|2nd||4:08||UNH||1-0||EV||Matt Willows (1)||Dan Correale/1, Grayson Downing/1|
|2nd||12:30||UNI||1-1||SH||Sam Coatta (2)||Mark Bennett/2, Noah Henry/1|
|2nd||13:28||UNI||2-1||SH GW||Sébastien Gingras (1)||Daniel Ciampini/2, Mike Vecchione/2|
|2nd||15:28||UNI||3-1||EV||Mike Vecchione (2)||Spencer Foo/1|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|New Hampshire (0-1-0)||0/3||6/12||0|
|New Hampshire Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Adam Clark (L, 0-1-0)||59:55||3||10||6||5||21|
|Colin Stevens (W, 2-0-0)||60:00||1||12||9||12||33|
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The University of New Hampshire men's hockey team fell in the season opener at defending national champion Union College 3-1 Saturday night at Messa Rink. Senior captain Matt Willows (Congers, N.Y.) scored the first goal of the season for UNH.
The loss drops UNH to 0-1-0 on the young season while the Dutchmen improve to 2-0-0.
Willows gave UNH a 1-0 lead at the 4:08 mark of the second period as he scored the first goal of the season for the Wildcats. The play started as Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) stripped Union of the puck and played a pass to Dan Correale (Prince George, British Columbia). Correale slid a backhanded pass to Willows in front of the net. Willows fired a one-time shoe into a wide open net as Stevens was caught off guard.
Union got the first shot on goal of the game as Mike Vecchione tested freshman netminder Adam Clark (Sherwood Park, Alberta), but Clark made the save. Clark would go on to make 10 saves in his first collegiate period and hold Union scoreless. With 7:10 left in the first period, Clark came up with a big save on a deflection from right in front of the net.
The Wildcats provided a plethora of offense in the first as they fired 12 shots. Each of the 12 shots came from different skaters. Senior Jay Camper (Rocky River, Ohio) recorded the first shot of the period, but the bid was sent aside by Union goalie Colin Stevens.
In the second period with Union on a power play, linemates Camper and Casey Thrush (Easton, Md.) teamed up on a give-and-go sequence in the Union zone. Thrush fired a shot but Stevens made the save.
At the 12:30 mark of the second period, Union's Sam Coatta tied the game with a shorthanded goal. Mark Bennett won the puck in the neutral zone and skated into UNH territory with it. He passed the puck across the ice and over to Coatta who fired a one-time shot into the net.
Union took a 2-1 lead at the 13:28 mark of the frame with another shorthanded goal. Vecchione poked the puck loose in the neutral zone and Daniel Ciampini gathered it and skated up ice with it. He skated across the face of the goal and took a shot that was denied by Clark, but Sebastien Gingras found the rebound and shot it in the net.
Two minutes later, Union extended its lead to 3-1 with a goal by Vecchione. Spencer Foo played the puck up the boards and connected with Vecchione on the play. Vecchione took a shot from the right side of the net near the faceoff circle that made its way through traffic and found the back of the net.
After two periods of play, Union held a 3-1 lead. UNH still held an advantage in shots by a tally of 22-19.
Midway through the third period with a delayed penalty, junior blueliner Brett Pesce (Tarrytown, N.Y.) fired a shot from just inside the blueline. However, Stevens came up with the glove save on the play. Clark came up with a big save with 7:36 left to play in the third period on a shot by Vecchione. The shot attempt came from just a foot outside of the crease, but Clark made the save and sent the shot wide of the cage.
On a power play with under three minutes left in the third period, Dylan Maller (Parkland, Fla.) ripped a wrist shot just wide of the net. At the end of the third period, Union held on for a 3-1 win.
Clark made 21 saves on 24 shots in his collegiate debut while Stevens made 33 saves on 34 shots from a high-powered UNH offense. Both teams were scoreless on power plays as the Wildcats were 0-for-3 and Union was 0-for-5.
The Wildcats are back on the road for two games at the University of Michigan, starting Friday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. UNH does not return home until Saturday, Oct. 25 to play Colorado College. Tickets are available online at www.UNHWildcats.com or by calling (603) 862-4000, extension 5.