January 29, 2011

#7 UNH Men’s Hockey Skates Past Providence College, 5-1

DURHAM, N.H. – Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.), John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) and Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) all recorded a goal and an assist and Matt DiGirolamo (Ambler, Pa.) made 37 saves to lead the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Friday night's 5-1 Hockey East victory against Providence College at the Whittemore Center.

UNH completed the season series sweep of the Friars – the Wildcats have a 14-game unbeaten streak (12-0-2) overall in the series -- to improve to 15-5-4 overall and remain atop the Hockey East standings at 13-2-2. PC is now 7-12-5, 3-10-4.

The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal at 8:55 of the first period. Thompson carried the puck down the left wing and circled behind the net. Speelman, cutting through the right circle, one-timed a shot past PC netminder Alex Beaudry (26 saves).

UNH broke the game open by scoring four second-period goals for the second time in as many nights against the Friars. PC tied the game, however, at 1-1 just 59 seconds into the second stanza when Kyle MacKinnon's shot from the right circle went between DiGirolamo's leg pads. Ian O'Connor, with the drop pass, and Matt Germain were credited with assists.

The 'Cats regained the lead, 2-1, with a 5-on-3 power-play goal at 7:35 on Thompson's 20th goal of the season, which was set up by Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.), then extended the advantage to 3-1 less than three minutes later (at 10:22). Beaudry stopped Henrion's initial shot from the slot, but a diving effort by Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) at the top of the crease pushed the puck across the goal line.

UNH then scored goals 2:05 apart to quickly build a 5-1 lead. Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.)  carried the puck down the right wing and stuffed a shot inside the right post to put the 'Cats ahead 4-1 at 14:48. Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) and Connor Hardowa (Edmonton, Alberta) set up the goal. Henrion made it 5-1 at 16:53 when he curled behind the net to the left circle and wristed a shot into the cage. Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, British Columbia) and Matt Campanale (Chester Springs, Pa.) were credited with assists.

PC generated a 14-9 shot advantage in the scoreless third period. Their best scoring opportunity in the third came in the closing minutes on a power play when Derek Army wristed a shot from the right doorstep off the near post.

New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 4 (7:30 p.m.) at home against the University of Maine. Those teams face off again at the Whittemore Center on Feb. 5 (7 p.m.). Both "White out the Whitt" games will be televised on NESN.

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