Get to know the 2018-2019 University of New Hampshire Wildcats Hockey Team with this quick who’s who guide to the roster.
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The forwards on the UNH Hockey Team are a diverse group of young men, with a variety of hometowns, experience levels, and playing styles. They are united in their love of the game and their determination to win.
There are 12 forwards on the roster:
#12 Liam Blackburn – A junior from North Andover MA, Blackburn is a versatile player who can skate and shoot equally well. He is one of the team’s top scorers
#9 Jackson Wilkins – A sophomore from Yarmouth, ME, Wilkins is a speedy winger with good offensive instincts. He is one of the team’s most exciting players to watch.
#19 Ryan Blais – A senior from Nashua, NH, Blais is one of the team’s captains. He is a hard-working two-way player who does whatever it takes to win.
#17 Chase Wescott – A junior from Falmouth, ME, Wescott is a physical player who isn’t afraid to mix it up in front of the net. He has a nose for the puck and is equally adept at scoring goals and setting them up.
#14 Nick Rosa – A sophomore from Lexington, MA, Rosa is a skilled playmaker who sees the ice well and makes smart decisions with the puck. He has been one of the team’s top point-getters over the past two seasons.
The team’s defensemen are responsible for keeping the puck out of their own net and helping the forwards score goals They are typically bigger and stronger than forwards, and they stay back near their own net while the forwards skate up the ice. Defensemen usually stay on the ice for shorter shifts than forwards, because they need to be fresh in order to defend well.
There are typically six defensemen on a Hockey team but sometimes teams will dress seven or eight. The extra player is usually a young defenseman who is not yet good enough to be a regular starter, but who can provide some energy and fresh legs if needed.
Here is a look at the defensemen on the University of New Hampshire hockey team
The UNH Wildcats Ice Hockey team is in their 102nd season and looking to take home the National Championship title. The team is led by Head Coach Mike Souza and consists of 27 talented student athletes. Here is a look at the team’s five goalies.
1) freshman Tenny Paladino, who was born in Boston, MA, played for the Boston Advantage Hockey Program before coming to UNH. rangy goalie with good reflexes…saw action in one game as a backup last season.
2) Junior Ty Taylor, from Greenwich, CT, has good size and natural athleticism…play with composure…type of player that makes the big save when called upon…served as backup goalie for majority of last season seeing action in eight contests.
3) Junior Mike Robinson, from Derry, NH, comes to UNH after two years at UConn where he appeared in 28 games…a big body goaltender that takes up a lot of net and challenges shooters…will compete for starting position.
4) Freshman Danny Tirone, from Lynnfield, MA, comes to UNH after being named the 2016 Mass High School Goalie of the Year…dynamic athlete with good size…very quick reflexes…will compete for starting position.
5) Freshman Adam Clark, from Rochester, NH, appeared in 25 games for the Junior Monarchs (USPHL Premier)…has good size and quickness…strong positional play…will compete for starting position.
The current head coach of the UNH Wildcats is Mike Ayers, who has held the position since 2006. Prior to coaching at UNH, Ayers was an Assistant Coach at Boston College from 2002-2006. He has also served as a Head Coach atMiddlebury College and Norwich University.
This year’s team captains are Dylan Sikura, Griffin Molino, and Benton Maass. Let’s get to know them a little better.
Dylan Sikura is a senior forward from Aurora, Ontario. He was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 6th round of the 2014 NHL Draft In his four years at UNH, Sikura has appeared in 152 games, tallying 78 goals and 81 assists for a total of 159 points. He was named to the Hockey East First Team All-Star last season.
Griffin Molino is a senior forward from Brighton, Michigan. He was signed as a free agent by the Buffalo Sabres in March of 2017 after spending four years at Western Michigan University. In his one season at UNH, Molino appeared in 40 games, tallying 11 goals and 11 assists for a total of 22 points.
Benton Maass is a senior defenseman from Rochester, Minnesota. He was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 7th round of the 2013 NHL Draft In his four years at UNH, Maass has appeared in 155 games, tallying 7 goals and 46 assists for a total of 53 points.
The UNH hockey team has many new members this season, including several rookies. Here is a quick look at some of the freshmen who will be donning the Wildcat jersey this year.
-Zach Asta: A native of Boston, Asta comes to UNH from Belmont Hill School where he was named ISL MVP and led his team in scoring with 63 points in 24 games.
-Liam Blackburn: Originally from Berwick, Maine, Blackburn played for Berwick Academy last season where he tallied 27 goals and 30 assists in 28 games. He was named to the All-ISL team and was also a league All-Star.
-Ty Anderson: The Hudson, New Hampshire native comes to UNH from Kimball Union Academy where he captained his team to a NEPSAC Championship. In 31 games last season, Anderson had 20 goals and 23 assists.
There are a few grizzled veterans on the team this year, including team captain Ryan Hitchcock. A native of Manhasset, New York, Hitchcock is entering his senior year at UNH. He’s been with the team since his freshman year, and he’s been captain for the past two seasons. Hitchcock is a versatile player who can skate well and has a good shot. He’s one of the leaders on and off the ice, and he’ll be counted on to help the team have a successful season
Joining Hitchcock as a veteran leader is forward Matt Willows. A native of Congers, New York, Willows is also entering his senior year at UNH. He’s been with the team for three years, and he’s developed into one of its top scorers Willows has a great shot and good hockey sense, and he’s usually one of the first players on the ice for practice or games. He’ll be counted on to provide leadership and scoring punch for the team this season.
Rounding out the group of veterans is goalie Danny Tirone. A native of Trumbull, Connecticut, Tirone is entering his junior year at UNH. He’s been the starting goalie for the past two seasons, and he’s developed into one of the best goalies in college hockey Tirone has good size and quickness, and he’s known for making big saves in key moments. He’ll be counted on to backstop the team this season as it tries to make a run at the NCAA tournament
Conor Garland, day-to-day (upper-body)
Ryan Dmowski, out for season (torn ACL)
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, out for season (shoulder surgery)
Jacob Trouba, day-to-day (quad)
Steven Santini, out for season (wrist surgery)
The wing players are currently suspended and are not eligible to compete in any games:
Unsigned Draft Picks
The UNH Wildcats have had 29 players drafted into the NHL since 2007, including first-round picks Spencer Knight (’19), James van Riemsdyk (’07) and Dylan McLaughlin (’18).