It's hard to imagine things could be going
much better for Trevor Smith right now. The sophomore forward
is leading New Hampshire in scoring with 11 goals and 11
assists, surpassing last year's totals (10-10—20)
in just 11 games.
Some people say that stopping UNH's top line, which
includes senior Jacob Micflikier (pictured), is the
best way to beat the Wildcats. Trevor Smith and a
strong supporting cast are disproving that theory.
And what's better than scoring? Well, the
Wildcats are winning. After dropping a pair of home games
at the end of October, UNH has ripped off a nine-game unbeaten
streak (8-0-1) and is riding six wins in a row on its way
to vaulting to No. 2 in the country.
Smith is leading a group that is winning in
traditional Wildcat way – flying all over the ice
and putting on a scoring spree. UNH leads the nation with
4.62 goals per game, lighting the lamp 60 times through
But with guys like Brett Hemingway and Jacob
Micflikier sharing the spotlight on New Hampshire's top
line, it's come as somewhat of a surprise that someone with
the common surname of Smith, barely halfway through his
second collegiate year and playing on the second line is
leading the lamp lighting charge.
That's sort of where the surprises end, though.
First, UNH's "second line" of Smith, junior Matt
Fornataro and sophomore Jerry Pollastrone is one of the
deadliest lines in college hockey, compiling 58 points this
And second, Smith and the back of the net
have met before – quite often. Before showing up in
Durham, he was the third-leading scorer in the USHL with
29 goals and 39 assists in 60 games for the Omaha Lancers.
So while Hockey East fans sit back and scratch
their heads wondering why Trevor Smith is terrorizing their
teams, they may not have realized that it was merely a matter
of time. Perhaps they just needed a proper introduction.
Here it goes. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Trevor
"He is as good of a forward as there
is in this league," UNH coach Richard Umile says. "I
think he has proven that already. He is a good hockey player,
and he is a very smart hockey player on top of the fact
that he is very skilled. It's not by accident that he finds
himself in those spots. He puts himself there.
"We were hoping this was going to happen.
I think he proved that last year in the second half of the
season when he became one of the better players, especially
one of the better freshmen in the league. He didn't quite
get the recognition he deserved or people weren't quite
sure what he was going to be. We knew he was going to be
good. He is a great goal scorer, and he is deadly with his
Smith's biggest asset is indeed his shot,
which he spent countless hours perfecting during the offseason.
While burying 10 pucks last year was mildly impressive for
a freshman, it wasn't enough.
So he shot. And he shot some more. There were
shooting schools and lessons and tireless practices. He
says he shot "hundreds of pucks" every day getting
ready for his sophomore campaign.
When Smith is left with a one-on-one opportunity
against Boston College goalie Cory Schneider – like
he was during UNH's 6-3 win on Nov. 22 – he finds
himself staring into a red light, raising his stick and
hugging his teammates. Schneider may be the premier goalie
in Hockey East, but Smith made it look easy that night,
picking out a corner and hitting it. That goal turned out
to be his 21st point of the season, a new career-high.
"He is a natural goal scorer," Pollastrone
says. "He had 10 goals last year, but I think he was
a little disappointed with that. We saw in practice that
he could score, and he just got off to a good start and
kept on going."
"Confidence is his biggest thing,"
Fornataro says of Smith's vast improvement. "He's got
a great shot, and he knows how to get open. He knows how
to pick his spots."
Smith, Pollastrone and Fornataro played together
most of last season, too. They attribute that factor into
their success this year. The trio spends time together on
and off the ice. They're in each other's heads.
"It's huge for us," Smith says.
"We know where each of us are on the ice. We know where
we're going on faceoffs and little things like that. It
gives us an advantage on the offensive side of the puck."
"They're both snipers," says Fornataro,
the point guard of the group. "We have a good thing
going. They get open, and I like to find them."
Smith claims it's the simple things that have
translated into a greatly improved year. He worked hard,
gained confidence and adapted better to the college lifestyle.
He didn't exactly wave a magic wand and turn into the league's
And he doesn't plan on slowing down. Why ruin
a good thing?
"I'm just not going to think about anything,"
Smith says. "It's working right now, and I'm just going
to go out there and keep playing the game, playing with
these two linemates and having some fun."
SEEN AND HEARD IN HOCKEY EAST
Rivalries make for great quotes: The
dominance Boston University showcased against Boston College
last year was obscene. The Terriers won the Beanpot, stole
the regular season league championship and then took home
a classic overtime battle for the Hockey East championship.
When the two storied programs met in the NCAA
Northeast Regional in Worcester, BU was the proud owner
of a four-game winning streak over its Comm. Ave. counterpart.
But that's where the momentum swung heavily
back in BC's favor. The Eagles took the Terriers to the
woodshed, disposing the Pugs by a 5-0 score on their way
to a national championship appearance.
Boston University's remarkable 19-1-2 second-half
run was a thing of the past on the heels of one flat night
– against the last team it could stomach losing to.
And don't think the Terriers have forgotten.
"I've been waiting a long time to play
them again," Terrier goalie John Curry said about this
weekend's home-and-home with the Eagles. "I can't go
about it too much differently as a goalie because I have
my routine. If I try to do something I don't usually do,
that can take me off my game. There is definitely a little
extra fire anytime you play BC, but especially after how
things went down last year. We were all pretty upset about
"There hasn't been a day that has gone
by that I haven't thought about that game," Peter MacArthur
And although the Terriers were at home, their
heads were not far from Milwaukee, not while BC was still
"I'm glad they didn't win [the national
championship], though," MacArthur said.
"So glad," Bryan Ewing quickly responded,
wry grin and all.
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Great Weekend Getaway
at BC (Fri.)
BC at BU (Sat.)
There's the hype, the hatred, and all the hoopla.
It's Jack Parker and Jerry York. It's the beanpot
before the Beanpot. It's BU and BC, and it's on tap
twice this weekend.
What To Do While You’re There:
First of all, don't drive because you'll get lost.
Second, go to Abe & Louie's on Boylston St., and
try the best steak in town.
spending your weekend on the left side of Massachusetts,
there is some serious sports action happening
at UMass. On Friday night, the Minutemen
host Niagara at 7 p.m. in hockey. At 2:30 p.m. on
Saturday, the No. 3 UMass football team hosts UNH
in the NCAA Quarterfinals. And then at 7:30 p.m. Saturday
night, the men's basketball team tips off against
Boston College. Things don't get much better than
has scored 14 goals in 12 games this
season. The Warriors have been shut out three times,
scored one goal six times, two goals once and three
goals twice. They have scored just four goals in their
six-game losing streak and haven't scored more than
one goal in any of those contests.
• An old adage states that tying is
like kissing your sister. We're not exactly looking for
any hard evidence to prove the theory, but Jack Parker,
whose Terriers have a league-high five ties, took the saying
and ran with it after his team's draw with UMass on Tuesday
"We don't have a sister, so why are we
kissing our sister so much here? Another tie," Parker
• Speaking of the tie between BU and
UMass, that was the first point the Minutemen had ever earned
at Agganis Arena. UMass had lost six straight road contests
to the Terriers, including a two-game sweep at Agganis in
last year's Hockey East quarterfinals.
• The last thing Maine fans probably
wanted to see was their star and early Hobey Baker favorite
Michel Léveillé leave the ice with an injury.
But 58 seconds into the second period of a 3-2 loss at Vermont
last Saturday, Léveillé was hit from behind
by Kenny Macauley and went head-first into the boards. The
Vermont defenseman took a five-minute major and game misconduct,
while Maine's leading goal and point scorer didn't return
due to a back injury. His status is still uncertain from
here on out, but the Black Bears have just a single game
this week, Friday against Providence.
• Unhappy with his leading scorer's
effort, Jack Parker benched Kenny Roche last week in an
eventual 2-1 win over Harvard. The Terriers in general have
been plagued with inconsistency this season so the wake-up
call put the team on notice. Roche didn't score in his first
game back against Yale, but he set up BU's second goal against
UMass on Tuesday.
• Vermont beat Harvard, 2-1, in overtime
on Tuesday. But because the storyline never seems to get
old, we'll remind you that Catamount coach Kevin Sneddon
and Harvard's head honcho Ted Donato were teammates on the
Crimson's 1989 national championship team.
• UNH's 6-3 win at BC on Thanksgiving
Eve served as the Wildcats' first road win against the Eagles
since Nov. 19, 2002.
• UVM's win over Maine on Saturday marked
its first home victory over the Black Bears since Feb. 15,
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report