Henrion's last second goal leads UNH to tie versus Mintuemen
Published: Saturday, March 2, 2013
Updated: Saturday, March 2, 2013 18:03
With just 1:05 left in the third period, the UNH men’s hockey team was facing an uphill climb to earn a point in the first game of a crucial weekend series against the Minutemen of UMass-Amherst. Eddie Olczyk, the fourth line center, was able to knock in a rebound goal after goaltender Casey DeSmith stopped the initial shot from Zack LaRue, making it a 2-1 game with 65 seconds remaining.
UNH won the ensuing faceoff and pulled DeSmith, giving them a 6-on-5 advantage. With their top three scorers on the ice, the Wildcats kept the puck in the zone trying to find an open lane for a shot.
“We were struggling to score when it was 5-on-5,” UNH head coach Dick Umile said. “We wanted to the puck to the net and outnumber them in front.”
What ensued was one of the biggest goals for the team all season.
With just eight seconds remaining, junior defenseman Eric Knodel received the puck in the high slot and unleashed a slap shot that was deflected by UMass-Amherst goaltender Steve Mastalerz. The puck caromed off his left leg pad and slid right to senior John Henrion, who notched the game-tying goal with just 3.7 seconds left.
The referees went to the monitor to see if UNH committed a goaltender interference penalty on the play, and after almost a minute of review, the ruled it a goal.
“I saw it come my way and dove at it, hoping to make a play,” Henrion said. “I just barely made it in, but a goal is a goal.”
In the extra frame, both teams had good scoring opportunities but each goaltender made fantastic saves to keep their teams’ hopes alive.
Kevin Goumas snuck behind the defense and received a long pass, giving him a breakaway opportunity with a defenseman on his back. He faked to his left and tried to score on the backhand shot, but Mastalerz was there to get a pad in the way.
The Minutemen had their own opportunity about a minute and a half later, when Colin Shea blasted a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle that hit DeSmith in the chest. UMass had two forwards crashing the net and each made a shot on net, but DeSmith stood his ground and stonewalled the shots.
“It could have gone either way (in overtime), both teams had great chances, but Casey kept us in it,” Henrion said after the game.
With the tie, UNH earns one point and is now sitting in third place with 29 total points, behind Boston College and UMass-Lowell (30 points), who both won their respective games and are tied for first.
The Wildcats will take on the Minutemen again on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Whittemore Center.