NORTH ANDOVER, MA. - Phil DeSimone's first goal of the season with 9:29 to play in regulation broke a scoreless tie and gave the University of New Hampshire, ranked seventh nationally, the 1-0 victory over Merrimack College Friday night at Lawler Arena.
DeSimone gathered a loose puck in front of Andrew Braithwaite (Kingston, Ontario) off a Matt Fornataro shot and fired it past Braithwaite to his left for the lone goal in the game.
Kevin Regan made 34 saves in net for UNH and kept his team in the game for the first two periods. Merrimack outshot the Wildcats 23-15 in the first two periods and 34-26 in the game. For his efforts, the senior was named the game's first star.
Braithwaite was equally as sharp, stopping 25 shots, including a two-on-none with 3:40 remaining in the second. The sophomore made a sprawling save to his left off a shot from Mike Sislo to keep the game deadlocked at zero.
With a revamped lineup that included the collegiate debut of Joe Cucci (Melrose Park, IL) and marked Braithwaite's first start since November 3rd at UMass, Merrimack came out flying, firing shot after shot against Regan. Grant Farrell (Calgary, Alberta) and Chris Barton (Calgary, Alberta) each fired seven shots in the loss, Merrimack's third straight. Cucci registered three shots and was nine-for-15 on draws, while centering an all freshman line of Francois Ouimet (Lorraine, Quebec) and Barton. The Warriors are winless in their last six (0-5-1).
The Wildcats were without the services of forwards Mike Radja (suspension) and James vanRiemsdyk (US Juniors).
The Warriors (6-9-2, 3-9-1 HEA) will take on Army in a non-conference matchup Sunday at 5 p.m. at Lawler Arena.