Durham, NH -- A few wins can really change the outlook of a hockey team. A few weeks ago the University of New Hampshire was down and out, having gone six games without a win.
Three games later and the Wildcats have a three-game winning streak. Kevin Goumas and Nick Sorkin each contributed a goal and an assist as New Hampshire downed Brown, 4-2, in a nonconference game Tuesday night at the Whittemore Center in front of a sparse midweek crowd.
"I'm pleased with the win. Most of the game we played pretty solid and did what we had to do," said New Hampshire coach Dick Umile. "It's a good non-league win for us."
Umile was pleased with how well his team seemed to take Brown out of its game. "We managed the puck well against a one-two-two trap. It's not fun to play against, but the guys handled it. We got it in and got the necessary goals."
"Our trademark is much different than the way we played the first two periods. We circled away from things. We weren't tenacious in what we were doing. We turned pucks over and made it easy on UNH," said Brown bench boss Brendan Whittet.
Brown took the first lead of the game at the 8:10 mark of the first stanza when Massimo Lamacchia had two chances from right out in front of the net. His first shot missed wide, but Mark Naclerio fed it back out to him from behind the net. Lamacchia buried the second chance for his first goal of the season.
UNH evened the score about three minutes later on a nice play by defenseman Eric Knodel to keep the puck in at the blue line. Once he saved it from going out of the zone, his wrist shot was saved by Brown goaltender Marco De Filippo, but the puck fell right down. Nick Sorkin picked up the rebound and buried it into a wide-open net.
A few minutes later the Wildcats took the lead on a real nice passing sequence. Tyler Kelleher moved the puck down from the top of the slot to the side of the net. Dalton Speelman quickly whipped the puck across the crease to Grayson Downing who wasted no time depositing the puck into the net.
New Hampshire scored a pivotal goal to skew all the momentum in its favor with just 13 seconds to play in the second period. Trevor van Riemsdyk stepped around a Brown defender and blasted a slap shot that was blocked. Jeff Silengo found the puck and quickly rifled it past De Filippo.
Midway through the third period Kevin Goumas extended the UNH lead to three goals when he snapped a shot past De Filippo from the right slot.
Brown got within two goals with 2:22 to play in regulation. Just four seconds after a power play had ended Matt Lorito connected on a one-timer off a centering feed from Lamacchia.
Brown had some sustained pressure in the last few minutes, but could not draw any closer. "We made it a little interesting there at the end. We didn't play the six-on-five very well at the end. Jeff [Dwyer] made a couple key saves there," said Umile.
One bright spot for Brown was the play of Lamacchia who was playing in just his second game of the season. The Maple, Ontario native finished the game with a goal and an assist.
"He played great. That's a young man who was a regular [in the lineup] for a year and a half. At the end of last year he didn't play, He didn't play a lot at the beginning of this year. There's a kid who grasped an opportunity. A guy like Massimo who hasn't played a lot has had a wonderful attitude and has worked to get himself back in the lineup. When he got the opportunity tonight he earned himself another opportunity," said Whittet.
Brown has a much needed weekend off for a team battling the injury bug. "We have a weekend off which is great. We had a few guys, who were dung up, but they had to play or we would have played short. The weekend off is coming at a good time because it will allow us to get healthy. We'll also go back and stress fundamental hockey," said Whittet.
"It's good to keep us going with some momentum as we go into an important weekend here against Northeastern," said Umile. The Wildcats will play a home-and-home series against the Huskies starting Friday night in Boston at Matthews Arena and finishing Saturday back at the Whittemore Center.
More from SBN College Hockey:
- Brown at New Hampshire: Pregame Notes and Line Combinations
- Robert Polesello Leaves Vermont to Sign with Kingston (OHL)
- Maine Freshman Defenseman Eric Schurhamer Smoothly Transitions to College Game
- ECAC Power Rankings: North Country Teams Perfect on Weekend, but Quinnipiac Holds Top Spot
- UMass Hockey in Trouble Without Injured Goaltender Steven Mastalerz
Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.