By Justin Loring, Sports Editor
It’s been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for Matt Willows and company this season. The one consistency seems to be inconsistency for the young team, as they had their third consecutive weekend of splitting a series, only earning two points during a critical stretch of games. The team hasn’t made a habit of losing games, but rather not winning. Last Friday, Boston University scored just 48 seconds into the game on a seeing-eye shot from Cason Hohmann that went between the legs of UNH goalie Danny Tirone. The ‘Cats were down 2-0 and 3-1 at different points in the game, but were able to battle back and tie it at 3-3. Unfortunately, the Terriers stormed back late and captured a 6-3 victory that was much closer than the score indicated. Saturday, however, was a completely different script. Freshman Shane Eiserman put the ‘Cats out front with 2:06 into the game, and the Wildcats built a lead of 4-0 going into the third period. But again, BU came back, scoring two goals within 14 seconds of each other and then adding a third score with under 8 minutes to go. The Wildcats weathered the storm at the end of the game as BU pulled its goalie, and the ‘Cats completed the upset of the No. 2 team in the nation. The ‘Cats are looking to win consecutive games for only the second time all season, having only won two in a row on Nov. 8 and 14.
UConn do it
Next on UNH’s docket is a date with Connecticut. UConn is competing in it’s first full season of Division I, posting a record of 9-15-7 (6-9-4 in Hockey East). Don’t be deceived by the record, though, UConn is no slouch.
“They’re going to be a great member of Hockey East,” UNH coach Dick Umile said. “They play hard, they’re well coached … and do good things in tough situatons.”
The Huskies have beaten some top-tier talent, including then-No. 3 Boston College (1-0), No. 11 Quinnipiac (4-1), No. 16 Lowell (2-0), No. 18 Vermont (2-1) and defending national champion Union College (3-2). Recently, however, UConn has lost three of its last four games in brutal fashion. After tying Providence a few nights before, the Friars crushed the Huskies in a 10-1 effort. They rebounded with a win over Merrimack, but suffered two bad losses to Northeastern by scores of 9-0 and 6-1.
This weekend’s series will be a homecoming for members of both teams. UNH starting goalie Danny Tirone hails from Trumbull, Conn., and is making his first start in the Nutmeg State.
“I’m excited,” Tirone said. “I’m going to have family and friends at the XL Center [in Hartford].”
Tirone has really settled in as the starting goaltender, having won six games in ten starts. He also feels that the “adjustment period is over,” and saying he feels he has been getting better each week.
Also making a return to familiar ground is Connecticut assistant coach Mike Souza. Souza was a forward for UNH from 1996-2000, and was a member of the two Frozen Four teams in ’98 and ’99.