New Hampshire ice hockey defeats Clarkson, 4-2

DENVER - Senior Joshua Prudden scored two goals as New Hampshire (11-3-2) defeated Clarkson (5-9-1), 4-2, in the first game of the Denver Cup in Magness Arena on Friday night (Dec. 27).

New Hampshire wasted no time getting on the board as Prudden's wrist shot beat Clarkson goalkeeper Dustin Traylen only 24 seconds into the contest. Lanny Gare registered his team-best 18th assist on the play. The two teams played even hockey for the rest of the first period with each squad notching nine shots on goal. The Wildcats held a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.

The first nine minutes of the second period were very similar to the end of the first, with both teams holding their ground defensively. Brian Yandle broke the 30-minute scoring drought with a power-play goal at 8:59. Yandle's first collegiate goal beat Traylen high clove side after a feed from Gare. Both teams had many scoring chances throughout the rest of the period, but neither team was able to capitalize. The period ended with Clarkson on a power play, but UNH was able to hold on to its 2-0 advantage.

Clarkson closed to within one early in the third period (4:37) on a power-play goal from Matt Syroczynski. The sophomore snuck the puck by New Hampshire goalkeeper Mike Ayers from the right slot after a great pass from Chris Blight. UNH slammed the door at the 16:11 mark as Preston Callander put one home off a feed from Jim Abbott. Prudden added other goal late to give the Wildcats a 4-1 lead. The Golden Knights pulled their goalkeeper and used the man advantage to score one final goal with nine seconds remaining.

New Hampshire's top line on Gare, Prudden and Colin Hemingway scored seven of Wildcats 12 points.

The No. 8 Pioneers will face the No. 13 Miami (Ohio) RadHawks in the second game of the Denver Cup. Face-off is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. MT.

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