For the second year in a row, the UNH roster has served as a revolving door of sorts.
While the Wildcats were forced to move on last season after the departure of players like Kevin Goumas, Nick Sorkin and Trevor van Riemsdyk, this year's team faces the same quandary — fielding a competitive group despite losing a multitude of key contributors to both graduation and early exits.
The conclusion of the 2014-15 campaign saw seniors Grayson Downing and Matt Willows — the Wildcats' second and third leading scorers — wrap up their collegiate careers, while skilled defenseman Brett Pesce relinquished his final season at UNH to sign an entry-level deal with the Hurricanes.
Despite the major exodus of talent, UNH still managed to retain a large amount of talent this winter, led by junior forward Tyler Kelleher. The dynamic 5-foot-6 skater out of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, lit up the scoreboard last year, finishing sixth in Hockey East with 42 points in 39 games.
Sophomore forwards Andrew Poturalski, Warren Foegele and Shane Eiserman will be relied should also combine for a hefty amount of points, while Matias Cleland should continue to make strides on defense.
Sophomore backstop Daniel Tirone helped orchestrate a second-half turnaround for the Wildcats last season, posting a record of 14-6-0 with a 2.14 GAA and .924 save percentage. The starting gig in net appears to be Tirone's to lose, but fellow sophomore Adam Clark could also play his way into a fair share of appearances.
Another slew of departures will once again force UNH to make up ground in an uber-competitive Hockey East environment, but don't be surprised if the ‘Cats are able to stage another surge in the closing months of the season.