DURHAM, N.H. — The fourth-ranked University of New Hampshire Wildcats edged No. 14 Providence 4-3 at the Whittemore Center Saturday night. New Hampshire netted three points on the weekend and increased their unbeaten streak in league play to 11 games (10-0-1). Mike Radja scored the game winner and had an additional two assists on the night. Freshmen Danny Dries also had three points for the ‘Cats.
With the game tied at 3-3 in the final period, New Hampshire got a power play for five minutes after Pierce Norton received a game misconduct for hitting from behind. With three minutes left in the game, Radja beat Tyler Sims at the right circle from a pass from Craig Switzer.
“Tonight we bounced back and played a little bit better started off the game a lot better than I thought we did last night,” UNHs Dick Umile said. “We were fortunate with the major penalty at the end after they tied us up. Radja’s just been on fire scoring, so it was a great goal by him. It was a good physical weekend and playoff kind of hockey and we came out with three points so we’re pleased, obviously.”
New Hampshire built a 2-0 lead in the first period. Defensemen Joe Charlebois started the scoring for UNH. Charlebois took a shot from the blue line which made its way past Sims. UNH increased their lead to 2-0 on a power play. Matt Fornataro received a Mike Radja pass at the right post and scored.
Providence notched a power-play goal and an even-strength goal in the middle stanza to tie the contest.
Norton scored both goals for the Friars. His first came from the slot on a power play and on his second, he received a Joe Levin pass and rifled it in.
UNH freshmen Mike Sislo broke the tie game at 15:48 of the second. Jamie Fritsch’s shot from the blue line was blocked, but Greg Collins fired the rebound, which was initially saved by Sims. Sislo then redirected Collin’s rebound into an open net for the goal.
With Providence down by one going into the third, Jordan Kremyr knocked in a rebound off a Kyle MacKinnon shot from the left circle at 11:28, setting the stage for Radja’s game winner after Norton’s penalty.
“You can’t hit from behind; you gotta hold up,” Friars’ coach Tim Army said. “The call was accurate; it was a five minute major. I thought we did a good job killing and the problem with any team, you’re giving good players too many opportunities to touch the puck and that’s what happened.”
New Hampshire returns to action next weekend with a home-and-home series against Boston College. Providence is slated for a home and home series with Merrimack College.