December 11, 2009

#19 MEN'S HOCKEY DOWNS PROVIDENCE, 4-3

PROVIDENCE, R.I – Five skaters recorded multiple points to lift the 19th-ranked University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team to a 4-3 win over Providence College in Friday night’s Hockey East action at Schneider Arena.

The Wildcats, which extend their unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1) heading into the holiday break, improve to 8-7-3, 8-2-2 and first place in Hockey East. The Friars are now 7-8-1 overall, 2-6-1 in Hockey East play. UNH, which has now won four-straight overall, is 7-0-2 in the last nine games against Providence and close out the month of December perfect for the second-straight year.

Phil DeSimone
(East Amherst, N.Y. – 1g, 1a), Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass. – 1g, 1a), Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H. – 1g, 1a), Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, British Columbia – 2a) and Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass. – 2a) all recorded multiple points, while sophomore netminder Matt DiGirolamo (Ambler, Pa.) stopped 32 shots including 13 in the final stanza to earn his first win as a starter and second win overall.

Trailing 1-0 entering the second period, the Wildcats scored three times in the second frame to take a 3-1 lead into the intermission. New Hampshire tied it up at 6:13 of the period. Butler intercepted PC’s clearing attempt at the top of the blue line and fed the puck down to the left boards to DeSimone. DeSimone made a centering pass to Thompson, who beat PC netminder Alex Beaudry on the right side of the net. UNH took its first lead of the game just under two minutes later, netting a short-handed tally at 8:11. Moses stole the puck in the top of the defensive zone and raced down the ice making a cross ice pass to DeSimone, who buried the one-timer. Kipp started the play and was credited with the secondary assist. New Hampshire’s third goal came as Butler flipped the puck from behind the net off the back of PC goalie Beaudry and into the net at 19:01. The play was setup by Thompson and Kipp, who were credited with assists. UNH held a 13-7 shot advantage in the period and led it 3-1. It marked the fifth time this season New Hampshire scored three goals or more in the second period and added to its league-leading 30 second-period tallies.

PC cut the lead in half at 3-2 as Jordan Kremyr scored on a second-chance effort at 9:59 of the third period. The goal was assisted by Aaron Jamnick and Chris Eppich. The Wildcats regained its two-goal advantage as Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario) scored on the rebound of his own shot at 12:59 of the period. Moses and Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) were credited with the helpers on the eventual game-winner. The Friars would answer with a goal of their own at 16:06 of the third that made it 4-3. MacKinnon scored his second of the night with an assist from Ian O’Connor. PC, however, could not net the equalizer in the final 1:35 of the game with the goalie pulled. The Friars held a 15-6 shot advantage in the final frame.

Providence struck first at 6:30 of the first period with a power play goal from Kyle MacKinnon. The goal was setup by Matt Bergland and John Cavangh. The Friars held a 13-9 shot advantage. PC was 1-2 on the power play during the period, while UNH was 0-3 on the power play under the period.

DiGirolamo improves to 1-0-0 on the season, while Alex Beaudry falls to 6-6-1 despite turning away 24 shots including 10 in the second period.

Providence was 1-4 on the power play, but allowed one UNH short-handed goal. The Wildcats were 0-6 in their extra-skater opportunities.

UNH’s next game is in 22 days as the team takes a break for final exams and the holidays. The Wildcats return home after the holiday break on Sunday, Jan. 3 (3 p.m.) against Cornell University. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

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