TROY, N.Y. — The Rensselaer Engineers broke a 3-3 tie with three goals in the third period to upset the No. 6 New Hampshire Wildcats, 6-4, as Marc Cavosie’s shorthander late in the third proved to be the game-winner.
On the play, Cavosie — killing off a Wildcat power play — skated towards the high slot when he let a soft wrister go. The shot went through the five-hole of Michael Ayers and gave the Engineers a 5-3 lead.
“I was thinking to just get the puck down the ice, get something on net and get a change,” said Cavosie.
Immediately after Cavosie’s score, Darren Haydar put one off the back of Kevin Kurk’s pads to bring the Wildcats back within one, but a Jim Henkel empty-netter sealed the win.
“We had some timely scoring tonight and our penalty killing did a great job,” said Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen. “We knew they had a great offense and they were a speedy team. But we just played solid defense and Kevin played a solid game in the pipes.”
Kurk made 31 saves in his first start since last February, while his counterpart, Ayers, got his first start of the season and made 11 saves.
“It was my first start in a while and I thought I did well,” said Kurk. “I was seeing the puck well and it was a great all-around effort. My confidence went through the roof and to get a win over the number-six team in the nation, I can’t say what that does for my confidence. It’s unbelievable to get a win like this, and I think we’re on top of the world right now.”
“There were a couple of goals [Kurk] would like to have back, especially the goal after we scored the shorthanded goal, but he was solid and made some great plays,” said Fridgen. “You can see that he is in a different frame of mind than he was last year, and he came up big when we needed him.”
The Engineers never trailed, opening up a 2-0 lead 8:20 into the game. Carson Butterwick got a tic-tac-toe power-play goal, and then 1:05 later Cavosie scored his first of the game while being draped by three Wildcat defenders.
The Wildcats came within one when Josh Prudden scored later in the first, but Matt Murley’s goal in the second gave the Engineers back the two-goal lead.
The second period would end tied at two apiece after Lanny Gare and Sean Collins scored for UNH.
In the third Danny Eberly made it 4-3 for the Engineers after his shot went under Ayers; then, Cavosie’s second of the night gave the Engineers the 5-3 lead.
Cavosie now has five goals in his first two games.
“He’s just playing real well right now and he has it going offensively,” said Fridgen. “He’s certainly a player that you have to have on that power play — you add Matt (Murley) on that power play and it’s hard to cover both of them.”
“It’s disappointing,” said Haydar. “We came in here feeling like we were rolling and we gave the puck away too much tonight. That’s what happened, we bounced back, but you can’t expect to give the puck away against this team and expect to win. It’s a missed opportunity, but we’ll improve from here and learn from our mistakes.”
“I have no regrets on how the team played,” said Wildcat head coach Dick Umile. “They played hard, and they’re a young team and they played well. I’m pleased with how they played, not pleased with the result, but we had our chances and it’s a long season.”