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Men's Hockey Suffers 6-3 Defeat to No. 13 New Hampshire

Three power play goals are the difference for Wildcats in non-league victory

TROY, N.Y. – The 13th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey scored three power play goals en route to a 6-3 victory non-league victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on Wednesday night at the Houston Field House. With the win, the Wildcats improve to 9-5-1 overall, while the Engineers drop to 3-11-3.

RPI opened the scoring 2:26 into the game, when freshman Billy Jerry (River Falls, WI/Madison Capitals) connected on a one-time from the middle of the slot, off a centering feed from classmate Owen Stout (West Vancouver, BC/Coquitlam Express).

The visitors pulled even (1-1) at 18:01 on shot from the left circle by sophomore defenseman Anthony Wyse (Newton, MA/Lincoln Stars). Freshman Benton Maass (Elk River, MN/Fairbanks Ice Dogs) carried the puck around the net before hitting Wyse, who was crashing from his left point position for the one-time finish.

Rensselaer answered just 36 seconds later, as sophomore Jacob Hayhurst (Missassauga, ON/Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) corralled his own rebound and lifted it over a fallen Danny Tirone (Trumbell, CT/Junior Bruins) for his team leading seventh goal of the season. The goal came moments after Hayhurst hit the iron from nearly the same location in the left circle.

New Hampshire tied the score again (2-2) at 3:07 of the second, as senior Jason Salvaggio (Hanson, MA/Indiana Ice) netted his first of two goals on the night. Sophomore Patrick Grasso (Ankeny, IA/Des Moines Buccaneers) took a tight angle shot from the right that caromed off the pad of RPI freshman netminder Linden Marshall (Victoria, BC/Trail Smoke Eaters) into the middle of the slot for Salvaggio, who snapped a shot past Marshall's glove.

Salvaggio gave the Wildcats the lead for good at 5:08 of the period, sneaking a bad angle shot past Marshall from the left side. The man advantage tally – his second in just over two minutes – made it 3-2 New Hampshire, with assists going to Grasso and senior Michael McNicholas (Manhattan Beach, CA/Vernon Vipers).

Wildcats senior Shane Eiserman (Newburyport, MA/Dubuque Fighting Saints) netted the eventual game-winning tally at 12:52 of the second, picking out the top right corner of the net as he was falling to the ice in the left circle. The lone helper went to freshman blueliner Max Gildon (Plano, TX/U.S. National Under-18).

The Engineers drew to within 4-3 at 6:08 of the third, when senior captain Jared Wilson (Calgary, AB/Vernon Vipers) found some space inside the left post for his fourth goal of the year. Junior Evan Tironese (Qualicum Beach, BC/Alberni Valley Bulldogs) worked his way around the back of the net, before finding Wilson at the top of the right circle for the one-timer.

Michael McNicholas made it a 5-3 game at 13:28 of the final period, tapping home his fourth of the season from close range. Senior captain Dylan Chanter (Armstrong, BC/Vernon Vipers) sent the puck to the front of the net for McNicholas, who beat RPI junior goaltender Chase Perry (Andover, MN/Wenatchee Wild) five-hole.

New Hampshire added an insurance goal at 18:28, as Gildon potted his seventh of the season on the power play. Grasso earned his third assist of the night, with Salvaggio picking up the secondary helper.

Tirone (9-5-1) made 29 saves to earn the win, including 13 in the second period alone. Marshall (2-6-1) turned away 12 over the first two periods, before giving way to Perry, who made 11 stops. New Hampshire was 3 for 3 on the power play, while RPI wound up 0 for 5.

The Wildcats victory in the 50th ever meeting between the two teams brings their record in the series to 27-23-0. The most games play against any RPI opponent without a tie.

The Engineers are now idle until December 29 and 30, when they host Maine for a two-game series at the Houston Field House. Both games are set for 4pm starts.