DURHAM, N.H. — Not only did New Hampshire freshman goaltender Brian Foster get his first career start for the Wildcats on Saturday night, he also earned his first career shutout as UNH defeated Massachusetts-Lowell 4-0 on Saturday night at the Whittemore Center.
The win by UNH completed the weekend sweep of the River Hawks after UNH won 5-2 on Friday Night at the Tsongas arena. The win also put the Wildcats in first place in Hockey East.
After an impressive four-point game on Friday night, sophomore Jerry Pollastrone continued his offensive streak by opening up the scoring for UNH. Just 1:12 into the first period Trevor Smith would set up Pollastrone to sneak one past UMass goalie Vinny Monaco.
UNH went into the second period with a 1-0 lead over UMass, but UNH’s edge would soon increase. Mike Radja scored off a rebound of a shot by defensemen Brad Flaishans. Radja’s tally put UNH on top 2-0. The goal was Radja’s ninth of the season.
Not long after that, senior Shawn Vinz scored his first career goal for the Wildcats to make it a 3-0 lead. Flaishans and freshman Dan Rossman got credit for the assists on the goal. UNH ended the second period on top of the River Hawks 3-0.
The only goal of the final frame was scored by Brett Hemingway to make it 4-0 ‘Cats. Radja picked up the puck and Hemingway scored on the resulting 2-on-1 rush. Senior Jacob Micflikier picked up the second assist on Hemingway’s goal.
Foster was tested often throughout the game, most notably in the third period. He stopped a wrister by UML sophomore Mike Potacco and then went on to make a save on the rebound fired in by forward Nick Monroe.
Despite the loss, UML coach Blaise MacDonald wasn’t discouraged.
“We’re playing 11 freshmen, four sophomores are dressing, so I mean we’re young. I mean I see some progress … We play four freshman defensemen and some nights they’re on and some nights they’re off. We’re making progress and I think we are going to be pretty good.”
UNH coach Dick Umile was also satisfied with his team’s performance, most notably that of Foster.
“I’m happy for Brian Foster — freshman goalie, he gets the shutout. I thought he played very comfortably in there and made a couple nice saves. We are getting goals from a couple different people, and this win puts us in first place in Hockey East. It was a good weekend for UNH.”
Monaco made 18 saves in the game, while Foster recorded 26.
Lowell fell to 3-5-3, and 2-2-2 in Hockey East. New Hampshire continued its winning streak to six games and improved to 7-2-1, and 5-1-1 in Hockey East.
UML continues league play with a game against Providence on Friday night. UNH travels to Boston to play against Boston College on Wednesday.