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Men's Hockey: UNH splits season series with Irish

STAFF report

SOUTH BEND, IND. – The University of New Hampshire men’s ice hockey team fell by a score of 5-3 on the road at the University of Notre Dame Saturday night at Compton Family Ice Arena.

With the loss the Wildcats falls to 9-15-2 overall and to 4-9-1 in Hockey East play while the Fighting Irish improve to 11-14-3 overall and to 6-5-3 in league action. Scoring goals for the Wildcats were freshman Warren Foegele, sophomore Matias Cleland and sophomore Tyler Kelleher.

The Wildcats nearly got on the board with 12:11 remaining as senior Matt Willows almost jammed the puck across the Fighting Irish goal line. The play was reviewed and subsequently ruled no goal.

While on a power play, the Fighting Irish’s Justin Wade tried to penetrate the UNH net as he ripped a shot through traffic from just inside the blueline. The puck found its way through, but UNH netminder Danny Tirone made a quick pad save to thwart the threat.

Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead with 2:14 left in the first period on a goal by Austin Wuthrich. Anders Bjork gathered the puck in the neutral zone and played a pass to Jordan Gross. Gross slid the puck to Wuthrich who skated into the UNH zone and fired a shot through traffic that beat Tirone high on his blocker side.

While on a power play, the Irish extended their lead to 2-0 at the 2:32 mark on a goal by Steven Fogarty. Gross fired a pass to Vince Hinostroza just inside the blueline in the UNH zone. Hinostroza found Fogarty skating in and played a pass to him to one-time the shot into the goal.

The Wildcats responded with their first goal of the game at the 3:34 mark of the period. Junior Kyle Smith played a pass to Foegele in the neutral zone who then carried it in on a 2-on-1 play. Foegele set up his shot and ripped a wrister through the legs of Katunar for his second goal of the weekend.           

Cleland tied the game with 10:10 remaining in the second period as he scored his fourth goal of the season on a power play. Sophomore Tyler Kelleher started the play as he dished a pass to freshman Cameron. Marks found Cleland to his left just inside the blueline and took aim at the net, flinging a shot into the net to light the lamp.

The Irish took a 3-2 lead with 8:06 remaining in the second period as Ben Ostlie scored on a tip in play. Luke Ripley fired a shot in on net that Ostlie tipped en route to divert the puck past Tirone and into the net.

At the end of two periods, the Fighting Irish held a 3-2 lead. Tirone had made 15 saves on 18 shots faced while Katunar had 19 saves on 21 shots.

The Irish took a 4-2 lead 2:06 into the third period as Tony Bretzman fired a shot from the top of the faceoff circle and over the extended right leg of Tirone.

The Wildcats nearly scored a third goal as freshman Shane Eiserman got a pass from Smith in the neutral zone and skated in with it. He blasted a shot that rung the post and bounced away from the net.

Kelleher netted his goal with 2:33 left in the third period to bring UNH to within one goal. Marks swung a pass over to Cleland along the blueline who then found an open Kelleher at the corner of the goal. Kelleher took Cleland’s pass and lifted his shot into the goal.

With 1:07 left on the clock, the Fighting Irish scored their fifth goal as the Wildcats pulled Tirone in favor of the extra skater. Fogarty sent a shot from just outside the blueline into the empty net for the goal.

The Wildcats remain on the road as the team travels to the University of Vermont for a pair of games. The first game is set for Friday, Feb. 6 at 7:05.

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