CANTON, N.Y. — Senior center Darren Haydar scored two goals and assisted on a third as New Hampshire held off St. Lawrence 5-4 at Appleton Arena Saturday night.
Haydar’s three-point night moved him into seventh on the all-time UNH scoring list with 176 points and enabled the fourth-ranked Wildcats to gain a split on their weekend trip to the North Country. St. Lawrence lost its fifth straight and sixth by a one-goal margin.
“Its easy to see why New Hampshire is off to such a great start,” said Saint coach Joe Marsh. “They are a very skilled offensive team which can create scoring opportunities in a big hurry. Hopefully we can take a lot of positive things out of this one. We scored some nice goals on the power play and had a strong third period, but [UNH goalie Mike] Ayers came up with some big saves to keep them in front.”
The Saints enjoyed a rare early lead when freshman Stace Page scored his first collegiate goal on a power play at 9:45 of the first period, but they didn’t enjoy it long as the Wildcats tied the game exactly one minute later on a power play of their own. Haydar scored his 12th of the season on a goalmouth deflection of Garrett Stafford’s blast from the point at 10:45.
That ignited a flurry of UNH goals as the Wildcats added two in the next 2:32 to make it a 3-1 lead after one period. Freshman Preston Callander scored his first collegiate goal on a shot along the ice right after a UNH power play had expired at 12:51, and freshman Justin Aikins scored his first collegiate goal at 13:17 on another redirection of a Stafford shot from the point.
St. Lawrence battled back to tie in the second period with the help of two five-on-three power-play goals. Page scored the first just 25 seconds into the period to cut the Wildcat lead to 3-2 and Russ Bartlett tied it with his third of the season when he put back a rebound off an Ayers save at 6:12.
UNH freshman Sean Collins scored his 12th goal of the year on a pretty move in front, tucking a backhand past Saint freshman goalie Mike McKenna at 14:09 to give the Wildcats a 4-3 lead after two periods.
Haydar scored the eventual game winner when he took a pass from Collins which went off the leg of a Saint defender and skated in on McKenna, putting a wrist shot in off the goalie’s glove just 43 seconds into the final period to make it 5-3.
The Saints scored their fourth power-play goal of the game with 11:08 to play when Robin Carruthers tucked his fourth of the season through Ayers’ pads, but that was as close as the Saints could get.
Ayers made 14 of his 28 saves in the third period as the Saints pulled out the stops in an effort to pull even; the Wildcats did not allow the Saints a shot on goal in the final 44 seconds with the Saint net empty for an extra attacker.