Stonehill Drops Season Opener At UNE, 4-1

Junior Kevin Airoldi scored a shorthanded goal in Stonehill's 4-1 loss to UNE tonight.

Junior forward Kevin Airoldi scores shorthanded goal for Skyhawks lone tally

BIDDEFORD, Maine (October 31, 2014) –
The University of New England scored twice in the opening 1:40 of the game and led 4-0 after one period en route to a 4-1 season-opening victory over Stonehill College this evening in non-conference men's ice hockey action at Harold Alfond Forum.

Junior forward Kevin Airoldi (Kennebunk, Maine/Berwick Academy) scored a shorthanded goal at the 11:57 mark of the third period, while senior goaltender Chris Tasiopoulos (Norwell, Massachusetts/Thayer Academy) made 32 saves in net for the Skyhawks.

UNE was led by senior forward Jared Melman (San Jose, California/Portland Jr. Pirates) and sophomore forward Trevor Fleurent (Biddeford, Maine/Portland Jr. Pirates), who recorded two points each on one goal and one assist. Melman paced the Nor'easters a season ago with 27 points on 16 goals and 11 assists.

Junior forward Tom Gildersleeve (Pemaquid Point, Maine/Portland Jr. Pirates) contributed with a pair of assists, while classmate Sam Vikich (White Rock, British Columbia/North Delta Devils) senior forward Zeth Zielinski (Woonsocket, Rhode Island/New England Huskies) both scored for the home team.

After giving up four goals in the opening 11:20 of the first period, Tasiopoulos was strong, stopping all 22 shots that came his way over the final 40 minutes. His counterpart, UNE senior netminder Colby Drost (Franklin Lakes, New Jersey/Niagara University) made 29 saves in 30 opportunities.

The Nor'easters wasted no time in scoring their first goal of the season, as Fleurent found the back of the net with the help of Melman and Gildersleeve just 25 seconds after the puck dropped. Zielinski made it 2-0 at the 1:40 mark, while Vikich and Melman added goals midway through the period to stake UNE to a 4-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

Following a scoreless second period, Stonehill turned up the pressure in the third, firing 16 shots on net. After junior defenseman Scott Rolph (Bow, New Hampshire/Tilton School) was whistled for a hooking penalty at the 11:08 mark, Airoldi netted Stonehill's lone goal of the evening with a top shelf shot from the left circle.  

Stonehill was 0-for-3 on the power play, while the Nor'easters cashed in on one of their five opportunities with a man advantage. The home team also held a 36-30 advantage in shots, including a 14-4 margin in the first period.

Stonehill (0-1, 0-0 NE-10) will look to bounce back tomorrow, as the Skyhawks are set to take on the University of Southern Maine at 4 p.m. The University of New England (1-0, 0-0 ECAC East) is off until next Friday, November 7th, when the Nor'easters open ECAC East play against Skidmore College.

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