College hockey: New Hampshire defeats UMass Lowell in thrilling season-opener
Senior forward Shane Eiserman tallied the game-winner with 13.4 seconds remaining in the third period as the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team defeated #5 UMass Lowell, 4-3, in the season opener at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass. The Wildcats will host the River Hawks on Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. for Opening Night at the Whittemore Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The River Hawks opened the scoring at 6:06 of the first period as Tommy Panico sent a pass from behind the net to Connor Wilson who fired a wrist shot from the right circle to give UMass Lowell a 1-0 lead.
UNH went on a power-play at 12:40 but couldn't find the back of the net on the man advantage, keeping the score 1-0 River Hawks.
UMass Lowell outshot UNH 10-7 in the first period.
What a great way to start the season with a win at #5 UMass Lowell! We host the River Hawks tonight at 7 pm for Opening Night at the Whitt! pic.twitter.com/Ks1JLLWYcv— UNH Men's Hockey (@UNHMHOCKEY) October 7, 2017
The Wildcats equalized the score at 9:53 of the second period. With the teams playing 4-on-4 hockey, junior forward Marcus Velus picked up a loose puck in front of the net and buried it to make the score 1-1.
Less than a minute later, and with the Wildcats on the power-play, junior Frankie Cefalu found the back of the net to give UNH a 2-1 advantage.
At 4:52 of the third period, the River Hawks tied the game at 2-2 on a power-play goal. John Edwardh ripped a wrist shot from the slot to upper corner of the net on the glove side.
The Wildcats regained the lead at 10:05 of the third period. Sophomore forward Liam Blackburn sent a pass from behind the goal line to junior forward Ara Nazarian who buried the puck high on the blocker side with a powerful backhander from the left circle to give UNH a 3-2 lead.
With 1:59 remaining in the third period, the River Hawks pulled their goalie looking to equalize.
With 1:14 remaining in the third period, the River Hawks found the back of the net on a power-play goal to make it 3-3. Jake Kamrass fired a wrist shot from the right circle.
With 13.4 seconds remaining in the third, Eiserman picked up a loose puck in front of the net and slapped a backhander that found its way through to give the Wildcats the 4-3 win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
UNH outshot the River Hawks, 29-23.
Senior assistant captain Danny Tirone made 20 saves, while Tyler Wall tallied 25 for UMass Lowell.
The Wildcats went a 1-4 on the power play, while the River Hawks went 2-7.
UNH won 34 faceoffs against UMass Lowell's 42.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
Eiserman's game-winner was the second of his career.
Freshmen defensemen Max Gildon and Benton Maass each posted their first collegiate point with an assist. Maass tallied an assist on the goal by Nazarian, while Gildon posted an assist on the game winner.