NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — New Hampshire scored a pair of first period goals just 38 seconds apart and made it stand up in a 2-1 upset victory against sixth-ranked Merrimack in Hockey East action on Friday night at Lawler Arena.
New Hampshire, which has now won three consecutive games, improves to 9-11-2 with a 7-8-1 mark in Hockey East, while Merrimack falls to 12-5-5, and 8-4-3 in Hockey East.
Casey DeSmith stopped 24 shots — including 12 in the final period — to preserve the one-goal victory for the Wildcats and improve to 3-2-0 on the season. His counterpart Joe Cannata turned aside 31 including 18 in the middle stanza and drops to 11-5-5 on the campaign.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth 2, Alabama-Huntsville 1|
|No. 2 Boston University 6, Providence 1|
|Maine 4, No. 3 Boston College 3 (OT)|
|No. 11 Colorado College 2, No. 4 Minnesota 1|
|No. 13 Ferris State 4, No. 5 Ohio State 3|
|New Hampshire 2, No. 6 Merrimack 1|
|No. 7 Notre Dame 3, No. 10 Michigan 1|
|No. 20 Miami (Ohio) 3, No. 8 Western Michigan 1|
|No. 14 UMass Lowell 4, Northeastern 0|
|No. 16 Michigan State 4, No. 19 Lake Superior 2|
New Hampshire scored goals 38 seconds apart in the 14th minute of the first period to take a 2-0 lead into the break. The first goal came as Connor Hardowa floated the puck from the defensive zone and it took a UNH hop leaving Grayson Downing all alone at the top of the offensive zone. Downing skated in and beat Merrimack netminder Joe Cannata with a one-timer at 13:23. Damon Kipp also added an assist on the play. The goal came as Merrimack was being whistled for a hook. UNH struck on the power play at 13:51 of the period when Stevie Moses redirected in a Brett Kostolansky slapshot. Nick Sorkin also added a helper on the power play goal. Merrimack held a 10-8 shot advantage in the period.
Merrimack cut into the UNH lead with an even-strength tally at 11:28 of the second. Ryan Flanigan scored his seventh goal of the season with assists from Carter Madsen and Jeff Velleca. In Warriors five penalties in the period, but UNH could not capitalize including 44 seconds of 5-on-3. Overall, the ‘Cats held a commanding 18-3 shot advantage thanks to 15 power play shots in the period and outshot the Warriors 33-25 for the contest.
In a scoreless third period, Merrimack outshot UNH 12-7. The Warriors had several chances at netting the equalizer, but DeSmith and the defense kept them off the board.
Overall, UNH was 1-6 on the power play with 18 shots during the man advantage, while MC was 0-2 on the power play with just one shot in those two chances.