02.13.2016 - Engineers Allow First-Ranked UNH to Comeback in the Third

TROY, NY - RPI welcomed the Wildcats of the University of New Hampshire to Troy for a 7:00pm puck-drop Saturday night. UNH, ranked 1st in the ACHA Northeast Region at the time, had handed the Engineers a painful 9 – 1 loss on the oversized ice surface in Durham, NH, just a few months before. Determined to prove that this prior loss was a mistake, Rensselaer wasted no time getting on the board first. Three minutes after the first drop of the puck, senior defenseman Josh Huett intercepted a pass at center ice before carrying it straight into the Wildcat zone and firing a wrist shot that UNH netminder Joey Solla was unable to handle. However, the Wildcats answered just 30 seconds later as their leading goal scorer, Austin Sprague, walked around the RPI defense and knotted the score at one. The first period continued scoreless until sophomore defenseman Brett Rooney took matters into his own hands, carrying the puck from the Engineers’ defensive end, through the entire UNH team, and threading a shot over Solla’s left shoulder and into the top right corner.

New Hampshire swapped Solla for Neil Scancerella to start the second period. 15 minutes in, senior Teo Camadella welcomed him to the ice by burning the Wildcat defense and firing home RPI’s third goal of the game. Senior Sean Sanford and Huett assisted on the play. Yet, just under a minute later, the Engineers would allow UNH to receive a centering pass in the slot and cut the RPI lead to just one.

UNH continued to pressure the Engineers throughout the end of the second and start of the third period. A failure to clear the zone and an unfortunate screen in front of freshman netminder Liam McBain allowed UNH’s Andrew Kaski to tie the game at three with a shot from the top of the right circle. With 12 minutes remaining in the contest, UNH would take an interference call on RPI’s Louie Olivieri. However, the referee would also give Olivieri two minutes for diving, converting a potential RPI powerplay to an even strength situation. The Wildcats rushed down the ice and fired a shot on McBain before collecting and burying the rebound to take a one-goal lead.

Now in the lead for the first time in the game, UNH held on through an RPI 6-on-5 opportunity to defeat the Engineers by a score of 4 – 3. McBain stopped 44 of 48 shots in net, while the Wildcat netminders combined for 18 saves on 21 shots.

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