Feb. 1, 2014
Durham, N.H. – Junior goaltender Casey DeSmith stopped 38 of 40 shots and Jeff Silengo scored twice to lead New Hampshire to a 4-2 win over Notre Dame Friday night in front of 5,679 at the Whittemore Center.
Brett Pesce scored a power-play goal and assisted on three other goals for a four-point night and Kevin Goumas got the game winner on a power-play marker to offset Irish goals from Mario Lucia and Bryan Rust (shg) on the night.
Playing on New Hampshire’s Olympic-sized rink (200-feet X 100-feet), the Irish out shot the Wildcats by a 40-28 margin. Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays finished with 24 saves.
The loss drops the 14th-ranked Irish to 15-10-1 overall and 4-7-1 in Hockey East action. New Hampshire is now 15-13-1 overall and 7-6-0 in conference play.
After a scoreless opening period that saw Notre Dame have an 11-2 edge in shots, Notre Dame got the first goal of the night off a Lucia deflection at 2:21.
Defenseman Eric Johnson fired a shot from the left point through a screen in front with the puck going off Lucia’s skate past DeSmith for his team and career-best 14th goal of the season.
New Hampshire evened the score at 5:18 on a power-play goal by Pesce. With T.J. Tynan off for interference, the Wildcats controlled the play in the Notre Dame zone. Goumas, the senior center, moved the puck back to the center point to Pesce. The sophomore blue liner drilled a low, hard slap shot through a screen in front with the puck making its way past Summerhays to make it a 1-1 game. The goal was Pesce’s third of the season.
The Wildcats took their first lead of the night at 12:03 as Silengo deflected a shot past Summerhays in front of the Notre Dame goal for his seventh of the season. Defenseman Eric Knodel fired a shot from the left point and as Silengo battled an Irish defender for position, he was able to get his stick on the puck and deflect it past Summerhays to give UNH the 2-1 lead. Pesce also assisted on the goal, his first of the night.
New Hampshire held on to the lead until there was just 4:32 left in the game. Notre Dame was able to tie the game on a great short-handed effort by Rust. Summerhays made a save with the rebound going to Tynan. He and Rust moved up the ice with Tynan feeding the puck to Rust down the right side. Rust carried the puck, cutting towards the goal, tucking a shot through DeSmith’s pads. The puck broke through his pads and trickled over the red line to make it 2-2. The goal was Rust’s ninth of the season and his second shorty of the year.
The Irish hadn’t finished celebrating when the Wildcats scored on the power-play chance. Goumas’ centering pass went off a Notre Dame defender in front and deflected past Summerhays to make it 3-2 just 29 seconds later at 15:57. Matt Willows and Pesce picked up assists on the goal.
With 1:39 left on the clock, Notre Dame took a time out and pulled Summerhays in favor of a sixth attacker. New Hampshire closed the scoring into an empty net just 18 seconds later at 18:39 when Silengo took a pass in neutral ice and fired the puck down the ice into the goal for his eighth of the season and the 4-2 advantage. Pesce had his third assist of the game.
UNH finished the night 2-for-4 on the power play while the Irish were 0-for-3.
The two teams will meet on Saturday afternoon in game two of the series at the Whittemore Center. Game time is 4:00 p.m.
** With the loss, Notre Dame is now 1-4-0 on the road in Hockey East and 1-5-0 including the 4-3 neutral ice loss to Boston College at Fenway Park.
** New Hampshire’s two power-play goals marked the first time the Irish have given up two power-play goals in a game since Dec. 7 when Massachusetts was 2-for-6. That covers a span of eight games. Prior to Friday night, the Irish had given up just two power-play goals in January (31-of-33).
** Brett Pesce’s four-point game was the first against the Irish since Northeastern’s Ludwig Karlsson had four assists on Dec. 2, 2011.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#14/#14 Notre Dame (15-10-1/4-7-1) 0 1 1 - 2New Hampshire (15-13-1/7-6-0) 0 2 2 - 4
1st Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UNH: 1 for 2 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UNH: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UNH: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 11 - 11 - 18 - 40New Hampshire 2 - 14 - 12 - 28
Goaltender Saves:ND: Steven Summerhays (59:42) 2 - 12 - 10 - 24UNH: Casey DeSmith (60:00) 11 - 10 - 17 - 38
Power Plays:ND: 0 for 3UNH: 2 for 4