DURHAM, N.H. – Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) recorded a goal and an assist to propel the 11th-ranked University of New Hampshire hockey team to Saturday night’s 5-3 Hockey East victory against Providence College at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which skated to a 1-1 tie with the Friars on Friday night in Providence, is now 12-7-3 overall and 6-3-3 in Hockey East. The Friars are 8-7-4, 2-6-3.
The Wildcats trailed 2-1 in the second period but scored three goals in a span of 6:49 to take a 4-2 lead through 40 minutes. Sean Collins (Reading, Mass.) began the spurt at 6:03 when he redirected a crossing pass by Nathan Martz (Chilliwack, B.C.) into an open left side of the net. Steve Saviano (Reading, Mass.) put UNH back in front, 3-2, with the team’s second power-play goal of the night at 9:11. Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.), whose initial shot was stopped by PC goalie David Cacciola, and Justin Aikins (South Surrey, B.C.), were credited with assists.
UNH extended its lead to 4-2 at 12:53 when Hemingway, from the left dashers, made a backhanded centering pass that was collected by Eddie Caron (Hudson, N.H) in the low slot. Caron lifted the puck into the open right side of the net.
Preston Callander (Regina, Sask.) scored at 1:18 of the third period to give the ‘Cats a 5-2 advantage. Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Man.) and Mike Lubesnick (Northbrook, Ill.) were credited with assists.
Providence trimmed the deficit to 5-3 with 57 seconds remaining when Colin McDonald, with the assistance of Chris Chaput and Jason Platt, scored a 5x3 power-play goal. PC pulled Cacciola for the final 55 seconds but did not pull any closer.
UNH goalie Mike Ayers (Hingham, Mass.) made 22 saves while Cacciola turned aside 18 shots in a physical game in which the teams combined for 48 penalty minutes on 24 penalties.
The Wildcats, who were outshot 8-4 in the first period, took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Hemingway, standing in front of the net, tipped a Tim Horst (South St. Paul, Minn.) slap shot from the high slot into the net for a power-play goal at 13:37. John Doherty (Lynnfield, Mass.) set up the tally with a centering pass from the right point.
Providence generated a number of scoring opportunities from close range, including a shot by Colin McDonald that caromed off the right post and a Mike Robinson shot that ricocheted off the crossbar.
The Friars took a 2-1 second-period lead when Peter Zingoni struck with 17 seconds elapsed in a 4x4 situation and Stephen Wood netted an unassisted power-play goal at 3:04.
UNH returns to action Jan. 13 vs. intrastate rival Dartmouth College at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester (N.H.). Game time is 7 p.m.