DURHAM, N.H. - Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta) recorded a goal and an assist and Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) made 31 saves to propel the sixth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Saturday night's 4-2 non-conference victory against fourth-ranked Colorado College in front of 6,501 fans at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which completed the weekend sweep of the Tigers following Friday's 5-3 win, is now 3-0-0 and this marks the first time since the 2003-04 season that the Wildcats have opened the year with three consecutive wins. CC is 2-2-0.
With the score tied 1-1 entering the third period, the Wildcats netted their second power-play tally of the night - this time with a two-skater advantage -- at 4:33 when Brad Flashains (Glendale, Ariz.) fired a shot through traffic from the slot. Craig Switzer (Peachland, British Columbia), with the pass from the right circle, and Fornataro were credited with assists.
The visitors tied the game, 2-2, at 9:52 with their second power-play goal of the game. Vlassopoulos initiated the sequence with a pass off the right dashers to Hillen at the high slot. Hillenís shot was stopped by Foster, but Scott McCulloch scored from the top of the crease.
Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) scored his first career goal 16 seconds later when he one-timed Danny Dries' (Lake Orion, Mich.) pass from the right post to the slot. Joe Charlebois (Potsdam, N.Y.) also set up the tally with a pass from the right point down low to Dries, who recorded his first career point on the tally.
CC pulled goaltender Richard Bachman (21 saves) with 30 seconds remaining in the game and immediately tested Foster, who recorded his first career win vs. a nationally-ranked team, with McCulloch's shot from the slot. Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario) picked up a loose puck off the stick of teammate Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.) deep in the defensive zone and maneuvered through the neutral zone before scoring into an open net with seven seconds to play.
Following a scoreless first period, both teams netted a power-play goal in the middle stanza. UNH struck first at 2:50 on a goal by Fornataro, who has scored a goal in all three games this season. On the sequence, Flashains initial shot from the left point sailed wide of the near post. The puck caromed off the boards to the side of the net, where James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) used a skate to redirect the puck past Bachman to the top of the crease, where an unmarked Fornataro tapped it into the open net.
The Tigers tied the score, 1-1, on a 5x3 power-play goal at 13:10. Andreas Vlassopoulos moved the puck from deep in the right circle up top to Chad Rau, who then made a crossing pass to Jack Hillen. His shot from the high slot was redirected in front by Bill Sweatt.
One of UNH's best scoring opportunities in the opening stanza came on the first shift of the game, when vanRiemsdyk skated along the left boards and floated a centering pass that Fornataro redirected in mid-air on Bachman.
With the Wildcats shorthanded midway through the period, Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) charged into the slot and fired a shot wide of the left post. Moments later at the other end of the ice, Foster stymied the Tigers when he stopped Brian Connelly from the slot and Scott McCulloch off the rebound with a right leg pad save. CC maintained possession and Rau's wrist shot from the slot was snared by Foster's glove.
In the closing minutes of the first period, a UNH flurry of shots ended with Bachman stopping LeBlanc on a close-range shot in front.
New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 2 (7 p.m.) for its Hockey East league opener at Northeastern University. The Wildcats' next home game is Nov. 3 (7 p.m.) vs. NU. Fans will be able to watch the game live online at UNHwildcats.tv.