PROVIDENCE, R.I. — New Hampshire used three power-play goals to defeat Providence by a 5-1 score.
Providence coach Paul Pooley said, “They [UNH] had three power play goals and that was definitely the difference in the hockey game.”
New Hampshire coach Dick Umile said, “The power play definitely opened things up for us. They did a great job on special teams, the penalty kill included, and that won the game for us tonight.”
The Wildcats’ success on the man advantage translated from the strong play of their top line of Darren Haydar, Colin Hemingway, and Sean Collins, who combined for 4-8–12.
Once again, Haydar was the straw stirring the drink for UNH, assisting on four of the five goals of the evening. Collins was the beneficiary of Haydar’s tremendous play, netting two goals and adding two assists. Hemingway, not to be outdone, joined the top line in the second period and notched a goal to go along with three helpers.
Collins’ two goals, both on the power play, put the game away for the Wildcats. His first goal was a beautiful one timer off of a feed from Hemingway in the low slot. The eighth goal of the season for Collins gave the Wildcats a 3-1 lead to end the second period. He added to that tally, putting a Haydar rebound away for insurance at 4:44 in the third period.
The lone bright spot for the Friars came on the power play as well. Stephen Wood slid a pass along the board to Devin Rask who found Peter Fregoe at the faceoff dot. Fregoe walked in and fired a wrist shot between goalie Matt Carney and the far post for his sixth of the year. The tally came at 13:45 of the second.
Carney added a strong game in net for New Hampshire, stopping 27 of 28 Friar shots, many of those in close on the power play.
“A lot of people haven’t given Carney credit, but he has been great. He’s steady and playing with a lot of confidence. If we make a mistake, he makes a save and keeps the other team out of the game,” said Umile.
His most remarkable save of the night came on a breakaway in the second period. Providence had just scored a goal to creep within one. Jon DiSalvatore broke up a pass at the blue line and skated in all alone on Carney. The goalie dove to the ice on DiSalatore’s fake, but was able to stop the shot with an outstretched arm on the ice.
Pooley said, “Saves like that can change games. Two-two is a whole lot different than where we found ourselves. That stop on the breakaway gave them a huge lift and they were able to turn it into a three-one lead soon after.”
The win kept the senior netminder’s record unblemished at 4-0-2.
Nolan Schaefer stopped 36 saves in the loss for Providence.
New Hampshire (5-2-2, 4-1-2 HEA) looks to add to this win when it hosts a Thanksgiving tournament next weekend. Providence (4-7-0, 3-5-0 HEA) hopes to right the ship in its game on Tuesday with Union.