DURHAM, N.H. - The number-one ranked New Hampshire men's ice hockey team, behind a career-high three points from Tim Horst (South St. Paul, Minn.) defeated the Warriors of Merrimack College, 4-3 on Friday night at the Whittemore Center Arena. Nine different Wildcats recorded a point in the win as New Hampshire improved to 1-0-1 in Hockey East play.
Merrimack had its first lead of the night, 1-0, scoring at 8:36 of the first period when Cam DeYoung took a pass from Brendon Clark at the left point and fired it past junior goaltender Mike Ayers (Hingham, Mass.). The goal was the first of DeYoung's career.
New Hampshire responded, tying the game 1-1 less than three minutes later as Horst was on the receiving end of a pass by senior forward Jim Abbott (Mars, Pa.) and sophomore forward Preston Callander (Regina, Sask.) at 11:23.
The Wildcats took the lead in the second stanza when Callander etched his first goal of the year and second point of the game, redirecting a shot taken from Horst at 8:12. Junior captain Patrick Foley (Milton, Mass.) also assisted on the 'Cats go-ahead goal.
Nick Pomponio beat Ayers for the Warriors' second goal of the game to even the score at 2-2 in the opening minutes of the final frame. Tim Reidy and Alex Sikatchev were credited with the assists. Three minutes later, Merrimack took a 3-2 lead as Tony Johnson scored his first of the season at 4:04 minutes into the period. Sikatchev and Pomponio were credited with assists.
The Wildcats fought back. Senior forward Josh Prudden (Andover, Mass.) scored his second goal of the season and tied the game at 3-3. Senior forwards Colin Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) and Lanny Gare (Vernon, B.C) assisted on the goal. With the assist, Gare earned his 100th point as a Wildcat. Sophomore forward Sean Collins, the game's number one star, capitalized on a Merrimack turnover at the blueline to score his fourth of the season and the game-winning goal on a one-on-one breakaway beating Joe Exter shortside to give the Wildcats a 4-3 lead. Assisting on the goal was junior forward Steve Saviano (Reading, Mass.) and Horst.
Ayers stopped 22 shots in the win, while Exter made 28 saves in the loss. With the win, the Wildcats remain unbeaten on the season with a record of 3-0-2. Merrimack falls to 1-3-1.
The Wildcats face-off against Boston University on Nov. 2 at the Whittemore Center Arena. Game time is a 7 p.m.