The UNH men’s hockey team (1-0-1) erupted offensively this past weekend, posting ten goals in their two-game series against Miami University (0-2-1).
It’s difficult to pinpoint how strong the UNH offense is early on, as Miami has given up 17 goals in their first three games this season, losing to Bowling Green (1-2) 7-4, then losing to UNH 6-2 Friday and tying UNH 4-4 Saturday.
In Friday’s game, UNH got the scoring underway with junior forward Kohei Sato recording the inaugural goal of the season. Sato scored on a one-timer that rocketed past Miami senior goalie Ryan Larkin’s glove. Sato was assisted by junior forward Eric MacAdams and junior defenseman Max Gildon.
Sophomore forward Jackson Pierson scored a breakaway goal off of an assist from junior forward Charlie Kelleher midway through the first period.
The scoring continued as junior defenseman Benton Maass scored on a slap shot, assisted by first-year forward Chase Stevenson and senior forward Liam Blackburn. With 20 seconds remaining in the first period, Miami junior forward Phil Knies scored to cut the UNH lead to 3-1.
Halfway through the second period, Sato struck again with a breakaway goal extending the lead to 4-1. Soon after, the RedHawks converted their second goal of the game with a goal from senior forward Gordie Green.
With 0.3 seconds remaining in the second period, Kelleher scored on a power play with a wrist shot to the upper stick side corner of the net. Assisting Kelleher was junior defensemen Patrick Grasso and Gildon.
Pierson pushed the UNH lead to 6-2 with his second goal of the game, scoring in the third period off an assist from Kelleher and sophomore defenseman Ryan Verrier.
UNH outshot Miami 34-20, in addition to converting on two of their six power plays. UNH was also successful in the penalty kill, not allowing a goal on any of the RedHawks four power play opportunities.
UNH head coach Mike Souza was pleased with the Wildcats offensive production, but he credited it to their defensive efforts. “I thought our defense did a good job in transition getting the puck to our forwards as quickly as possible, constantly allowing us to go on the attack.”
As for Saturday’s affair, UNH sophomore forward Angus Crookshank scored the first goal of the game on a power play, tipping a Gildon wrist shot into the net.
Sato scored his third goal of the season in the second period on a breakaway assisted by senior defenseman Anthony Wise. Later in the second period, Gildon extended the UNH lead to 3-0, scoring on a five-on-three power play. Kelleher and Pierson assisted on the goal.
UNH fell victim to their own moxie, allowing three consecutive Miami goals to tie the game at three goals apiece. One minute into the third period, Miami first-year forward John Sladic scored his second goal of the game.
Grasso tied the game for UNH with a power play goal, eventually sending the game to a scoreless overtime.
Souza is focused keeping his team looking to the game ahead. “We realize we have a really tough game this week with Bentley, so it’s going to require our best this week.”
The ‘Cats continue play this Friday as they head south to Waltham, Mass. for a 7:00 p.m. game at Bentley (0-2).