UNH Scores Twice in Final Two Minutes, as Bears Tie #6 Wildcats, 5-5
DURHAM, NH – Trailing, 5-3, with two minutes remaining, 6th-ranked New Hampshire (6-2-4) scored twice in 11 seconds to come back and earn a 5-5 tie with the Brown men's hockey team (3-2-2) on Tuesday night at the Whittemore Center. Brown was led by senior Harry Zolnierczyk (Toronto, ONT), who had two goals and an assist, while junior Jack Maclellan (Calgary, ALB) posted three assists on the night.
The Bears had the first great chance of the game roughly six-and-a-half minutes in. After killing the Wildcats' first power play chance of the night, while not allowing a shot, junior Jarred Smith (Pepper Pike, OH) hit senior Jesse Fratkin (Burnaby, BC) in front. With UNH goalie Matt DiGirolamo out of position, Fratkin couldn't corral the puck and DiGirolamo was able to reset in time for Fratkin's shot to keep the game scoreless.
About a minute-and-a-half later at the eight-minute mark, sophomore Chris Zaires (Aberdeen, NJ) nearly gave the Bears a 1-0 lead, one-timing a feed from Maclellan off DiGirolamo's glove with Brown on a two-on-one break.
With less than three minutes remaining in the first, the two teams traded chances that both DiGirolamo and junior Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) saved to keep the game scoreless. Just after a chance by junior Bobby Farnham (North Andover, MA), who couldn't get a shot off from the top of the crease.
UNH raced the other way and freshman Matt Wahl's (Wellington, FL) stick broke on the forecheck, which ended up leading to a two-on-none for the Wildcats. Paul Thompson fed Mike Sislo in front for the easy tap-in with 2:24 left in the first, as the Wildcats led, 1-0, after the first 20 minutes.
The Bears tied the score just 51 seconds into the second period on Zaires' second goal in three games. On the breakout, junior Jeff Buvinow (Lawrenceville, NJ) passed across the ice to Zolnierczyk at the left wing. Zolnierczyk saw Zaires in the slot and the puck was just behind him, but Zaires made a great play, spinning around to get the puck to his forehand, before beating DiGirolamo, glove-side.
Brown then killed UNH's second power play chance, which ended at 3:58 and by the time the next minute had passed, the Bears were leading, 3-1. Farnham gave Brown a 2-1 lead just four seconds after the power play expired, collecting the puck in the neutral zone and beating DiGirolamo on a breakaway, stick-side, for his second goal of the year at the 4:02 mark.
The two teams traded rushes down the ice and then Clemente made a huge save on an attempt by Austin Block from point-blank range. Buvinow cleared the rebound up to Maclellan on the right wing and the Bears' assistant captain fed Zolnierczyk for a breakaway. Zolnierczyk skated into the slot and beat DiGirolamo, five-hole, as Brown held a 3-1 lead just 4:55 into the frame.
With UNH looking to climb back into the game, the Bears weathered a roughly two-minute stretch, during which Clemente was playing with a regular stick after losing his own. Several attempts to tie the puck up or ice it were unsuccessful, but Clemente did make a pair of saves during this time. Brett Kostolansky finally put another one past Clemente at the 14:46 mark, firing a slap shot from the left point that beat Clemente glove-side to bring the Wildcats to within 3-2.
Maclellan helped to keep momentum on the Bears' side, combining with senior Jeremy Russell (St. Albert, ALB) for Brown's fourth goal of the night at 16:27. After getting stopped on back-to-back attempts by DiGirolamo, Maclellan picked up his own rebound, skated behind the net and fed Russell in the slot for the senior's first goal of the year, and first in 41 games, dating back to November 6, 2009.
Zolnierczyk nearly increased the lead to 5-2 just 53 seconds later. He had DiGirolamo beat, but his shot from between the circles ricocheted off the cross-bar.
With the two teams skating four players to start the third period after coincidental penalties at the 20-minute mark of the second, DiGirolamo made a pair of nice saves, one on Zaires and one on freshman Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, BC).
However, the Wildcats would make it a one-goal game at 4:39 of the third, when Mike Sislo converted on UNH's fourth power play of the night just 24 seconds into the man-advantage.
Farnham looked to regain the two-goal cushion for Brown two minutes later, but DiGirolamo made another save on a semi-breakaway to keep UNH within the goal.
Brown continued to attack in the third period and Zolnierczyk regained the two-goal cushion at the midway point. After collecting the puck from Maclellan at the right circle, Zolnierczyk spun to his forehand and beat DiGirolamo glove-side with a wrist shot for his second of the night.
Just about two minutes later, UNH skated in on a two-on-one break with just Robertson and Clemente to beat. John Henrion was able to get a shot off around Robertson, but Clemente made the blocker save to hold the score at 5-3 with 8:30 remaining.
The Wildcats pulled DiGirolamo with 2:33 remaining in the game and Blake Kessel beat Clemente with 1:53 remaining on a blast from the center of the blueline to close the gap to 5-4.
With DiGirolamo back in the net, Mike Borisenok tied the game at 5-5 just 11 seconds later, taking advantage of a defensive miscue by the Bears. On a Brown clearing attempt and with Clemente out of the net, Borisenok intercepted a pass at the bottom of the right circle and lifted it into the open net before Clemente could get back in, tying the game at 5-5 and forcing overtime.
Brown came out with energy to start overtime and got two quick shots, one from Buvinow and then another from the top of the crease by Zaires, both of which were saved by DiGirolamo.
Clemente finished with 37 saves, while DiGirolamo made 22 saves for the Wildcats. Brown continues its stretch of games against teams currently ranked in the national polls when it travels to Boston University, currently ranked #2, for a 7:00 p.m. game on Saturday, November 27th.
BROWN 0 4 1 0 - 5
NEW HAMPSHIRE 1 1 3 0 - 5
First Period – NH, Sislo (Thompson, DeSimone), 17:36. Penalties –B, 1-2; NH, 0-0.
Second Period – B, Zaires (Zolnierczyk, Buvinow), 0:51; B, Farnham (unassisted), 4:02; B, Zolnierczyk (Maclellan, Buvinow), 4:55; NH, Kostolansky (DeSimone, Sislo), 14:46; B, Russell (Maclellan, Goldberg), 16:27. Penalties – B, 4-8; NH, 3-6.
Third Period – NH, Sislo (Kessel), PP, 4:39; B, Zolnierczyk (Maclellan), 9:34; NH, Kessel (Sislo, DeSimone), EA, 18:07; NH, Borisenok (unassisted), 18:18. Penalties – B, 2-4; NH, 0-0.
Overtime – No Scoring. Penalties – B, 0-0; NH, 0-0.
B, Mike Clemente (65:00) – 9-11-14-3 – 37; NH, Matt DiGirolamo (64:20) – 6-6-6-4 – 22.
Pictured: Harry Zolnierczyk '11. Photo by DSPics.net.