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DURHAM, N.H. - Seniors Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) and Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) each notched a goal and an assist as the ninth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team played to a 3-3 tie with No. 3 University of Michigan on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at the Whittemore Center for the home opener.
The Wildcats move to 1-1-1 on the season, while the Wolverines are now 2-0-2. It was Michigan's first trip to Durham since the 1984 season.
Trailing 3-2 with 4:33 remaining in regulation, the Wildcats evened the score on a Thompson power-play tally. DeSimone carried the puck into the zone up the left side below the goal line where he dished the puck to Thompson, who whistled the puck into the top right corner of the net to knot it at three. Junior Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) also earned an assist on the play. The 'Cats have now tallied a power-play goal in all three contests this season.
The Wildcats outshot Michigan, 48-30, including 37-17 after the first period. UNH controlled play in the third period and overtime, holding respective shot advantages of 14-9 and 8-1.
Michigan drew first blood on the power play at 11:42 of the opening period when Luke Glendening fed Scooter Vaughan with a pass to the bottom of the right circle where Vaughan's wrist shot beat DiGirolamo. Brandon Burlon initiated the sequence when he dumped the puck in behind the right side of the net where Glendening tracked it down and made the pass.
The Wildcats gained the equalizer just 1:37 into the middle stanza when junior Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) won the faceoff in the right circle to classmate Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.), who blasted a shot from the top of the circle that beat Michigan goaltender Shawn Hunwick to his left.
The Wolverines went back on top at 7:47 of the second period off some quick tic-tac-toe passing on the power play. Matt Rust fed the puck to Carl Hagelin on the red line to the right of the net, where he quickly moved to the puck to the right of the slot for Chris Brown, who found the back of the net to make it 2-1.
UNH answered 3:53 into the third period when DeSimone finished off a rebound opportunity to tie it at two. Thompson carried the puck into the zone on the left side before passing it to the left circle for senior Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.), who uncorked a shot that Hunwick saved with his left pad. The puck ricocheted to the bottom of the right circle, however, where DeSimone collected the puck and rifled into the open right side of the net.
UM moved ahead with 8:11 to play in the third period when Burlon received a pass from Hagelin at the bottom of the left circle and potted it in the top left corner of the net to make it 3-2.
DiGirolamo made 27 saves, including 12 in the first period. Hunwick stopped 45 shots, including 14 in the second period and eight in overtime.
The Wildcats return to action Friday, Oct. 22 (7:30 p.m.) when they take on Northeastern University at Matthews Arena. The next home game for the 'Cats will be Friday, Nov. 12 (7 p.m.) when they play host to the University of Massachusetts at the Whittemore Center.