Final thoughts from Agganis Arena

Few people know UNH senior goaltender Kevin Regan better than senior center Mike Radja. Not only have Radja and Regan played together on the Wildcats for four years, but they also played together on Waterloo of the USHL for a year. So Radja is somewhat of an authority on Regan's ability to control a game from between the pipes. According to Radja, Friday's 4-1 season-opening win over Boston University at Agganis Arena was a perfect example of that.

For the scoring and some other thoughts and notes, click on "more."


"I've seen him do that many times and it's always a confidence booster," said Radja, who finished with a goal and an assist. "When they're peppering shots in there and driving the net and he's making phenomenal saves, it gives us a boost.

"That's what did it for us tonight. He made some big saves and we were able to get a few goals."

Said UNH head coach Dick Umile: "Our team will play off our goaltending."

Although many people who were at the game will talk about freshman James vanRiemsdyk's highlight-reel goal in the third or BU's unexplainable lack of offense, the story was Regan. Playing in his backyard, the South Boston native stopped 30 shots and displayed the poise one would expect from one of the top goaltenders in the country. He helped his team survive nine short-handed situations, allowing his only goal on a 5-on-3 power-play in the first. Not only that, once it was clear he was in a rhythm, the Wildcats defensemen were able to take some chances. The more aggressive play directly led to the three goals in the third period.

"He's played in some big games," Umile said. "He's a very confident kid and he works at it. He works at everything about his game and that's how he plays."

While UNH (1-0-0) won its season and Hockey East opener, BU (0-2-1) stretched its winless streak to three games. Head coach Jack Parker's main concern wasn't senior goaltender Karson Gillespie, making just the sixth start of his career, but rather his offense's lack of production. In particular, Parker thought his team spent too much time looking for the best scoring opportunity, rather than taking the one that was there.

I'm disappointed that we had little to show for our offensive effort." Parker said. "It's like they thought the Soviet judge would give them a 9.5 on one (shot) and a 2.2 on another, so they better take the first one. "

The Scoring

- UNH took the lead for good on the only cheap goal of the night. Junior Thomas Fortney received a pass behind the BU net, to the right of Gillespie, and faked as if he was going to skate across the net. Instead he wheeled around and passed to junior Jamie Fritsch, who unleashed a slap shot from near the blue line that beat Gillespie to the right for a 2-1 lead at 6:16.

- Radja completed his productive night by giving his team a little insurance with five minutes to play. A BU turnover at the blue line eventually ended up on the stick of senior Matt Fornataro. Fornataro fed Radja, who skated down the right side and beat Gillespie between his legs to make it 3-1 at 14:15. Radja punctuated his goal by pounding on the glass in front of the BU student section.

- The final goal of the night was of the highlight reel variety, courtesy of freshman James vanRiemsdyk. vanRiemsdyk put a good move on BU freshman and former USNTD teammate Kevin Shattenkirk to put him one-on-one with Gillespie, then used another nice start-and-stop move to beat him for a 4-1 lead at 15:46.

The Other Stuff

- Umile, who earned his 400th victory with the win over BU, thanked Parker, a fellow 400-win coach, for having the public address announcer congratulate Umile after the game. Not only is Umile only the ninth active coach to reach the 400-win plateau, but he's third in active winning percentage behind Notre Dame's Jeff Jackson and Michigan's Red Berenson.

- Parker sounded a little miffed after the game when talking about the referees and the fact they called 17 penalties in the first two periods and only one in the third.

"They called it tight early, then let everything go in the third," Parker said.

- On the injury front, Parker said that sophomore Eric Gryba, who's out with mononucleosis, will return to the ice next week. Senior Ryan Weston left the game in the second period with a pulled groin, but Parker didn't have any information on when he'll return.

PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kevin Regan, senior goaltender, UNH - As I've already said several times, Regan was outstanding in net, not only making 30 saves but staying cool when the Wildcats couldn't stay out of the penalty box.

NEXT UP
Life doesn't get any easier for BU, as it will travel to Michigan next weekend for a pair of games against the Wolverines. UNH, meanwhile, will host Colorado College for a pair.

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