DURHAM, N.H. — Twelve different UNH players scored points Friday night as third ranked UNH defeated Providence, 6-4, at the Whittemore Center. Jacob MicFlikier got his fourth career hat trick and freshmen Bobby Butler scored the game winner in the victory.
Providence College, which has scored an average of just 1.87 goals per game tallied four on the evening, with Jon Rheault collecting a goal and an assist.
The Friars started off the scoring on the night at 10:21 of the first. Greg Collins scored an unassisted goal to give Providence a 1-0 lead. UNH was able to tie up the game at one a piece as Jacob MicFlikier scored his first goal of the night. Thirty seven seconds later, senior Shawn Vinz scored his fourth goal of the season off a Greg Collin’s rebound.
UNH would go into the middle stanza on top by one. The second period had five goals scored, three by Providence and two by UNH. Tony Zancanaro got credit for his fifth goal of the season after his original shot bounced off Kevin Regan’s glove and went into the net.
UNH would once again get a lead when MicFlikier scored his second of the night after being set up by line mates Brett Hemingway and Mike Radja.
One minute later Providence’s Jon Rheault scored from the right point. Assists were given to freshmen Mark Fayne and freshmen Chris Eppich. Providence then went on to score a power play goal. Cody Wild scored his fifth goal in ten games for Providence. Rheault and John Cavanagh received assists on the Wild goal.
The ‘Cats continued to put pressure on Tyler Sims and the hard work paid off. 1:25 after Providence’s power play goal Radja and Hemingway helped out MicFlikier to earn the hat trick on the night, and tie the game at 4 goals a piece.
“I’m excited that we won the game, it wasn’t pretty especially the way we played in the second period. Obviously we talked in between periods and the guys came out in the third and it was tied up and said it came down to a twenty minute hockey game and we have to play a lot better than we had played, so they came out in the third period and battled hard to win the game,” said UNH coach Dick Umile.
Going into the third period, Sims had made eighteen saves on the night, Regan had twenty three. Last Saturday night, Providence was down 3-0 to Northeastern and rallied back to tie them, and out shot them 22-2. PC would give the same effort in the final frame of tonight’s game firing 13 shots at Regan, which all were saved.
Just 2:02 into the third, the game winning goal was scored by Butler as he picked up a Trevor Smith pass and skated in on Sims and scored. New Hampshire would then go on top 6-4 as sophomore Thomas Fortney scored on Sims for his fourth of the year.
By the end of the game, Sims had 22 saves, Regan 36. Four different Wildcats had a multiple point game, and one Friar did. The Hockey East playoff picture is still shaping up, as Providence and Lowell battle for the final spot. With tonight’s win, New Hampshire clinched at least a share of the regular season championship.
UNH improves to 23-6-2, 18-4-2 in league play while Providence fell to 7-21-3, 6-15-3 in Hockey East. The two teams play tomorrow night at Schneider Arena at Providence. Game time is 7 p.m.