Thursday, January 22, 2015

UNH Recruits Update: Jan-22-2015

Joseph Masonius
USA NTDP U18
Eric Esposito
Loomis Chaffee School
Joel Farabee
Selects Academy U16

Player Spotlight - Joseph Masonius

2015 UNH recruit Joseph Masonius, who turns 18 next month, is eligible for the NHL Draft this June. Over the first half of the season, the 6'0", 180 lbs. defenseman for the US National Team Development Program U18 team, did not appear on any of the NHL Central Scouting Service's "Players to Watch" lists. However, the quality of his play is slowly, but surely, gaining recognition. In November, Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News, mentioned Masonius in his NHL Prospects "Hot List" series. Then, in late December, Masonius was selected to play in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

The USHL/NHL Prospects game was played in Dubuque on January 13th before a packed house which included over 100 NHL scouts. Joseph Masonius was a top performer for Team West scoring the first of their four goals, firing 3 shots on goal, and finishing with a +2 rating. Mike Morreale from NHL.com wrote that Masonius "exhibited plenty of poise and feistiness throughout". Here's Masonius' goal scored off a faceoff late in the second period:



News came yesterday that Joseph Masonius has been officially recognized by the NHL Central Scouting Service. In their Mid-Term Rankings, Masonius is listed as the #201 North American Skater. His prospects for selection in the June 2015 NHL Draft are still a long-shot but Masonius is definitely moving in the right direction.

Player Spotlight - Eric Esposito

As a 15-year-old freshman last season, Eric Esposito put up solid numbers for the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. In 28 games, Eric scored 5 goals and 6 assists. Loomis Chaffee won the New England Large Prep School Championship. Now, a little over halfway through the 2014-15 regular season, Eric Esposito and the Pelicans are playing even better. Loomis Chaffee is currently 14-1-0 and ranked #1 in the latest US Hockey Report Prep Poll. As a team, Loomis Chaffee has only allowed an average of 1.29 goals per game.

Eric Esposito, a right-shot forward and younger brother of Senior Captain Alex Esposito (a UVM Commit), has already doubled his scoring output. Overall, he has posted 11 goals and 9 assists in 15 games. He has scored at least one goal in 5 of the last 6 Loomis Chaffee games and is the second-leading goal scorer on the team. His brother Alex has scored 14 goals so far. Eric was drafted by the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL and is on their Affiliate List. His tentative plan is to play for Youngstown next season.

Player Spotlight - Joel Farabee

Earlier this month, 14-year-old UNH recruit Joel Farabee had an opportunity to showcase his skills against some of the top U16 midget teams in the country at the USPHL/Tier 1 Midget Showdown. He did not disappoint. The Selects Hockey Academy U16 team, ranked #15 in nation, played a 4-game series against #22 Chicago Fury, #38 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, #29 LA Jr. Kings, and #3 Colorado Thunderbirds. In the opening game against Chicago, Farabee put on an impressive offensive display scoring a hat trick and adding two assists. He is #28 in the red jersey in these video highlights:



The Selects Academy U16 team defeated Chicago, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles but lost to the Colorado Thunderbirds. Joel Farabee posted 3 goals and 4 assists in the four games and was the team's leading scorer. Last week, they returned to action in the USPHL 16U Division and Farabee recorded 2 assists in three consecutive games. So far this season in 17 USPHL games, Farabee has scored 3 goals and 16 assists and is the team's 5th leading scorer.

NOTE
The statistics for the recruits, presented in the table, are categorized by the year the player and UNH coaches have targeted for enrollment in UNH. For example, the "2015 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2015 to begin playing for UNH.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2015 Recruits
Jason Kalinowski  (F) Bloomington Thunder USHL 22 0 4 4 34
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 5 0 0 0 4
Joseph Masonius  (D) USA U18 Team NCAA 16 5 5 10 14
USHL 11 0 4 4 33
NAHL 1 0 0 0 0
Int'l. 4 0 1 1 14
Christopher Miller  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 22 4 6 10 8
2015 or '16 Recruits
Liam Blackburn  (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 44 19 43 62 28
Liam Darcy  (D) Berwick Academy NEPSHC 14 2 3 5 -
Islanders Hockey Club 18U USPHL 18U 4 0 0 0 0
Patrick Grasso  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 34 7 16 23 8
Ara Nazarian  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 34 5 9 14 8
Nick Nonis  (D) Powell River Kings BCHL 45 1 4 5 37
Brendan van Riemsdyk   (F) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 35 24 9 33 46
Marcus Vela  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 37 7 22 29 34
2016 Recruits
Joey Cipollone  (F) Selects Academy 18U USPHL 18U 15 9 20 29 10
Non-League 30 7 20 27 -
Justin Fregona  (F) St. Andrews College CISAA 11 8 10 18 6
Non-Conf 24 18 18 36 28
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 27 9 16 25 10
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 18 0 1 1 4
Jake Ryczek  (D) Sioux City Musketeers USHL 35 3 6 9 20
2017 Recruits
Mike Robinson  (G) Lawrence Academy NEPSHC 13 4W 8L/1T 3.46 .911
Boston Jr Rangers EHL 8 4W 4L 2.35 .937
2017 or '18 Recruits
Eric Esposito  (F) Loomis Chaffee NEPSHC 15 11 9 20 -
CT Wolfpack U16 Split CT HC 34 17 15 32 44
Jason O'Neill  (F) Skipjacks Hockey Club 18U USPHL 18U 19 11 11 22 21
Non-League 9 4 2 6 -
2018 Recruits
Joel Farabee  (F) Selects Academy 16U USPHL 16U 17 3 16 19 14
Non-League 31 6 10 16 -

News & Notes

United States Hockey League:

~ Midway through his second full season in the USHL, 18-year-old Patrick Grasso has nearly reached his point total from all of last year. In 34 games, Grasso has scored 7 goals and 16 assists. Earlier this month, Grasso assisted on all three goals scored by the Des Moines Buccaneers in a 3-2 victory over the Fargo Force.

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ In the recently released NHL Central Scouting Service's Midterm Rankings, 2015 or '16 UNH recruit Marcus Vela was ranked as the #123 North American Skater. Vela also recently competed in the Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects Game.

~ 2015 or '16 UNH recruit Liam Blackburn has scored 5 goals for the West Kelowna Warriors in their last three games. He currently is the third leading scorer in the BCHL with 19 goals and 43 assists in 44 games.

~ Powell River Kings defenseman Nick Nonis scored his first BCHL goal and it was a big one. Nonis scored an overtime goal in Powell River's 4-3 win over the Victoria Grizzlies.



United States Premiere Hockey League:

~ After a temporary lull, Brendan van Riemsdyk is lighting the lamp again. BvR has scored 2 goals in each of the last three games with the Islanders Hockey Club. He now has 24 goals in 35 games and is tied for 4th in USPHL goal-scoring. Brendan also played in the USPHL All-Star Game earlier this week.

~ Charlie Kelleher, who was out of action for most of November and December with mononucleosis, was also named to the USPHL All-Star Game.

~ Joey Cipollone of the Selects Hockey Academy U18 team has scored 4 goals in the last 5 games including the game-winner in a 3-1 win over the Skipjacks Hockey Club. Cipollone is currently tied for 4th in scoring in the 18U Division of the USPHL.

New England Prep School Hockey:

~ Earlier this week, 2017 recruit Mike Robinson, the 6'5", 200 lbs. junior goalie at Lawrence Academy, was ranked as the #16 North American goalie by the NHL Central Scouting Service.

~ Defenseman Liam Darcy, a Senior Captain at Berwick Academy, was ranked as the #156 North American skater by the NHL Central Scouting Service in their Mid-Term Rankings.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

4-Goal Blitz Lifts UNH Over UMass: Goal-by-Goal

Freshman Andrew Poturalski
Unassisted Game Winner
Freshman Danny Tirone
Hockey East DPW
Senior Grayson Downing
2 More Goals


DURHAM, NH - In the Friday night loss to UMass, UNH did not play particularly well in their defensive zone. They also surrendered a power play goal. On Saturday, the defense was tighter and held UMass off the board up until the last minute of the second period. However, it took until the third period for the UNH offense to crank up. The Wildcats trailed UMass 2-1 with 13 minutes left in regulation when the flood gates opened up. UNH scored 4 unanswered goals and won 5-2.

UNH was without the services of it's top scoring forward and top defenseman. Tyler Kelleher missed the game with the stomach flu and Brett Pesce missed his second consecutive game with an upper respiratory illness. To make matters worse, second line winger Warren Foegele was forced to leave the game in the second period due to the stomach bug. Jamie Hill, who had brought energy to the 4th line in the previous two games, moved up to right wing on the second line and scored his first NCAA goal. Hill will have two years of eligibility left at the end of this season since he did not play in his freshman year.

Freshman Andrew Poturalski, who has played center on one of the top two lines in every game this season, has shown poise and patience with the puck. On his game-winning goal, Poturalski controlled the puck around the UMass net, carefully weighed his options, and found the top corner over goalie Henry Dill's glove. Senior Alternate Captain Grayson Downing continued his torrid scoring pace adding two goals to his season total of 14. He has scored 10 goals in his last 7 games. Downing is now the third leading goal scorer among Hockey East players.

Freshman goalie Danny Tirone has started three games since he enrolled at UNH for the second semester. He has won all three games and compiled a Save Percentage of .935 and Goals Against Average of 1.67. On Monday, Tirone was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week.

Goal-by-Goal Breakdown

PERIOD 1

Matias Cleland-3 (Assisted by Cameron Marks-3 & Casey Thrush-11)
00:18 of 1st Period - UNH 1, UMass 0
~ Sophomore defenseman Matias Cleland scored his third goal of the season on the first puck possession of the game.
~ Casey Thrush sent the puck from the goal line out to freshman Cameron Marks at the right point. Marks passed the puck along the blueline to Cleland on the left point.
~ Cleland snapped a quick shot which easily best UMass goalie Henry Dill.



Danny Tirone Saves
~ In his third NCAA start and second at the Whittemore Center, freshman goalie Danny Tirone only faced 20 official shots on goal. In the first period, he was tested a few times and maintained UNH's one-goal lead.
~ Here are some of Tirone's stops including a couple when UNH was on the penalty kill.



PERIOD 2

UNH Bids
~ On the first two shifts of the second period, UNH nearly extended their lead to two goals. With Tyler Kelleher out with a stomach flu, senior Captain Matt Willows playied up on the first line with Grayson Downing and Casey Thrush. Downing fed Willows in the low slot for a point blank shot on UMass goalie Henry Dill.
~ On the next shift, Andrew Poturalski nearly scored on a wraparound and fellow freshman Warren Foegele fired the rebound at Dill.



Danny Tirone - More Saves
~ Tirone helped UNH maintain its slim one goal lead with a number of key saves in the second period.
~ Here are some of Tirone's stops including a couple when UNH was on the penalty kill.



Steven Guzzo (From LaRue)
18:46 of Period 2 - UNH 1, UMass 1
~ UNH turned the puck over at the redline and Guzzo carried it down the right wing.
~ At the top the faceoff circle, Guzzo wristed a shot that partially deflected off UNH defenseman Ryan Randall's stick. Tirone's glove appeared to be in a position to make the save but he did not time it properly.



PERIOD 3

Ryan McDougall (From Burchett & Hetnik)
4:59 of Period 3 - UMass 2, UNH 1
~ UMass advanced through the center zone on a 2-on-2 break. UNH appeared to have back-checking players in place to stop the play.
~ Burchett passed to the trailing McDougal uncovered in the mid-slot and he one-timed it past the partially-screened Tirone.



Casey Thrush's No-Goal, Goal
~ With 14:25 left in the third period, Senior Casey Thrush appeared to tie the game up but after an extensive review, the goal was disallowed.
~ Grayson Downing stole the puck in the corner to Dill's left, carried it to the lower faceoff circle and lifted a shot at Dill.
~ Downing's shot knocked Dill's helmet off. An instant later, Thrush knocked the rebound past Dill, but it was ruled a no-goal by the referee on the ice. The ruling was upheld after a review.
~ Here's the play in slow motion:



Jamie Hill-1 (Assisted by Kyle Smith-3 & John Furgele-7)
6:52 of 3rd Period - UNH 2, UMass 2
~ Jamie Hill's first NCAA goal was a big one. On the play, freshman defenseman John Furgele wristed a shot from the blueline that was knocked down by a UMass defenseman.
~ Kyle Smith gathered the loose puck and skated low to Dill's right. He fed a centering pass to Hill who had circled into the low slot and Hill one-timed it past Dill.



Andrew Poturalski-7 (Unassisted)
8:24 of 3rd Period - UNH 3, UMass 2
~ Less than 2 minutes after Jamie Hill's game-tying goal, freshman Andrew Poturalski dominated puck possession around the UMass net and scored the game-winner.
~ Poturalski initially took a point blank shot at UMass goalie Henry Dill. He then gathered the puck near the goal line to Dill's left and skated around behind the net and out to the lower faceoff circle on Dill's right.
~ Poturalski patiently weighed his options, initially looking to pass but then whipped a wrist shot over Dill's glove and into the top corner of the net.



Grayson Downing-13 (Assisted by Cameron Marks-3 & Matt Willows-10)
9:49 of 3rd Period - UNH 4, UMass 2
~ The UNH pressure continued unabated. Senior Captain Matt Willows reversed direction at the half-wall, skated to the top of the faceoff circle and fed freshman defenseman Cameron Marks at the blueline.
~ Marks skated to the hash marks and fired a wrist shot. Downing redirected the puck past Dill for his 14th goal of the season.



Grayson Downing-14 (Unassisted)
17:46 of 3rd Period - UNH 5, UMass 2
~ UMass pulled goalie Henry Dill with 2:20 left in regulation. Grayson Downing intercepted a pass at the redline, skated across the blueline, deked around a UMass defender and flipped it into the open net.





UNH improved its Hockey East record to 3-6-1. Overall, they are now 8-12-2. The UMass Minutemen fell to 7-16-0 overall and 2-11-0 in Hockey East. Next up for the Wildcats is the home-and-home series against the University of Maine.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

UNH Opens Gate for UMass Win: Goal-by-Goal

Sophomore Tyler Kelleher
1 Goal, 2 Assists


AMHERST, MA - Following UNH's impressive 2-1 victory over Providence, Senior Alternate Captain Grayson Downing said:
"Defensively, we're starting to get the structure down that coach has in place for us. When we're playing solid defensively, the goalies don't have to make the big saves."
Just a few nights later at the Mullins Center on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, the UNH defensive play did not live up to this standard. The Wildcats eliminated a one-goal deficit three times only to give the lead right back to UMass. When the defensive coverage around and in front of the net broke down, freshman goalie Adam Clark was not always able to come up with the big save. The result was a 4-6 loss to the last place UMass Minutemen.

Scoring goals was not an issue for UNH. They converted on two power play opportunities and outshot UMass 33-20 including a lop-sided 13-3 in the final period. Longmeadow, MA native Tyler Kelleher didn't disappoint local friends and family who came out to see the former Western Mass star play. Kelleher added a goal and two assists to his team-leading total of 23 points. He just barely missed two other scoring opportunities in the first period.

The absence of top defenseman Brett Pesce was noticable. He was an unhealthy scratch resulting from an upper respiratory illness. In addition to his 2 goals and 2 assists, Pesce has a +/- rating of +7. Of the remaining UNH defensemen who have played at least a dozen games this season, only sophomore Matias Cleland has a positive rating - he's a +1. Freshman Dylan Chanter, who has played in 6 games, is a +3. UNH fans are hoping that Pesce quickly recovers and is back in the lineup tonight as UMass visits the Whittemore Center.

Goal-by-Goal Breakdown

PERIOD 1

Andrew Poturalski-6 (Assisted by Matt Willows-9 & Shane Eiserman-4)
1:22 of 1st Period - UNH 1, UMass 0
~ On their first shift of the game, UNH's second line of Shane Eiserman-Andrew Poturalski-Matt Willows got UNH on the board. As they rushed into the UMass zone, Willows sent a cross-slot pass to Poturalski breaking down the right wing.
~ Poturalski carried the puck even wider, drawing UMass goalie Henry Dill to the edge of the crease, then zipped a wrist shot to the far side.



Tyler Kelleher's First Bid
~ With about 7 minutes left in the first period, Grayson Downing carried the puck below the goal line and fed Kelleher in the low slot. Kelleher's first wrist shot was blocked by Dill.
~ Kelleher pounced on the rebound and bang-bang, slid the puck behind Dill. It hit the inside of the left post and ricocheted away.



Ryan McDougall (From Burchett & Montour)
12:01 of Period 1 - UNH 1, UMass 1

Tyler Kelleher's Second Bid
~ UNH went on the power play with 3 minutes left in the first period. Casey Thrush gathered the puck on the half-wall and passed to Kelleher in the low slot.
~ Once again, Kelleher's initial shot was blocked by Dill but Tyler scooped up the rebound and lifted a shot over the sprawled Dill that just barely missed the top corner.



PERIOD 2

Marc Hetnik (From Lee & Kravchenko)
1:31 of Period 2 - UNH 1, UMass 2
~ 3 UMass players penetrated deep into the faceoff circle to Adam Clark's right.
~ Hetnik skated the puck wide and squeezed a wrist shot between Clark's blocker and the post.





John Furgele-2 (Assisted by Casey Thrush-10 & Tyler Kelleher-14)
8:06 of 2nd Period - UNH 2, UMass 2


Jake Horton (From Trento & Vatrano)
18:12 of Period 2 - UNH 2, UMass 3
~ UMass defenseman Horton was open at the hash marks to Clark's right and he zipped a wrist shot under Clark's armpit on the blocker side.



PERIOD 3

Tyler Kelleher-8 (Assisted by John Furgele-6 & Grayson Downing-8)
7:54 of 3rd Period - UNH 3, UMass 3
~ On UNH's fourth power play of the game, Tyler Kelleher finally converted from his familiar position on the doorstep to the right of Henry Dill. Once again, he beat Dill but this time, the puck found the back of the net.



Shane Walsh (From Lee & Baxandall)
8:14 of Period 3 - UNH 3, UMass 4

Casey Thrush-3 (Assisted by Tyler Kelleher-15 & Harry Quast-2)
10:32 of 3rd Period - UNH 4, UMass 4
~ Midway through the final period, UNH went on their 5th power play. This time Tyler Kelleher gathered the puck below the goal line to Dill's left and fed Thrush on the opposite side of the net.
~ Thrush one-timed it past Dill. It was the third and final time that UNH tied the game.





Shane Walsh (From Vatrano & Kravchenko)
14:29 of Period 3 - UMass 5, UNH 4

Troy Power (From Montour & Lee)
15:26 of Period 3 - UMass 6, UNH 4

With the loss, UNH's Hockey East record fell to 2-6-1. Overall, they are now 7-12-2. The UMass Minutemen improved their record to 7-15-0 overall and 2-10-0 in Hockey East.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

UNH Downs #14 Providence: Goal-by-Goal

Grayson Downing
2 More Goals
Danny Tirone
30 Saves, 2nd Win


DURHAM, NH - In the Coaches Preseason Poll, Providence College was chosen to win the Hockey East Association title. As the Friars returned to the Whittemore Center on Tuesday, they were ranked #14 in the nation and sported a record of 14-7-1. The game was originally scheduled for November 21st but was postponed shortly before the teams were set to warm up due to a leak in the ice-making system underneath the UNH net.

The Tuesday night matchup will be remembered as freshman goalie Danny Tirone's debut at the Whittemore Center. Tirone recently enrolled at UNH for the second semester and made his first start on New Year's Eve against the University of Nebraska-Omaha. In that game out in the midwest, Tirone made 24 saves as the Wildcats downed the Mavericks 6-2.

UNH now has a potentially formidable tandem of freshman goalies in Tirone and Adam Clark. Last Friday, Clark backstopped a 2-2 tie with Dartmouth College. After the game, Coach Dick Umile said “I thought Adam Clark played great. He made some huge saves, early on when we weren’t doing anything.” Clark has started in in 18 out of UNH's 20 games this season. On Tuesday, Tirone was up against one of the premiere goalies in Division I hockey, Providence's Jon Gillies. Tirone held his own making 30 saves en route to a 2-1 UNH victory.

In an article posted earlier on game day, Jeff Cox of SB Nation College Hockey recognized Senior Alternate Captain Grayson Downing as one of the "hot players" in Hockey East. Downing's play has now reached the "very hot" level. He scored both of UNH's goals against Providence extending his goal-scoring streak to 8 goals in the last 5 games. Downing is now tied for 3rd in goals among Hockey East players with 12.

Goal-by-Goal Breakdown

PERIOD 1

Grayson Downing-11 (Assisted by Tyler Kelleher-12)
4:09 of 1st Period - UNH 1, Providence 0
~ Sophomore Tyler Kelleher lead his linemates Grayson Downing and Casey Thrush on a 3-on-1 break through the neutral zone. As he reached the top of the face off circle to the right of Providence goalie Jon Gillies, Kelleher flipped a backhand pass onto the tape of Grayson Downing's stick.
~ Downing leaned back slightly and lifted a backhander over Gillies' glove. It was Downing's 11th goal of the season and 7th goal in the last 5 games.



Grayson Downing-12 (Assisted by John Furgele-5 & Tyler Kelleher-13)
12:17 of 1st Period - UNH 2, Providence 0
~ Tyler Kelleher passed to Freshman defenseman John Furgele as they crossed the PC blueline. Furgele sent the puck around the boards behind Gillies.
~ Downing gathered the puck on the opposite half-wall and flipped a centering pass toward Casey Thrush streaking down the slot. The puck deflected off PC defenseman Josh Monk's stick, over Gillies' head, and into the net.



Danny Tirone Saves
~ In his second NCAA start, freshman Danny Tirone faced 31 shots on goal and he made 30 saves.
~ One of the more athletic ones came shortly after Grayson Downing put UNH ahead 2-0.



Noel Acciari (From Florentino & Gilmour)
14:28 of Period 1 - UNH 2, Providence 1
~ Providence was on the power play after an elbowing penalty on Brett Pesce.
~ Freshman goalie Danny Tirone initially made a stick save on a point blank shot but UNH didn't clear the puck out of the slot.
~ Florentino sent a slap shot from the middle of the blueline through a partial screen. Acciari redirected the puck over Tirone's glove.



PERIOD 2 - No Scoring

Brett Pesce Hits Post - Part 1
~ Before Brett Pesce injured his leg and missed 5 games, he was averaging 3 shots on goal per game. Since his return, he's reasserting himself offensively, particularly on the power play.
~ With about 8 minutes left in the second period, Jon Gillies knocked the net off its mooring and was called for delay of game.
~ On the ensuing power play, Tyler Kelleher set Pesce up in the mid-slot and he wristed a shot that got past Gillies and rang the post.



Danny Tirone - More Key Saves
~ UNH outshot Providence 16-10 in the second period but of a few of PC's bids required outstanding saves by Tirone.



PERIOD 3 - No Scoring

Brett Pesce Hits Post - Part 2
~ At the outset of the third period, UNH was on the power play. The top forward line of Thrush-Downing-Kelleher worked the puck behind Gillies and the PC net.
~ Downing flipped a backhand shot that Gillies stopped but the rebound was swiped out of the crease by a PC defenseman.
~ The puck went directly to Pesce in the mid-slot, he snapped a wrist shot and hit the post again.



Matt Willows' Breakaway
~ With about 4 minutes left in regulation, UNH had a prime opportunity to go ahead by two goals. Brett Pesce golfed the puck out of the UNH zone and up to Senior Captain Matt Willows just before he crossed the PC blueline.
~ Willows advanced diagonally across the slot and flipped a backhand shot that didn't quite get over Gillies' leg pad.



Danny Tirone Closes the Door
~ Providence generated 9 shots on goal in the final stanza. Tirone was called on to make a number of key saves.
~ Here are a few of Tirone's saves including his final one with 7 seconds left in the game.





With the win, UNH improved its overall record to 7-11-2. It was UNH's second victory in Hockey East action. Up next is a home-and-home series against the University of Massachusett with the Friday game in Amherst and the Saturday game back at the Whittemore Center. The UMass Minutemen record is 6-15-0 overall and 1-10-0 in Hockey East.

Monday, January 12, 2015

UNH-Dartmouth Tie New Hampshire Showdown: Goal-by-Goal

Grayson Downing
2 Goals
Adam Clark
33 Saves


DURHAM, NH - It's been 15 years since the Dartmouth College hockey team has visited the Whittemore Center. The 2014-15 version of the Big Green have played very well against top-ranked teams with victories over Boston University, Denver, and Union College and a tie against Harvard. With an overall record of 6-4-3, Dartmouth entered the came as a favorite over the 5-11-2 UNH Wildcats. However, UNH has been on a bit of a positive streak with 2 wins (Maine & Nebraska-Omaha) and an overtime loss (UNO) in the last 4 games.

For the third game in a row, UNH sent out the top three forward lines of Thrush-Downing-Kelleher, Eiserman-Poturalski-Willows and Foegele-Smith-Correale. Junior defenseman Brett Pesce, in his third game since returning from a knee injury, was again paired with sophomore Matias Cleleand as starters on the blueline. Stalwart freshman Adam Clark was in goal - he has started in 18 out of UNH's 19 games this season. One interesting change behind the bench was the switching of roles of Associate Coaches Scott Borek and Glenn Stewart. For this game, Borek coached the defensemen while Stewart coached the forwards.

Dartmouth got on the board with a power play goal in the first stanza. UNH struggled to generate shots on Dartmouth goalie James Kruger over the first period and a half. Their 8th shot on goal came midway through the second period off the stick of Cleland. It beat Kruger and appeared to tie the game 1-1. However, the goal was disallowed after a lengthy video review. The officials decided that UNH had been offside. Dartmouth went ahead 2-0 early in the third after stealing the puck in the low slot.

Senior Alternate Captain Grayson Downing has been on fire lately. He followed up his hat trick against Maine and game-winner against Nebraska-Omaha with both of UNH's goals against the Big Green. Downing is now the leading goal scorer on the squad with 10 goals and is tied for 5th among Hockey East goal scorers.

Goal-by-Goal Breakdown

PERIOD 1

Brad Schierhorn (From Patterson & Robinson)
11:56 of Period 1 - Dartmouth 1, UNH 0
~ Dartmouth was on the power play after a tripping penalty on freshman Cameron Marks.
~ Patterson's slapshot split the UNH penalty kill unit. An uncovered Shierhorn redirected the puck over Adam Clark's right pad.



Casey Thrush Bids
~ UNH only managed 3 official shots on goal in the first period. Senior Alternate Captain Casey Thrush challenged the Dartmouth goalie a couple times.



Adam Clark Saves
~ In all, Clark faced 35 shots on goal and he made 33 saves.
~ Dartmouth peppered Clark with 12 shots in the first period and he kept the score close.



PERIOD 2 - No Scoring

Matias Cleland's No-Goal, Goal
~ About 8 minutes into the second period, UNH went on their third power play. Cameron Marks set up Cleland for a slap shot from the point. The puck sailed past Kruger, the Dartmouth goalie.
~ As this video shows, the refs and linemen huddled at center ice immediately after the puck went in. After an extensive review of the video replays, the officials ruled that Casey Thrush crossed the blueline before the puck and negated the goal.



Adam Clark Saves
~ Clark faced another 13 shots on goal in the second period.
~ Over the final 5 minutes, Clark made several key stops to keep UNH in the game.



PERIOD 3

Jack Barre (From Bullock & Hesler)
2:37 of Period 3 - Dartmouth 2, UNH 0
~ After matching penalties to John Furgele and Tyler Sikura, the teams played 4-on-4. Junior defenseman Harry Quast unsuccessfully attempted to intercept a wrist shot from the halfwall.
~ Barre dove for the loose puck in the low slot and managed to flick a backhand over Adam Clark's glove.



Adam Clark Save
~ With 13:45 left in regulation, Dartmouth broke through center ice on a 3-on-1 break. Matias Cleland hustled back to make it 3-on-2.
~ Adam Clark stymied Dartmouth's opportunity to put the game out of reach by blocking Corey Kalk's low wrister. It was Dartmouth's 24th shot on goal.



Grayson Downing-9 (Assisted by Tyler Kelleher-11 & Casey Thrush-9)
13:15 of 3rd Period - Dartmouth 2, UNH 1
~ With the clock down to only 7 minutes, UNH went on their 6th power play. Once again, the top line of Thrush-Downing-Kelleher came through with a huge goal.
~ Tyler Kelleher and Casey Thrush worked the puck around the corner and behind the Dartmouth goal.
~ Downing gathered the puck while skating backwards out into the low slot and flipped a wrister top corner over Kruger's blocker.
~ For the second time, the fish was tossed over the glass toward the Dartmouth goal.



Grayson Downing-10 (Assisted by Matt Willows-8 & Andrew Poturalski-7)
19:20 of 3rd Period - Dartmouth 2, UNH 1
~ Adam Clark was pulled with 2 minutes left in regulation. UNH maintained puck possession in the Dartmouth zone for over a minute.
~ Freshman Andrew Poturalski dug the puck off the half-wall and flipped a backhand pass to Senior Captain Matt Willows at the goal line to Kruger's right.
~ Willows slipped a cross-slot pass to Downing open on the left doorstep and he buried it.



OVERTIME - No Scoring

Shane Eiserman Boarded
~ 10 seconds after the puck was dropped in overtime, Dartmouth's defenseman Ryan Bullock threw a dangerous hit on freshman Shane Eiserman right in front of the Dartmouth bench. Eiserman's head smashed into the boards.
~ Bullock was fortunate to escape with only a 2-minute boarding penalty.



UNH OT Bids
~ Though the official score sheet indicates UNH did not have any shots on goal during the overtime period, they did generate a few bids.



Adam Clark Save of the Game
~ In the final minute of OT, Adam Clark made two huge saves to secure a point for UNH.
~ The save of the game came with 15 seconds left. Clark flashed his left leg pad a blocked a one-timer.





With the tie, UNH improved its overall record to 6-11-2. On Tuesday night, they will face Providence College at the Whittemore Center. The remaining 15 games of the regular season are all against Hockey East teams. UNH's Hockey East record is 1-5-1.



Tuesday, January 06, 2015

UNH Recruits Update: Jan-6-2015

2016 UNH Recruit
Justin Fregona

Player Spotlight - Justin Fregona

Although Canada has relatively few prep school hockey programs, as compared to the United States, one has emerged as a top prep team on both sides of the border. Over the last decade, St. Andrew's College, a university-preparatory school in Aurora, Ontario, won six championship titles in the Midwest Prep Hockey League. For three years in a row, St. Andrew's has defeated prep teams from New England and New York en route to winning the St. Sebastian's Holiday Hockey Tournament outside of Boston.

Last year, St. Andrew's travelled to Minnesota to play a weekend series against Shattuck-St. Mary's, one of the premiere prep hockey programs in the US. Although they lost both games, the first was a tight 5-4 battle. In late February, Shattuck-St. Mary's will travel to St. Andrew's for a pair of games in the brand new, La Brier Family Arena.

At the St. Sebastian's Holiday Tournament the weekend before Christmas, St. Andrew's senior Justin Fregona and the Saints defeated Williston-Northampton, Thayer Academy, and St. Sebastian's. Fregona scored a hat trick in the 6-2 win over Williston, including the game-winning goal. Over the three games, Fregona posted 4 goals and 2 assists.

This past weekend, St. Andrew's played two more New England Prep School teams in the New Hampshire Showcase at UNH's Whittemore Center. In a 6-1 win over the New Hampton School on Saturday, Justin Fregona posted 2 goals and 3 assists, including the game-winning assist. In the Sunday matchup against Proctor Academy, St. Andrew's lost in overtime 3-4. Although, Fregona did not score, he was the Saints' starting right winger as well as a prime player on the penalty kill and power play units. Here are some highlights of his play in the offensive zone:





Justin Fregona is now the leading scorer on the St. Andrew's squad. In 28 games, Fregona has scored 22 goals and added 17 assists. He is also the leading scorer in the Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA), a league of 4 Ontario-based prep schools plus one from Buffalo. Current UNH freshman Warren Foegele was the leading scorer in the CISAA last season when he posted 23 points in 14 games with St. Andrew's. Fregona and the Saints return to CISAA action when they play St. Michael's College this Saturday.

NOTE
The statistics for the recruits, presented in the table, are categorized by the year the player and UNH coaches have targeted for enrollment in UNH. For example, the "2015 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2015 to begin playing for UNH.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2015 Recruits
Jason Kalinowski  (F) Bloomington Thunder USHL 17 0 2 2 30
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 5 0 0 0 4
Joseph Masonius  (D) USA U18 Team NCAA 15 5 5 10 14
USHL 9 0 3 3 18
NAHL 1 0 0 0 0
Int'l. 4 0 1 1 14
Christopher Miller  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 15 3 4 7 6
2015 or '16 Recruits
Liam Blackburn  (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 39 14 38 52 22
Liam Darcy  (D) Berwick Academy NEPSHC 10 1 3 4 -
Islanders Hockey Club 18U USPHL 18U 4 0 0 0 0
Patrick Grasso  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 30 7 12 19 8
Ara Nazarian  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 30 4 8 12 8
Nick Nonis  (D) Powell River Kings BCHL 40 0 3 3 32
Brendan van Riemsdyk   (F) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 29 18 7 25 44
Marcus Vela  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 31 5 22 27 34
2016 Recruits
Joey Cipollone  (F) Selects Academy 18U USPHL 18U 10 5 11 16 6
Non-League 6 2 4 6 -
Justin Fregona  (F) St. Andrews College CISAA 5 4 1 5 4
Non-Conf 23 18 16 34 20
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 21 8 14 22 8
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 16 0 1 1 4
Jake Ryczek  (D) Sioux City Musketeers USHL 30 2 4 6 6
2017 Recruits
Mike Robinson  (G) Lawrence Academy NEPSHC 10 2W 7L/1T 3.30 .907
Boston Jr Rangers EHL 8 4W 4L 2.35 .937
2017 or '18 Recruits
Eric Esposito  (F) Loomis Chaffee NEPSHC 9 4 8 12 -
CT Wolfpack U16 Split CT HC 34 17 15 32 44
Jason O'Neill  (F) Skipjacks Hockey Club 18U USPHL 18U 15 10 10 20 21
Non-League 5 4 2 6 -
2018 Recruits
Joel Farabee  (F) Selects Academy 16U USPHL 16U 12 3 10 13 6

News & Notes

US National Team Development Program:

~ 2015 UNH recruit Joseph Masonius and the NTDP U18 team have played 4 games against NCAA teams since Christmas. They tied Colorado College 4-4 on Dec. 27th but lost to them 4-8 the next night. Masonius scored a goal in the second CC game. On New Years Eve, the U18's beat Division III Adrian College 6-1 in an outdoor game in Toledo and Masonius scored a goal and an assist. North Dakota downed the NTDP 7-2 on Saturday. Joseph Masonius will play in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on January 13th. Current UNH freshman Shane Eiserman played in this game last winter.

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2015 or '16 UNH recruit Liam Blackburn was recently featured in an interview on CKPG-TV from Prince George, British Columbia. Blackburn talks about his career in the BCHL and his commitment to UNH.

New England Prep School Hockey:

~ 2017 or '18 recruit Eric Esposito and the Loomis-Chaffee School have maintained their undefeated record. They are currently 9-0-0 and were ranked #1 in the most recent US Hockey Report Prep Hockey Poll. The sophomore Esposito continues to be the second leading scorer on the Loomis-Chaffee squad with 4 goals and 8 assists in 9 games.

Friday, January 02, 2015

UNH Splits Series With #12 Nebraska-Omaha: Game 2 Win, Goal-by-Goal

Sophomore Tyler Kelleher
 1 Goal, 3 Assists
Senior Grayson Downing
 GWG Plus 2 Assists
Senior Casey Thrush
 1 G, 2 Assists


The University of Nebraska-Omaha entered the series against UNH as the 12th-ranked team in the country. They were also #4 in the all-important Division I PairWise Rankings and in second place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference just 1 point behind first place Miami and Minnesota-Duluth. In Game 1 of the series, UNH showed that it could compete with one of the top Division I teams.

Game 2 featured the first ever NCAA game for newly enrolled Danny Tirone. Last season, Tirone was the #1 goalie for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL and had a successful rookie campaign. In 44 regular season games, Tirone posted a 2.63 goals against average (8th best in USHL) and a .917 save percentage (6th best in USHL). Tirone spent the first half of this season with the Junior Bruins of the USPHL in anticipation of his enrolling at UNH for the second semester.

In the overtime loss to UNO on Tuesday night, UNH's first line of Casey Thrush at left wing, Grayson Downing at center, and Tyler Kelleher at right wing accounted for the teams only goal. In the Game 2 victory, this line figured prominently in 3 of UNH's 6 goals. In each of UNH's six wins so far this season, the team has exploded for between 5 and 7 goals. During their twelve loses, they have averaged only 1.17 goals per game. At the risk of oversimplification, UNH needs to score more consistently during the second half of the season.

GAME 2 (Dec. 31)

UNH 6, Nebraska-Omaha 2

Freshman goalie Adam Clark, who had started all 17 games this season, was given his first night off in favor of fellow freshman Danny Tirone. The top three forward lines - Thrush-Downing-Kelleher, Eiserman-Poturalski-Willows, and Foegele-Smith-Correale - remained in tact for Game 2. Jamie Hill replaced Colin MacDonald on the fourth line with Maxim Gaudreault and Jay Camper. Back on defense, freshman Dylan Chanter replaced sophmore Dylan Maller. The three pairings were Cleland-Pesce, Furgele-Marks, and Quast-Chanter. In all, there were 7 freshman in the UNH lineup - 3 forwards, 3 defensemen, and the goalie.

Sophomore Tyler Kelleher is having a breakout season. Last season, he scored 5 goals and added 11 assists. On New Year's Eve, Kelleher scored UNH's 4th goal and assisted on the 2nd, 3rd (the game-winner) and 5th. He is now UNH's leading scorer with 7 goals and 10 assists in 18 games. Just as important, Kelleher has become an effective two-way player. Last season his +/- rating was -8. So far this season, he's a +1. For his efforts against Nebraska-Omaha, Tyler Kelleher was named the Warrior Player of the Week in Hockey East.

Goal-by-Goal Breakdown

PERIOD 1

Andrew Poturalski-5 (Assisted by Matt Willows-7 & Casey Thrush-7)
3:56 of 1st Period - UNH 1, Nebraska-Omaha 0
~ Willows trapped the puck as it went around the boards behind the UNO goal and zipped a cross-ice pass to Poturalski open in the mid-slot.
~ Poturalski snapped a wrister over Thompson's glove.



Brett Pesce-2 (Assisted by Tyler Kelleher-8 & John Furgele-4)
11:58 of 1st Period - UNH 2, Nebraska-Omaha 0
~ UNH only had 1 power play per game in the two-game series. They capitalized on this one.
~ Kelleher, Downing, and Thrush moved the puck smartly behind and around the UNO net. Kelleher threaded a pass to Pesce in the mid-slot and he wristed it over Thompson's blocker.



Danny Tirone Saves
~ In all, Tirone faced 26 shots on goal and he made 24 saves.
~ Late in the first period with UNH ahead 2-0, Tirone made a blocker save on one side of the net then a glove save at the opposite side. Notice how well positioned he was in the crease making the saves look routine.



PERIOD 2

Grayson Downing-8 (Assisted by Tyler Kelleher-9)
7:13 of 2nd Period - UNH 3, Nebraska-Omaha 0
~ 7 minutes into the second stanza, UNH quickly transitioned into the UNO zone.
~ Just after Kelleher carried the puck across the blueline, he stopped and fed a cross-ice pass to Downing in the faceoff circle to Thompson's left.
~ Downing skated in and maneuvered a quick forehand to backhand move to get the puck behind Thompson for the game-winner.



Danny Tirone Save
~ After Downing put UNH ahead 3-0, Tirone maintained the lead by kicking out a wrap-around attempt.
~ Notice how he tracks the UNO shooter as he skates behind the net.



Tyler Kelleher-7 (Assisted by Grayson Downing-7 & Casey Thrush-8)
12:01 of 2nd Period - UNH 4, Nebraska-Omaha 0
~ With 8 minutes remaining in the second stanza, UNO hit the cross bar but UNH quickly transitioned through center ice.
~ Downing circled with the puck at the half-wall and fed a cross-ice pass to Kelleher cruising down the slot. Kelleher redirected the pass behind Thompson.



PERIOD 3

David Pope (From Petterson & Messner)
7:23 of Period 3 - UNH 4, Nebraska-Omaha 1
~ About 6 minutes into the third period, UNH was headed for a possible shutout. Tirone had made 16 saves.
~ UNO maintained puck possession in the UNH end and finally got one past Tirone. Petterson made a nice pass from the midslot to the open Pope on Tirone's doorstep.



Danny Tirone Save
~ Shortly after UNO scored its first goal, Maxim Gaudreault was penalized for tripping.
~ UNO turned up the pressure on the power play. Tirone held them off, at least for the moment, with an athletic stick save.



Luc Snuggerud (From Guentzel & Ortega)
9:29 of Period 3 - UNH 4, Nebraska-Omaha 2
~ As the UNO power play continued, they finally got one past Tirone on a redirected wrist shot from the top of the slot.




Matias Cleland-2 (Assisted by Tyler Kelleher-9)
16:36 of 3rd Period - UNH 5, Nebraska-Omaha 2
~ With 3 and a half minutes remaining in regulation, UNO pulled their goalie.
~ Kyle Smith won a faceoff in the UNH end. Tyler Kelleher passed through traffic to Matias Cleland who sent it down the length of the ice into the open net.




Matt Willows-9 (Assisted by Shane Eiserman-3)
19:01 of 3rd Period - UNH 6, Nebraska-Omaha 2
~ With UNO keeping up the pressure, Tirone made a nice blocker save to the corner.
~ Freshman Shane Eiserman saw Willows skating out of the UNH zone and hit him with a stretch pass.
~ Willows made a nifty forehand to backhand move and flipped the puck over UNO goalie Kirk Thompson.





With the win, UNH improved its overall record to 6-11-1. They have one more out-of-conference game remaining next Friday against Dartmouth at the Whittemore Center. After that, the remaining 15 games are all against Hockey East teams.

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