Men’s Hockey: UNH Hands UVM a 3-0 Loss

DURHAM, N.H. – New Hampshire’s Nathan Martz and Justin Aikins each scored a goal and Hobey Baker candidate Mike Ayers recorded 17 saves to break the UNH career shutout record as the fourth-ranked Wildcats used a pair of

power-play goals and a short-handed tally in a 3-0 win over Vermont saturday at the Whittemore Center.

Vermont, 0-2-0, hosts another national power, the Boston University Terriers, Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Game time is 7:00pm.

New Hampshire, playing its first game of the 2003-04 season, took a quick 1-0 lead with a short-handed goal from Sean Collins at 2:50 of the first period. The Wildcats won the face-off to start the Vermont power play and Collins cleaned up a good effort by linemate Steve Saviano, who broke in through the Catamount defense and got the initial shot on Travis Russell.

Russell made a handful of nice saves in the opening 20 minutes, three of them on Collins, New Hampshire’s standout junior left winger. Collins broke in alone at 4:50, only to be denied by Russell, and had another short-handed bid thwarted with 2:18 left in the period after a Vermont giveaway in the defensive zone and had another good chance with 1:47 left following Vermont’s best scoring chance.

Freshman Chris Myers had a great opportunity to tie the game at 1-1 with 2:00 left and the Catamounts on the power play. Myers took a cross-ice pass at the left slot and just missed redirecting the puck into the net.

New Hampshire owned a 12-3 advantage in shots on goal, but the Catamounts had a number of good chances, highlighted by Myers’ bid late, in the final

six minutes.

The Wildcats scored another quick goal at the beginning of the second period when Martz set up Aikins on the power play, and Aikins – a Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick – made no mistake, ripping in a shot slot.

Midway through the third period, with Vermont on the power play, the Catamounts came within inches of making it a 2-1 game when junior Scott

Mifsud hit the underside of the crossbar after Ayers got a piece of his shot from near the blue line. With 6:06 remaining, Martz finished off the scoring with a 4-on-3 power-play goal.

“From a coaching standpoint, we want to get better every day, and tonight we were a little better hockey club than we were last weekend against Boston College,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said.

Sneddon said the Catamount offense, which had 17 shots on goal, struggled against the Wildcats. “We couldn’t get anything going offensively, but that is a credit to their team defense and quality goaltending,” he said.

-Athletic Communications