Junior center Josh Prudden and freshman left wing Ed Caron each scored a pair of goals to lead the University of New Hampshire hockey team to a 5-3 win over host Boston University in front of 3586 fans at Walter Brown Arena on Sunday night (January 27th).
It also gave the Wildcats a sweep of their weekend series against the Terriers, as they skated to a 6-1 win over B.U. at UNH's Whittemore Center on Friday night.
For the nation's second ranked Wildcats, it was their fourth straight win as they improved their overall record to 19-4-2 and 11-2-2 in Hockey East. The weekend sweep also cemented UNH's hold on first place in the league as they now have 24 points, four points over second-place Maine.
In the meantime, the Terriers, who entered the weekend series ranked sixth in the nation, saw their overall record slip to 14-7-2, while they are 8-5-2 in the league. Their 18 points in league play leave them in third place.
Prudden opened the game's scoring with a power play goal at 5:49 of the first period. It appeared the Wildcats would head into the first-period intermission with a 1-0 lead.
But, the Terriers scored twice in the final minute of play to lead 2-1 at the end of one period.
Terrier sophomore Frantisek Skladany tallied his 11th goal of the season at 19:10 of the period. Just 40 seconds later, junior Freddy Meyer scored his second goal of the year to stake the Terriers to a 2-1 lead at the break.
The two teams exchanged goals in the second period.
First, New Hampshire freshman Ed Caron tied the game with his third goal of the year at 2:44 of the period.
The Terriers got their one-goal lead back at 7:36 of the period when junior John Sabo beat New Hampshire goalie Mike Ayers (25 saves) for his fourth goal of the year. The third period belonged to the Wildcats as they scored three times, while blanking the Terriers.
Caron tied the game for UNH at the 2:08 mark on a wraparound goal, while Prudden scored the game-winning goal when he beat Terrier goalie Sean Fields (29 saves) on a breakaway at 17:01. Senior Darren Haydar, who entered the weekend as the nation's leading scorer with 53 points, closed out the scoring with an empty net goal with just one second left of the clock.
"This was a typical great B.U.-New Hampshire game," Wildcat coach Dick Umile said after the game. "This was a fabulous weekend. Being able to come away with four points from B.U. is just great.
"I was really proud the way the guys stuck with it at the end of the first period," the coach went on. "B.U. scored those two quick goals, but we didn't panic."
Terrier coach Jack Parker was less than pleased with his team's effort, especially in the third period when they allowed the three goals.
"I thought we played well until that third period," said the coach. "It was unbelievable how jumpy we were. We just couldn't complete a pass. Our guys seemed to disappear.
"We gave them two goals in that period on real bad situations," Parker went on. "Our lack of poise without the puck in center ice was appalling.
"We did have some scoring opportunities, but we didn't have anyone who could finish it off," the coach concluded. "We gave up four points to them this weekend, and five of their goals were breakaways.
"Well, at least the Patriots won today."