No. 15 UNH hockey blanks Merrimack, 4-0

Regan records second shutout of season, career

Kevin Regan

DURHAM, N.H. - Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) recorded his second shutout of the season - and career -- with 27 saves to lead the 15th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Friday night's 4-0 Hockey East victory against Merrimack College at the Whittemore Center.

UNH, now 54-11-6 lifetime vs. Merrimack, improved to 15-10-4 overall and 11-6-3 in Hockey East with its second consecutive victory. Coupled with Providence's 8-3 loss at Boston College, the Wildcats climbed into third place in the Hockey East standings. MC is now 5-19-3, 2-15-3.

The line combination of Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.), Trevor Smith (N. Vancouver, B.C.) and Brian Pouliot (Hooksett, N.H.) recorded six points with two points apiece. Pollastrone and Pouliot finished with a goal and an assist while Smith was credited with two assists.

MC goalie Jim Healey stopped 32 shots, including 13 in the second period. Regan made 12 of his 27 saves in the middle stanza.

The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission by virtue of an early power-play goal.

The defensive pairing of Jamie Fritsch (Odenton, Md.) and Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.) moved the puck from the left to right point and down to Daniel Winnik (Mississauga, Ontario) in the right circle. Winnik made a quick pass down low to Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba), whose pass across the top of the crease found an unmarked Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.), who swept the puck into the open left side of the net at 2:41.

In the second period, early and late tallies extended UNH's advantage to 3-0. Pouliot, near the right post, scored from a rebound off Pollastrone's initial shot at 2:20. Smith won the left-circle faceoff back to Pollastrone at the point to set up the goal. Greg Collins (Fairport, N.Y.) netted a shorthanded goal at 16:58 to give the 'Cats a three-goal lead. Thomas Fortney (Webster Groves, Mo.) led the 2-on-2 rush down the left wing and made the crossing pass to Collins, who controlled the puck and lifted a shot that caromed off the crossbar and across the goal line. Brad Flashains (Glendale, Ariz.) was also credited with an assist on the tally.

Pollastrone capped the scoring at 8:04 of the final frame when he gathered Smith's outlet pass in the neutral zone, broke in alone down the right side and fired a shot that hit the near post before going into the net. Pouliot initiated the sequence with a pass up UNH's defensive zone to Smith.

UNH returns to action Feb. 11 to wrap up the season series with Warriors. Game time at Thom Lawler Arena is 7 p.m. The next Wildcat home game is Feb. 19 against conference rival Boston University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m. To buy tickets to an upcoming men's hockey game visit www.unhwildcats.com/tickets for ticket information or call 1-866-WILDCAT.

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