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UNH hockey: Wyer logging starting minutes early

Dick Umile said before the season that he planned on using goalie Jeff Wyer more this year. If the first three games are any indication, the UNH hockey coach meant every word.

The Wildcats took the ice against No. 5 Michigan last night with Wyer, the backup last year, in net. It was his second start in UNH’s three games this year and he performed well against a potent Wolverines offense, stopping 17 of the 18 shots he faced as the teams skated to a 1-1 tie.

Wyer’s workload has already surpassed last year’s, as the senior started only one game in 2012-13, but Umile said the team hasn’t committed to a set schedule, whether that means giving future starts to Wyer or last year’s starter, junior Casey DeSmith.

“We’re one game at a time here right now,” Umile said. “We’ll worry about next weekend when we get there.”

Umile said the plan is the same as last week’s for the opening weekend against Clarkson and Minnesota, and that DeSmith will start tonight against the Wolverines. Though the coach didn’t say it, a goalie rotation could be put in place to take some of the load off of DeSmith, who played the second-most minutes of any Hockey East goalie last year and who may have had fatigue be the reason behind his cooling off in the second half of the season after a blistering start.

Wyer earned the team’s only win so far, a 4-1 victory over Clarkson, and is currently sporting a 0.96 goals against average and 96.2 save percentage. DeSmith will start his second game tonight, and in his other game stopped 31 of 34 shots in a 3-2 loss to Minnesota.

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