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Allen Lessels' UNH Notebook: Wildcats are in a ratings war
University of New Hampshire goalie Casey DeSmith of Rochester, and Captain Eric Knodel celebrate after defeating Dartmouth, 4-2, in The Riverstone Cup game at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester Saturday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)
The Wildcats will start worrying about Hockey East again in a couple of weeks.
They were No. 20 in the USCHO poll last week and on Sunday were No. 13 in the PairWise rankings that simulate the method used by the NCAA to help pick its tournament teams.
Union, ranked No. 4 last week, comes to the Whittemore Center for games on Friday and Saturday.
The Dutchmen provide UNH’s last chance to gain stature against a nonconference opponent in the regular season.
They bounced back with a 3-0 win at Princeton on Saturday. Junior Colin Stevens had 33 saves for his third shutout of the season and has a save percentage of .916, a goals-against average of 2.12 and a record of 10-2-1.
The Wildcats are looking forward to the test.
“There are only so many games left,” said senior forward Kevin Goumas. “We don’t want to take any losses. We want to keep a winning streak going.”
Dartmouth’s Charlie Mosey scored to tie the game at 2-2 with 3:20 left and UNH answered with Dalton Speelman’s winning goal 65 seconds later.
Coach Bob Gaudet liked the way Dartmouth played on Saturday and likes the way it has been playing overall, despite its 3-12-2 record, and feels it will be a team to be reckoned with down the stretch.
UNH athletics director Marty Scarano had some anxious moments early last week after the University of Massachusetts started talking to football coach Sean McDonnell to see if he might be interested in coming to Amherst to interview for their job as head football coach.
Scarano said he was thrilled and he was no doubt relieved.
Work should begin as early as March or April and be wrapped up by August, Scarano said.
McDONNELL on Saturday did not want to talk about UMass, which will be hiring Mark Whipple to return as coach, according to reports over the weekend. Whipple, a former offensive coordinator at UNH, won a national title in 1998 at UMass in his first stint at the school.
About a half a dozen players — including Nashua South quarterback Trevor Knight, wide receiver Rory Donovan of Cardinal Spellman High School in Brockton. Mass., and defensive back D’Andre Drummond-Mayrie of Central Catholic in Lawrence, Mass. — have verbally committed to accept UNH scholarships, according to many reports.
UNH has three official recruiting weekends set up starting next weekend.
THE GYMNASTICS TEAM hosts its first meet of the season on Sunday with Minnesota, Brown and Yale coming in to compete. The Wildcats lost their opener at Rutgers on Saturday. . . .The track teams play host to Holy Cross on Saturday at noon. . . . The men’s basketball team, 2-13 overall and 0-2 in America East, has a pair of league home games up next. UMBC, 5-11 and 1-2, is in on Wednesday at 7 and Hartford plays at UNH on Saturday at 1. . . . Senior Kelsey Hogan of Nashua had a career-high 35 points to lead the UNH women to a 71-68 overtime win over Stony Brook on Saturday. UNH is 7-7 and plays at UMBC on Wednesday at noon and at Hartford on Saturday at 2.