DURHAM, N.H. -- Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) and Brett Pesce (Tarrytown, N.Y.) recorded three points apiece to lead the University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team to Friday night's 4-2 victory against the University of Notre Dame at the Whittemore Center.
UNH improved to 15-13-1 overall and 7-6-0 in Hockey East while Notre Dame is now 15-10-1, 4-7-1. The teams conclude the weekend series Feb. 1 (4 p.m.) at the Whitt. The game will be televised live on NESN.
Pesce tied his career high in assists (two) and had a personal-best three points. Goumas also tallied a goal and two assists. Jeff Silengo (Madison, Conn.) matched his personal bests in both goals and points with two goals. Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.; two assists) also tallied multiple points.
UNH goalie Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) had double-digit saves all three periods (11-10-17) to finish with a season-high 38 saves. ND counterpart Steven Summerhays made 12 of his 24 saves in the second period.
In the scoreless first period, ND generated an 11-2 shot advantage and both teams went 0-for-1 on the power play.
The Fighting Irish took a 1-0 lead at 2:21 of the second period when Eric Johnson's slap shot from the left point was redirected in front by Mario Lucia into the cage.
UNH tied the score, 1-1, with a power-play goal at 5:18. Goumas slipped a pass from the right wing to Pesce in the high slot and his low, screened shot sailed into the net. Knodel was also credited with an assist.
Midway through the second stanza, the 'Cats had a dangerous shorthanded bid when Casey Thrush (Easton, Md.) gained possession at the defensive blue line and raced through the neutral zone to create a 1-on-1 rush. Thrush accelerated in front of the defender to the low slot, but Summerhays was in position for the save.
One minute later, Collin Bourque (Goffstown, N.H.) shifted from behind the net toward the right corner. His centering pass deflected off a Notre Dame skater at the post, but it also hit Summerhays, who then covered the puck in the crease.
The 'Cats went ahead 2-1 at 12:03 when Knodel gained momentum toward the top of the left circle and blasted a shot toward the top of the crease that Jeff Silengo (Madison, Conn.) tipped inside the right post. Pesce, with the pass across the blue line to Knodel, also set up the tally.
DeSmith made that one-goal lead stand in the waning seconds when he denied Bryan Rust, who curled from behind the net to low on the left side. Off the faceoff, Sam Herr fired a rocket that DeSmith gloved with two seconds on the clock.
With 5:30 remaining in the third period, DeSmith once again stood strong when he stopped Jeff Costello in the slot and then extended his right leg pad to stuff Peter Schneider on the rebound at the left post.
The Wildcats called time out at the start of a power play at 15:15, but the Fighting Irish leveled the score, 2-2, with a shorthanded goal at 15:28. On a faceoff to Summerhays' left, Andy Ryan gained possession and snapped a pass across to Rust. Rust carried the puck out of the defensive zone, through neutral ice into the right circle and wristed a shot that trickled past DeSmith over the goal line.
New Hampshire responded with Goumas' power-play goal 29 seconds later to regain the lead, 3-2, at 15:57. Pesce and Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.), with the pass to Goumas low on the right side, set up the game-winning tally.
ND called time out with 1:39 remaining and pulled Summerhays in favor on an extra skater. UNH cleared the puck to the neutral zone almost immediately as Thrush outletted the puck to Goumas on the left boards. Goumas found Silengo at the center ice dot and he settled the puck before firing a shot into the empty net to secure the win.