AMHERST, Mass. —
Moving Up The Ladder
With Gabe Gauthier’s hat trick Sunday, he moved up to 111 points in his career, good for No. 59 in the Denver scoring list, leaving behind Anders Bjork, Paul Josephson, Marc Rousseau, Njorn Engstrom, Kelly Popadynetz, Cliff Koroll, Rich Preston, Mike Busniuk, Ken Williamson and Brian Konowalchuk at 109.
Gauthier now has 52 points on the season, the first time Denver has had a 50-point scorer since Kevin Doell did it in 2002-2003 with 51 points.
Sean Collins, with a point Sunday, could have moved past Eric Boguniecki for 12th place in UNH scoring and into a tie for ninth with Jon Fontas, Frank Roy and Joe Flanagan. Collins was held scoreless, and will forever remain tied with Boguniecki in the record books.
The Denver power play, once clicking at a 22.9% rate on 46-of-201 conversions, was 2-for-40 coming into Sunday’s game. After a 1-for-8 performance in the final, the Pioneers are 49-for-259, or 18.9%, for the season.
At the same time, the Pioneers are doing the job outing the power of other teams. After holding UNH scoreless in five attempts Sunday, the Pioneers are 43-of-45 in their last eight games, and 191-of-224 on the season, or 85.3%.
Coming into the weekend the Wildcats had gone 11-3-3 at the Mullins Center all-time. The Wildcats were 18-3-0 on Olympic ice coming into the weekend. Denver, on the other hand, had never played in the Mullins Center before this weekend and was 5-4 on Olympic ice.
In the end, it wasn’t much of a disadvantage for the Pioneers.
Denver’s seniors will head to their second consecutive Frozen Four, but the UNH seniors saw their collegiate careers come to an end. Justin Aikins, Robbie Barker, Preston Callander, Sean Collins and Tyson Teplitsky finished their UNH hockey careers this afternoon, and with some high praise.
“Those guys knew so much and helped us through everything,” said freshman netminder Kevin Regan. “The showed us what to do and how to act, they were as strong leaders as they could be.”
“Each one of them gave their heart to this program,” said head coach Dick Umile. “Not only are they a special group, but they were a fun group. They worked hard all year long, and I am so proud of them.”
Daniel Winnik’s penalty shot was the first successful one in the NCAA tournament since 1999. In Worcester on March 27 of that year, David Evans of Clarkson was awarded a penalty shot and beat Maine goaltender Alfie Michaud to score. The goal didn’t matter much, as Clarkson lost, 7-2, but it stood as the last penalty-shot goal until Winnik’s tally.
Coincidentally, the last penalty shot awarded was also on March 27 — but just last year in Manchester, N.H., when Joe Tallari of Niagara was stopped by Matti Kaltiainen of Boston College.
Today’s date? You got it, March 27. So don’t expect any penalty shots next year, as the regionals will be played from March 24-26.
The All-Northeast Regional Team was no real surprise. The scorers of the overtime games Saturday and Sunday’s two goal-scorer were named, as well as two strong defensemen and one joking goaltender.
“I think I got All-Regional because I was the only goalie to play both games,” quipped Regan.
All-Northeast Regional Team
G Kevin Regan, New Hampshire
D Matt Carle, Denver
D Tyson Teplitsky, New Hampshire
F Gabe Gauthier, Denver
F Daniel Winnik, New Hampshire
F Kevin Ulanski, Denver
Most Outstanding Player: Gauthier