9th goals of the season:



The first two goals shown in the highlights illustrate Crookshank's ability as a pure goal scorer. In each case, he essentially generated the score on his own. The Langley Rivermen announcers described Crookshank's goal against the Cowichan Valley Capitals as a candidate for best of the year.

The top 6 goal scorers in the BCHL have played 5-8 more games than Crookshank. Still, he is tied for 5th in total goals. With 9 goals in 11 games, Crookshank leads the league in goals per game (.82). His 4 game-winning goals are the most in the BCHL and he's tied for 3rd in power play goals (3). The centerman has also distributed 5 assists for a total of 14 points in 11 games (T-9th).

2017-18 Statistics

NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2018 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2018. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the commit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the commit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The commit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2018 Commits
Joey Cipollone  (F) Junior Bruins NCDC 18 4 13 17 6
Angus Crookshank*  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 11 9 5 14 4
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 12 0 5 5 2
Eric Esposito*  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 8 2 2 4 40
Corson Green  (D) Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 9 1 0 1 12
2018 or '19 Commits
Ryan Verrier  (D) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 8 1 1 2 2
2019 Commits
Lucas Bahn  (D) Sioux City Musketeers USHL 7 1 1 2 0
Chase Stevenson  (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 18 3 6 9 10
2019 or '20 Commits
Jackson Pierson  (F) Culver Academy Prep 2 - - - -
Green Bay Gamblers USHL 2 0 0 0 0
Connor Sweeney  (F) Lawrence Academy NE Prep - - - - -
Marek Wazny  (F) Brookings Blizzard NAHL 7 0 0 0 0
* = Signed National Letter of Intent

News & Notes

United States Hockey League:

~ 2018 Commit Eric Esposito, an Alternate Captain in his third season with the Youngstown Phantoms, scored his first short-handed goal of his USHL career:



~ 2018 or '19 Commit Ryan Verrier scored his first USHL goal in his 7th game. The Green Bay Gamblers defenseman turns 19 in a couple weeks.



~ 18-year-old defenseman Lucas Bahn scored his first USHL goal in his 5th game with the Sioux City Musketeers.



~ 2019 or '20 Commit Jackson Pierson was called up from the Green Bay Gamblers' affiliate list to play his first two USHL games two weekends ago. He began his senior season with Culver Academy last weekend.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Chase Stevenson From British Columbia Commits to UNH

Chase Stevenson
2019 UNH Commit
"(Chase Stevenson) is fast, plays with pace and drives to the net." Neutral Zone
"A good skater with a very high and consistent compete level." George Ross, Scout for Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
"Chase is a very complete player and can play any one of the forward positions." Rylan Ferster, Head Coach/General Manager, West Kelowna Warriors
The steady stream of hockey players born and raised in British Columbia, Canada will continue to flow to the University of New Hampshire for the foreseeable future. Versatile forward Chase Stevenson, who plays for his hometown West Kelowna Warriors in the BCHL, has committed to UNH for the 2019-20 season. The 2017-18 UNH Wildcats, currently ranked #13 in NCAA Division I, includes Captain Dylan Chanter (Hometown: Armstrong BC; BCHL Team: Vernon Vipers), Cameron Marks (North Vancouver; Coquitlam Express), Marcus Vela (Burnaby; Langley Rivermen), Liam Blackburn (Prince George; West Kelowna Warriors), and Matt Dawson (Delta; Surrey Eagles). Angus Crookshank (North Vancouver; Langley Rivermen), who currently leads the BCHL in goals per game (9 in 11 games; .81 GPG), has signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH and is on target to enroll next season.

After excelling at the Okanagan Hockey Academy for three years and with the Okanagan Rockets in the British Columbia Major Midget League for two seasons, Chase Stevenson was called up last November to play with the West Kelowna Warriors. As a BCHL rookie, Stevenson tallied 10 goals, including 2 game-winners, and 10 assists in 33 regular season games.

At the Bauer BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack, BC earlier this season, Stevenson was in the starting lineup playing left wing. In the Warriors' two victories, he scored a goal and added an assist. There were over 200 college and pro scouts in attendance. Among them were scouts from Neutral Zone** who ranked Stevenson as a "B+" player and provided this assessment:

"Prospect has nifty hands. He is fast, plays with pace and drives to the net. He's also patient."
Rating - 3 3/4 out 5 Stars. For purposes of comparison, Neutral Zone currently rates Angus Crookshank as a 4 star prospect.

** Reprinted by permission of Brendan Collins, Director of Scouting at Neutral Zone.

George Ross, a scout for the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League who covers the Minnesota region, provided this assessment of Stevenson:
(Chase) is undersized but has good strength and is good in one-on-one battles. Not a high end skill guy, but a good skater with a very high and consistent compete level."
Stevenson (DOB: 1/13/1999), a left-shot forward, is 18 years old and has played in 18 Warriors' games so far this season. He has registered 3 goals and 6 assists. Here are video highlights of each goal:



Rylan Ferster, Stevenson's coach with the Warriors over the last two seasons, has provided this assessment:
"Chase is a very complete player and can play any one of the forward positions. His attention to detail in every zone is outstanding and is one of those players that no matter where he plays, he makes his line mates better."

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Chase Stevenson, via email, about his hockey career and commitment to UNH:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. What are the main reasons you chose UNH?



Chase Stevenson: Thank you. The main reason I chose UNH was because of its fantastic combination of athletics and academics. One of my main goals is to win a college hockey national championship and I believe UNH gives me the best chance to do so. With Coach Souza taking over as head coach next season, I feel that I will be able to have a significant impact on UNH hockey, and will be a key contributor along the journey of bringing a national championship back to UNH. Right from the academic buildings to the hockey facilities, UNH will give me every opportunity to develop into a better hockey player and person, and I couldn't be more excited to commit to such a prestigious program.



Mike Lowry: What other college programs did you consider during the recruiting process? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Chase Stevenson: Throughout my commitment process, I talked to Division I schools, such as UNH, that offer athletic scholarships and to Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale, and Cornell that offer financial aid based on need. After going on my official visit to the UNH campus, I knew it was the right place for me.



Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for you to enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team?

Stevenson: I will begin attending UNH at the start of the 2019/20 season.



Lowry: At this stage in your hockey development, what are the strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

Stevenson: The biggest strengths of my game are my hockey IQ and my skating ability. I like to use my speed and skill to create plays at both ends of the rink and be a reliable two way forward. The biggest thing I need to work on is being a more consistent player and just developing physically. I need to continue to develop my strength and speed in order to be a key contributor at the next level.



Lowry: Did you see the team play a game during your official visit? If so, how do you think your style and skill set will fit with the way UNH plays?

Stevenson: Unfortunately, I was only able to watch a practice while I was at UNH. However, that gave me a good sense of how the team plays. I feel that my skating ability and hockey IQ will allow me to fit in very well with UNH hockey. They play a very fast-paced, offensive style and I couldn't be more excited to join the team in 2019.



Lowry: During this season with the West Kelowna Warriors you've been playing both center and wing. Do you have a preference? How are you effective at each position?

Stevenson: I feel comfortable at both centre and wing and like to be a player that can be counted on in any position. Whether I am playing center or wing I pride myself on making plays at both ends of the rink and being a player that is counted on by his teammates to make key plays at crucial times during a game.



Lowry: In 2014, the Red Deer Rebels drafted you in the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. Why did you forego the major junior route and decide to pursue an NCAA scholarship?

Stevenson: Shortly after I was selected in the Bantam draft, my dad and I flew out to the Boston area to look at 5 universities including UNH. Ever since that trip, I knew college hockey was going to be the place for me and was going to give me the best opportunity to develop into a pro hockey player.



Lowry: Have you graduated from high school? What are your academic strengths and interests? Have you thought about what you might major in when you enroll at UNH?

Stevenson: I just recently graduated from high school this past June and am excited to begin my college career in 2019. My strongest subjects are math and English because I enjoy the depth of understanding it takes to grasp their difficult concepts. I plan on attending the Paul College of Business and Economics while at UNH.



Monday, October 30, 2017

Benton Maass: Leading UNH Scorer & Freshman Scorer in Nation

Benton Maass
UNH Freshman Defenseman


When I spoke with UNH freshman Benton Maass during the preseason Media Day, he was realistic about the challenges of becoming a top college hockey player:
"I'd say the biggest adjustment I'll need to make is to the speed. It's such a big jump playing against high school players that are 15, 16, 17 years old and to come out here and play against guys who are 18 to 24 years old. Last year, I played junior hockey (Fairbanks Ice Dogs) before and after my senior season at Elk River (Minnesota) high school and got a little bit of an adjustment period. And now, I've had about a month of captain's practices and regular practice which has helped a lot in adjusting to the speed - the faster pace of play."
He was also determined in expressing his personal goals for his future at UNH:
"I would say it's doing my best to help the team get back to that level of hockey that UNH is known for. Whether it be regular season or tournament championships in Hockey East. Obviously, our main goal is to get to the National Championship, to win the National Championship. Whatever role coach puts me in, my goal is to play that role to the best of my ability and to get UNH back to where it's been in the past."
One month into his freshman season, it's obvious the 18-year-old Maass has adjusted quite well to the college game. Over the course of three Hockey East and four non-conference games, Maass has distributed at least one assist in six games for an overall total of 9 assists. Two assists came on the UNH power play.

As of today, the UNH Wildcats have compiled a record of 5-1-1 and are ranked #13 in the USCHO.com National Poll. Right-shot, freshman defenseman Benton Maass is UNH's leading scorer. He has the second most assists in the nation. Among all freshmen playing Division I hockey, Maass is tied for the lead in scoring. All on the strength of 9 assists in 7 games. Here are two of his assists - the first against UMass Lowell at home showed Maass' puck-carrying and passing abilities. The second from the 4-4 tie against Vermont last Saturday came off a rebound of Maass' shot from the point:



Maass, a 6th round draft pick of the Washington Capitals, is also playing well in the defensive zone. His overall +/- rating is +5, second on the team behind sophomore forward Liam Blackburn (+6). He has blocked 10 shots, second to fellow defenseman Cam Marks (16). Finally, he is the only UNH defenseman who has not been penalized.

It's important to note that three of UNH's top scorers - Benton Maass (9 points, 1st), Max Gildon (8, Tied 2nd) and Charlie Kelleher (7, 3rd) - are all freshman. Gildon is tied for 2nd in NCAA goal-scoring with 6 and tied for 3rd in power play goals (3). Among all NCAA freshmen, Gildon has scored the most goals and most power play goals. Over the last 2 games, 5 out of the 6 UNH freshmen - Maass, Gildon, Kelleher, Eric MacAdams, and Kohei Sato - have played. Only freshman backup goalie Mike Robinson, has yet to play a game.

UNH returns to Hockey East action on Saturday at the University of Masschusetts.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

UNH Captain's Corner: Win Streak to Open 2017-18 Season

UNH Captain Dylan Chanter


Snively Arena Circa 1965
(Photo Credit: Don Sieburg)
The 1993-94 UNH Hockey season marked the end of an era. It was the last go-round for beloved "Lively" Snively Arena. Dick Umile was in his fourth season as head coach and Glenn Stewart was the senior captain. The Wildcats won the first 7 games of that season, 3 at Snively Arena and 4 on the road. The 1991-92 team, which also included Umile and Stewart, holds the UNH hockey record for the longest unbeaten streak at the start of a season (8).

Fast forward 24 years from that 93-94 season - Umile is in his 28th year as head coach and Stewart is the associate head coach (along with Mike Souza). The current team was picked to finish 8th out of 11 teams in the Hockey East Preseason Coaches Poll. Needless to say, a UNH win streak to start the 2017-18 season was not on anyone's radar. But so far, UNH has turned out to be a formidable opponent.

The Wildcats swept 5th-ranked UMass Lowell in a home-and-home series on opening weekend (see "UNH Captain's Corner: Season Opening Sweep of Lowell") and earned the #20 ranking on the USCHO.com Division I Men's Poll. It was the first time UNH had been nationally ranked since the 2014-15 season. It was also the best start to a season since 2012-13.

On the second weekend, UNH swept Colgate University (ECAC) at home 5-0 and 5-3. The 4-game win streak to begin the season started to create more buzz. It tied the streak posted by the 2012-13 Wildcats, the last UNH squad to advance to the NCAA Tournament, and the 1998-99 team which lost the National Championship game in overtime. UNH moved up to #17 in the USCHO national poll and senior centerman Michael McNicholas earned the Hockey East Player of the Week honor (1 Goal, 4 Assists).

When UNH defeated the Colorado College Tigers (NCHC) at the Whittemore Center last Friday, the 7-game win streak to start the 1993-94 season and the team record, 8-game streak in 1991-92 became realistic targets. My article "UNH Plays of the Game: UNH 6 CC 3" includes the key offensive and defensive plays including freshman defenseman Max Gildon scoring his hat trick goal. On Saturday night, UNH barraged CC goalie Alex Leclerc with 40 shots on goal but lost 2-1 in overtime.

Although the UNH record for most consecutive wins to start a season is no longer in play, the Wildcats 5-game win streak helped move them up to #14 in the USCHO National Poll. In addition, Max Gildon earned the Hockey East Rookie of the Week honors.

Captain's Interview

I had an opportunity to interview UNH Captain Dylan Chanter about the successful start to the 2017-18 season.

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulation on the best start since the 1993-94 season. Back then, Coach Umile was in his 4th season as head coach and Coach Stewart was the team's captain. As the current streak was progressing, did the team talk about trying to keep it going or did you try to ignore it as a distraction?



Dylan Chanter: The streak was something new for many of the guys, especially to have it so early in the season, but I believe it was a testament to our hard work in the preseason and this season thus far. For the most part, we just try to keep our sights on the game ahead of us, so I can’t say it really affected us too much.



Mike Lowry: Danny Tirone is also off to an outstanding start. Compared to last season, his Goals Against Average has dropped from 2.99 to 2.00 and Save Percentage has risen from .910 to .932. Have you noticed any changes in his method or approach to goaltending that may have contributed to this improvement?

Dylan Chanter: Danny is a guy with tremendous work ethic. That has remained true coming into this season. As a team, we hung him out to dry on many occasions last season and his stats were tarnished because of our poor play in front of him. With more improved defensive play and Danny’s natural ability to make game-changing saves, we have a great chance to win a lot of hockey games this season.



Lowry: The team is playing a more physical style as compared to recent seasons, both in terms of body checks and physically enforcing a no-go area around Tirone. Is this a deliberate, strategic change?

Chanter: Defending our net is a crucial ingredient in winning hockey games and one we are trying to implement to our play. In terms of our physical style, I think that is due to our bigger roster this season. The addition of more size and great offseasons by our returning guys gives us the ability to be more physical.



Lowry: Freshman defenseman Max Gildon currently leads the team in goals (6), power play goals (3), and the +/- stat (+6). As a fellow defenseman with over three years of NCAA experience, which of his skills are you most impressed by?

Chanter: The fact that Max is 18 years old is truly impressive. I am extremely impressed by Max’s poise and confidence when he has the puck in all areas of the ice. His shot is also something that is a threat whenever he has the puck in the offensive zone. On top of these traits, Max is a great guy in our locker room and will hopefully be there for years to come.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

UNH Plays of the Game: UNH 6 CC 3

UNH's Max Gildon
1st NCAA Hat Trick


UNH's 6-3 victory over Colorado College (CC) last night marks the first time the program has won their first 5 games since the 1993-94 season. That team was captained by current Associate Head Coach Glenn Stewart. Freshman defensemen Max Gildon, a third-round draft pick of the Florida Panthers, lead the team with his first NCAA hat trick.

Many ingredients go into a win - goals, saves, team defense, coaching decisions, etc. Here's a video review of what I believe were the key plays of the game.

Play of the Game: Max Gildon

Every hockey game has a turning point, often several. It's a key play at a critical moment which shifts the momentum toward the win. In the UNH win over CC, I think the key play of the game came early in the third period. UNH was leading 4-2 but CC had outshot them 32-25 and was pressing to get to within one goal. The Tigers broke out of their zone on a 3-on-2 break but Gildon stole the puck in the neutral zone, carried it back into the CC end, and dumped it off to the UNH forwards. Moments later, Brendan van Riemsdyk set up Liam Blackburn for UNH's 5th goal and a 3 goal lead.

Goal of the Game: Max Gildon

With under 6 minutes remaining in the second period, freshman Max Gildon completed his first NCAA hat trick. Less than 2 minutes before, he had scored his second goal of the game. Gildon joined a 4-on-2 UNH rush through the neutral zone, glided down the left wing, and snapped a wrist shot into the top corner. It was Gildon's fifth goal of the season. He leads UNH in goal-scoring.

Assist of the Game: Chris Miller

Junior forward Chris Miller made an outstanding lead pass to send Brendan van Riemsdyk off on a breakaway. BvR buried a wrister to put UNH ahead 2-0.

Save of the Game: Danny Tirone

Senior goalie Danny Tirone made a season high 45 saves in Game 1 in the Colorado College series. The most outstanding happened early in the second period. At the time, UNH was only ahead 1-0 and was being outshot 20-12.

Hits of the Game: Cefalu & MacAdams

UNH has made good on their preseason goal of playing a more physical game. Two of the best examples from last night happened in rapid succession early in the second period. UNH's fourth line of Frankie Cefalu, Eric MacAdams, and Justin Fregona pressured CC with aggressive forechecking. Cefalu then MacAdams through these checks into the end wall behind the Tigers' goalie:

Loss of the Game: Anthony Wyse

In the press conference after the 6-3 win, Coach Umile said that sophomore defenseman Anthony Wyse left the game in the second period and is undergoing the concussion protocal. Here's the collision which may have contributed to Wyse's condition:



UNH will seek to win the sixth consecutive game of the season tonight. They face Colorado College at the Whittemore Center beginning at 7:00.
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