DURHAM, N.H. -- Senior goalkeeper Matt Carney (Bridgewater, Mass.) returned from injury to make 21 saves and Darren Haydar (Milton, Ontario) recorded his 200th career point to lead top-ranked New Hampshire past Providence College, 5-2 in Hockey East action Saturday night at the Whittemore Center.
UNH (20-5-3, 12-3-3 Hockey East) got scoring from all four of its lines in earning its 20th win of the season and in the process moved three points ahead of idle Boston University in the conference standings. Providence fell to 13-14-4 and 8-9-2 in league play.
Carney was seeing his first action since suffering a concussion the last time these two teams met, Jan. 13 at the Whitt. Netminder Michael Ayers (Hingham, Mass.), who had been filling in full-time during Carney's absence, was injured last weekend against Maine and is expected to miss three to six weeks after having surgery on his left wrist earlier this week.
Haydar scored in each of the first and third periods giving him 200 points for his career, which places him fourth on UNH's all-time scoring list. The Hobey Baker candidiate, the only player in the country averaging more than 2.00 points a game, has talled 26-31-57 this season.
Down a pair of goals most the night, the Friars twice pulled to within a goal in the second and third periods, only to have UNH score moments after each to push the lead back to two.
Trailing 2-0 in the second, Providence cut the lead in half when Jon DiSalvatore dug out a loose puck along the boards behind the UNH net and fed Peter Fregoe in front to make it 2-1 at 8:23 . UNH, however, regained its two-goal lead on Patrick Foley's (Milton, Mass.) tally at 11:03 of the period.
Down 3-1 in the third, the Friars again drew to within one when Jeff Mason beat Carney through a screen at 3:09. But UNH's Jim Abbott (Mars. Pa.) answered right back when he broke free from two Providence defenders at the blue line and lifted a soft shot over the shoulder of Schaefer as he was being hauled down to up UNH's lead to 4-2. The goal came just 17 seconds after Mason's tally and halted any momentum for the Friars.
UNH took a 2-0 lead after one period. Colin Hemingway (South Surrey, British Columbia) began the scoring at 5:07 of the opening period with his 21st of the season for UNH. Haydar followed with a power play goal at 14:12 to make it a 2-0 Wildcat advantage.
Schaefer finished with 32 saves for the Friars. Sophomore defenseman Mick Mounsey (Concord, N.H.) had two assists for the Wildcats.
UNH returns to action next weekend with a home-and-home series against Northeastern. The 'Cats and Huskies square Friday night (2/15) at Matthews Arena and then again Saturday night (2/16). Game time at the Whittemore Center Saturday is 6 p.m .