After last year’s disappointing end for the UNH Wildcats, after being ousted by the BU Terriers in the Hockey East Quarterfinals, UNH goaltender Casey DeSmith said tonight’s 4-1 win over them was a sweet taste of revenge.
But, more importantly, what was sweeter was how it happened--especially when comparing it to last year.
The Wildcats started off 0-4 in the dismal days at the beginning of the season last year, including their first loss to BU. UNH head coach Dick Umile said they have put extra emphasis on coming out with a bang, making an impression, and finishing it so there are no doubts.
“It feels great. We were determined to start the season off right and make a statement that our program likes to be competing in the top,” Umile said. “And we missed that last year so are determined to get back in it. We are going to take it one game at a time and worry about Hockey East right now.”
Though UNH has only competed in one conference game so far this season, they have showcased their talent across the board. They have scored 13 goals in their first three games, with eight different goal scorers spanning from freshman to senior, first line to fourth. UNH has three power play goals so far this season and have let up only one against them.
Both Umile and BU head coach Jack Parker said that they like what they see in the Wildcats this year, and a lot of it has to do with not only talent, but the balance on the team.
“I talked to [Umile] last night, and I told him I like his team. He said, ‘Yeah, I’m not sure where the goals are coming from,’ and what did they hit, five pipes tonight? They are going to score some goals.”
Not only did they score some goals, but they had a solid performance from sophomore goaltender Casey DeSmith who picked up his third win of the season, with a 24-save effort tonight.
After letting up a tough goal less than a minute into the game, he seemed to calm down and gave the Wildcats a way to win down the stretch. Coming into the season, DeSmith was put as the number one goalie for the first time in his collegiate career. After following former goaltender Matt DiGirolamo last year, he has stepped up into his role seemingly flawless.
“I welcome the challenge,” DeSmith said. “When it’s my net to lose, I know I have to play well and I build off that and feed off that. I work harder and am more focused. So when it’s my net to lose it’s a benefit for me and not as much pressure.”
UNH will play host to the Northeastern Huskies on Friday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. The Huskies currently sit 2-1-0 overall.