UNH upsets top-seeded Miami, 3-1


UNH upsets top-seeded Miami, 3-1

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) New Hampshire fell behind 53 seconds into the game, tied it one minute later and controlled the rest of the way.

Kevin Goumas scored twice and goalie Matt Di Girolamo recovered from an early lapse as the Wildcats upset top-seeded Miami 3-1 on Saturday in the NCAA tournament's northeast regional.

Team captain Mike Sislo also scored for the Wildcats (22-10-6), breaking a 1-all tie early in the third period and Di Girolamo carried UNH the rest of the way. He finished with 21 saves and had plenty of help from his teammates, who blocked 20 shots as the Wildcats stymied Miami (23-10-6) and ended the RedHawks' seven-game win streak.

"That was probably as well as we've played all season from start to finish," New Hampshire coach Dick Umile said.

New Hampshire will play either Notre Dame or Merrimack on Sunday in the regional final.

Miami was riding a 13-game unbeaten streak into the NCAA tournament and was one of four teams to get a No. 1 seed, but they had the misfortune of playing UNH about 35 miles from the Wildcats' campus in Durham.

Chants of "U-N-H!" grew louder as the game progressed and reached a crescendo as the Wildcats swarmed Di Girolamo in front of the net after the final horn.

Di Girolamo didn't allow a goal after Bryon Paulazzo put Miami up 1-0 just 53 seconds into the game. Goumas tied it at 1-all exactly one minute later and the tie held until the first minute of the third period.

Blake Kessel faked a shot from the blue line and instead passed it to Sislo at the far corner of the net for a one-timer that put the Wildcats ahead for good.

"It was a great pass. That's the type of play as a forward you dream about," Sislo said. "Blake has great vision. If you able to get open and find a little ice, he's going to hit you."

Goumas sealed it with an empty-net goal with 1:25 left.

Cody Reichard made 24 saves for the RedHawks, whose quest for a third straight appearance in the Frozen Four ended in the regional semifinals.

"If it wasn't for Cody, it could have been a lot worse," Miami coach Enrico Blasi said.
Miami took a 1-0 lead just 53 seconds into the game. Reichard made two point-blank saves before the RedHawks could gain control of the puck and get it to the other end, where Camper found Bryon Paulazzo alone in the slot.

But the Wildcats needed just a minute to tie it on a fortunate bounce. Matt Campanale fired the puck from the blue line and it went straight to the end boards, bouncing directly to Goumas at the side of the net. Goumas tapped it in and Campanale and Damon Kipp got assists on the goal.

Gostkowski named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week


Gostkowski named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

FOXBORO -- Stephen Gostkowski is almost 34 years old, but in Mexico City he provided a reminder that he's not slowing down in his 12th NFL season. 

After going four-for-four on field goals -- including a team-record 62-yarder, a 51-yarder and a 40-yarder -- and making all three of his extra points, Gostkowski was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the sixth time in his career. 

During a press conference on Wednesday, Bill Belichick explained that someone in Gostkowski's situation probably isn't improving at this point in his career. But if he's maintaining a strong level of play, that's OK. 

"I don’t know how much real improvement you’re going to see from a player that’s been in the league 12 or 20 years in a case like Adam [Vinatieri] or somebody like that," Belichick said. "But, if the level they’re performing at is pretty good, if they can maintain that, then that’s certainly enough to help the team.

"Are there things that a player can do better? Yeah, sure, there always are technique things. I think Steve has really improved in some of his alternative kicks on kickoffs, as an example, instead of just kicking every ball as far as he can. He’s done a great job of that. I’d say it’s maintaining the timing and the overall leg speed and technique that makes kickers good at their job."

Bruins hope to keep cooking with a winning recipe


Bruins hope to keep cooking with a winning recipe

The Bruins seemed to discover a winning formula on the West Coast. Now the challenge is to keep it going.

It took them more than a month of play in the regular season, but they finally won two games in a row. Anton Khudobin and the B's played strong defense and finally built leads against the Kings and Sharks, and they avoided the kind of soft goal or defensive mistake that has been at the heart of so many of their losses.

Clearly that kind of tight, defensive game is how they're going have to play until they get their full lineup back, and they need plenty of wins. They're currently stuck in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, three points out of a playoff spot.

"It's always nice to get a couple of wins, especially against tough teams," said David Krejci, who is scoreless but averaging almost 17 minutes of ice time  in the two games since returning from a back injury. "We knew we had some areas of our game that we had to improve, and we still do after the start to the game we had against San Jose. It's nice to get two in a row, and we're focusing on three in [New Jersey]. We're building toward something, and we're on the right track. It's a big game [against the Devils].

"Playing with a lead, playing good defensively and having a good, structured game with everybody buying in . . . when you have a young team and you're playing strong clubs like LA and San Jose, it really says a lot about what we're trying to do here when you can get the job done."

The good news is the Bruins are going to make it through the Thanksgiving marker within shouting distance of a playoff spot, but they're still just scratching the surface of what they need to do to stay relevant in the East. They're hoping that finally reeling off a couple of consecutive wins can start a run of good hockey at a time when they desperately need it.

"I think we've played as a five-man unit" said Kevan Miller. "Forwards are getting back to help the 'D', and defensemen are stepping up to help the forwards. When you play like that and everybody is on the same page, it makes it that much easier. I think everybody, whether you're coming from Providence or you're up here, has played the same systems, but it can be a little bit of a struggle to get everybody on the same page.

"We've done a pretty good job of that, but doing it for 60 minutes has been a bit of an issue. We're trying to work on that."