PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The top line of Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.; 2g, 1a), Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.; 3a) and Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.; 1g, 2a) combined for three goals and six assists to lead the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Friday night's 5-2 Hockey East victory against Providence College at Schneider Arena. The teams complete the home-and-home series at Whittemore Center on Saturday (7 p.m.).
Sislo becomes the 68th member of the century club at UNH and the first since Bobby Butler did so at Schneider Arena on Jan. 22, 2010 in an overtime win over the Friars. Sislo becomes the first player from Wisconsin to ever earn this honor; his linemates are on also approach 100 points with Thompson at 97 and DeSimone at 94.
UNH improves to 14-5-4 overall and 12-2-2 in the conference and regains its share of first place with 26 points by virtue of an idle Boston College. Providence falls to 7-11-5, 3-9-4. New Hampshire is now 11-0-2 in its last 13 games against the Friars.
After a scoreless first, the teams combined for six goals in the second period. In the six-goal second it was the Wildcats coming out with a 4-2 advantage. New Hampshire's top line scored three times in the frame including a pair of goals from Thompson at 4:02 and 7:40 (both from DeSimone and Sislo) and a third by Sislo at 18:22 (from DeSimone and Thompson). Sislo's goal, the fourth UNH goal of the game coupled with a pair of assists on Thompson's tallies, gave him 100 career points. Thompson's goals were sandwiched by a Providence goal by Andy Balysky at 6:59. New Hampshire's third goal, the eventual game-winner, came from the left slot from freshman Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) at 11:19 with assists from Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) and Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, British Columbia). The Friars closed out scoring with a goal at 19:12 of the frame by Derek Army.
Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) capped scoring with an unassisted empty-net goal at 19:42 of the third period. The Friars held a 13-7 shot edge in the third.
In a scoreless first, both teams had chances to break the deadlock. Providence, which outshot UNH 15-8, took advantage of a pair of UNH penalties. The 'Cats best scoring chance came on a 2-on-1 breakaway with just under two minutes remaining in the frame as Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) attempted to slide the puck cross ice to a crashing Kevin McCarey (Baldwinsville, N.Y.), but the play was broken up by PC netminder Justin Gates.
Gates turned away 22 shots and moves to 1-2-0 on the season. His counterpart Matt DiGirolamo (Ambler, Pa.) stopped 35-of-37 shots and improves to 14-5-4.
The Friars were 0-3 on the power play and held a 37-27 shot edge, while UNH was 0-4 in its extra-skater opportunities.
New Hampshire and Providence complete its season series on Saturday night at the Whittemore Center. Puck drops at 7 p.m. Log on to www.UNHWildcats.com for more information on the game including tickets, live stats, live audio and live streaming video.