PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Freshman Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) recorded a hat trick and had a hand in all five goals, while James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) added a goal and three assists to lift the sixth-ranked University of New Hampshire men’s ice hockey team to Saturday night’s 5-4 overtime win against Hockey East foe ProvidenceCollege at Schneider Arena. UNH improves to 6-2-1 overall, 4-2-1 Hockey East, while Providence falls to 3-6-2, 3-3-2 HE.
Although the Wildcats have now won three straight and eight of their last nine against the Friars, this marked their first win at Schneider since Jan. 7, 2005.
Thompson, who tallied the game winner at in the extra session, became the first Wildcat to record a hat trick since Jacob Micflikier did it on Feb. 23, 2007 versus PC. He also became the first Wildcat to tally five points in a game since Justin Aikins on Feb. 11, 2005 against UMass.
The game-winner was set up when freshman Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) dished the puck off to vanRiemsdyk back at their own blue line. vanRiemsdyk streaked down the right side and centered a pass to Thompson who buried the puck in the back of the net. Providence struck first as they went on the offensive, peppering UNH goaltender Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) just as a UNH penalty had expired. The flurry of shots ended in a UNHpenalty. Just seconds into the power play, Pierce Norton netted a power-play goal at in the first to give PC the early advantage. The Wildcats had an answer as vanRiemsdyk took an outlet pass from Thomas Fortney (Webster Grove, Mo.) into the zone and made a swift move to setup Thompson, who knocked in the puck to tie it up at . The trio partnered up in the final minute of the period as Fortney brought the puck in and dished it to Thompson, who found vanRiemsdyk in front. vanRiemsdyk slid the puck by Tyler Sims at to give UNH a 2-1 lead at the break.
It seemed as though the teams would head into the second intermission with the same 2-1 score until the line of vanRiemsdyk and Thompson struck again. Thompson set up vanRiemsdyk for a one timer from the right side that was saved by Sims. The rebound was controlled by UNH and Craig Switzer (Peachland, B.C.) fired a shot from the top of the left circle that snuck past Sims in the final seconds of the period to give the Wildcats a 3-1 advantage.
Providence cut the deficit in half just nine seconds into the third as Greg Collins tossed the puck on net from the left-side of the blue line. The puck took a strange bounce off the ice and past Foster to make it 3-2. Mark Fayne was credited with an assist on the goal. The Friars tied it on a power-play goal at in the third by Jon Rheault and took its first lead of the game just 11 seconds later as Norton tallied an even-strength goal.
However, the Wildcats had an answer and it came – once again – from Thompson, who scored off a fortunate rebound from a Fortney shot to tie it at 4-4 at .
Foster finished the night with a career-high 41 saves including 15 in the second stanza, while PC’s Sims had 33 saves.
New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 24 for non-conference action against BrownUniversity. Puck drops at at the WhittemoreCenter. Fans will be able to watch the game live online at UNHwildcats.tv or listen to the game on the UNH Sports Network.