Willows and company drop third straight to Engineers

By Melissa Proulx, Staff Writer

CHINA WONG/CONTRIBUTOR Despite the best efforts of senior captain Matt Willows, UNH has lost three straight games.

CHINA WONG/CONTRIBUTOR
Despite the best efforts of senior captain Matt Willows, UNH has lost three straight games.

Frustration amongst the coaches and the players continues to build as the

Wildcats suffered a 2 – 1 loss against the Rensselaer Engineers on Tuesday, Nov. 25.

RPI defenseman Parker Reno scored the team’s second goal off of an Adam Clark rebound against UNH at 16:21 first period that would ultimately decide the game.

UNH played hard, ending with the advantage for shots on goal (35 to 31) and a whopping seven power plays in total but was not able to pull it together at the end. Even during the final two minutes of the game, when UNH had a power play and a sixth player on the ice, the team was not able to take advantage of the opportunity.

“In the second period, I don’t know what was going on, but we could not make a play. We couldn’t handle the puck,” UNH head coach Dick Umile said. “The third period, maybe we had some chances, but it was probably our worst effort all season.”

This game was the last before the Thanksgiving break, a time off that Umile hopes will give the players what they need to come back and play as strong as they have in the past.

“The last game, I really liked the way we played and competed in,” Umile said. “I don’t know what was going on tonight, our heads weren’t in it. I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t good.”

Other members of the team echoed these words, like Matt Willows, the senior right winger who had six unsuccessful shots on goal himself.

“At the beginning of the season, we set out to be a hard team to play, against and we just weren’t hard tonight, it’s simple as that,” Willows said. “They wanted the puck more, they got the puck, they finished their opportunities. You could say we had a million opportunities at the end, but we just didn’t bury it.”

Despite the poor puck handling of many of the players, there was one who stood out. Freshman Warren Foegele scored his first-ever collegiate career goal during the first period, the only goal of the night for the Wildcats. The goal occurred during a scramble in front of RPI’s net, and he said that he was just lucky enough to get it in the goal.

Foegele was assisted by his teammates Collin MacDonald and John Furgele on this goal while the team was on a power play at the time the goal was scored.

“It was finally nice to get the monkey off my back, pretty excited to get my first goal finally,” Foegele said, a grin briefly appearing on his face during the post-game press conference.

This loss was the eighth for the Wildcats this season, with only four wins to account for so far. The next game will be played on Friday, Dec. 5 at home against Boston College.

“I think we’ve got to get back to the drawing board … this weekend after Thanksgiving and get ready for two big games against Hockey East’s rivals, BC,” Willows said. “They’re a great team, and it’s going to be a tough weekend, and I think we’re going to have to bring our best.”

UNH will take on BC Friday at the Whittemore Center. The game will start at 8 p.m. and will be televised on NBC Sports.