Durham, NH - It was a rare Tuesday night game for both UNH and Brown, in the 37th meeting between the schools. Brown struck first eight minutes, 10 seconds into the first as Mark Naclerio sent a puck to a wide open Massimo Lamacchia in the slot and the latter was true to give Brown the early 1-0 lead. UNH, though, would answer three minutes later when Nick Sorkin found a rebound in front of Brown goaltender, Marco De Filippo. UNH would find the back of the net, again, two minutes later, as Dalton Speelman crossed a pass right in front of the net to Grayson Downing, giving UNH the 2-1 first intermission lead.
New Hampshire would score the only goal of the second period, late in the period. Jeff Silengo would find a puck in the slot and bury it to give the Wildcats a 3-1 second intermission lead. UNH and Brown would trade goals in the third period, with New Hampshire holding on to a 4-2 win. The win improves UNH to 4-5-1 on the season and Brown falls to 3-3-1 overall.
What I Saw
- UNH’s first three goals were all a direct result of Brown’s failure to clear the front of the net. On the first UNH goal, Marco De Filippo left a puck in front of him where Nick Sorkin found it and buried it. On the second goal, no Brown defenders were anywhere to be found to knock a puck away. The second goal was a pretty passing play by UNH right in front of the net in which two UNH players in a sense were left all alone in front of De Filippo. The third goal, although not of a similar variety, was a puck stuck in skates in front of the net and Silengo found it and buried it. UNH will take advantage on those opportunities and it did on this night.
- Brown struggled to keep up with UNH’s stick-handling in its zone, as UNH seemingly found the puck at will. On many occasions, stick-handling became a huge issue for Brown and led to odd-man rushes. It led to UNH generating tons of shots but credit Brown for keeping UNH to the outside most of the game, as UNH had few grade-A’s despite having tons of shots. On this night, UNH was the better stickhandling team and it was clearly evident by the number of times that the Wildcats pick-pocketed Bears skaters, seemingly at ease.
What I Thought
- UNH looks like a much more confident team than the last time I saw them, two weeks ago against UMass-Lowell. Dick Umile’s line juggling of the top two lines is paying dividends, as Grayson Downing, Dalton Speelman and Tyler Kelleher look like a dangerous top line on nearly every shift. The same can be said across the forward lines. Despite a rough start, UNH still has time to recover. It just looks like it may.
- For Brown, it just seemed like a bad night. Its passes were a touch off, its great players were relatively quiet (Lorito most noticeably) and its sticks weren’t as active as they needed to be. It was clear that the Bears were just a bit off and that they got away from Brown hockey. Brown hockey is workmanlike and tonight did not seem close to that. In fact, it was quite the opposite.
What They Said
Brown Coach Brendan Whittet said,
“We got away from Brown hockey tonight, that’s exactly what I told the guys. Our trademark is much different than the way we played the first two periods. We were circling away from things and we were just not tenacious in what we are doing. We were turning pucks over and I think we made it easy on UNH. It will be corrected.”
“We are short some guys right now, two guys on the blue line and two up front. One of them is Nick Lappin and he is a hell of a good player. I told the guys it was an opportunity for some of the others to do well. We need to figure what makes us tick.”
“UNH is well coached. They do a lot of the little things and are a good hockey program. What I was hoping was and we are a good hockey team too, just don’t think we showed it for two periods.”
Brown forward Matt Lorito said,
“We played well for spurts of the game but we made some mistakes in our own zone where we broke down. Against a team like that you can’t do that”
The injuries are tough but it just opens the door for some guys to step in. I thought the guys that in tonight did a great job. Obviously it’s tough when you are missing regulars in the lineup but at the same time it’s not an excuse because the guys playing have a job to do. Tonight we just came up a little short.”
“It’s tough being an ivy league team and getting the start. We had great start against the other Ivy League teams because we were kind of on a level playing field to start the season. We went home and played St. Lawrence and Clarkson, both of which had played six or seven games, so it’s kind of tough but at the same time we can’t use that as an excuse. I felt we have played tough those games but just couldn’t find a way to get the points we needed.”
UNH forward Kevin Goumas said,
“We have been playing well the last few games. It is not to say we weren’t playing well before then, but the last three games have been complete team efforts, from the goalie on out.”
What Else You Should Know
UNH will play a home and home series against Northeastern beginning on Friday. UNH has now won three consecutive games and have done so in impressive fashion, outscoring its opponents 17-3 in those games.
Brown will have the weekend off at the right time, as it is nursing four injuries. It didn’t have one healthy scratch and all roster players available played in the game. The biggest injury is to Nick Lappin, who is a consistent scorer. Brown has been mighty inconsistent in the early going and have not been able to string together wins. But it has not lost consecutive games yet this season, which is also not a bad thing. Brown next plays on November 22 on the road against Cornell.