Senior Mike Radja posts Hat Trick and assist for Wildcats

Mike Radja notched a hat trick and an assist for the Wildcats

DURHAM, N.H. - Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) and Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta) both recorded four points to lead the eighth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team to Saturday night's 5-2 non-conference victory against Brown University at the Whittemore Center.

UNH, which has won seven straight in the series vs. the Bears dating back to the 1988-89 season, improved to 7-2-1 overall. Brown, winless in four games (0-3-1), is now 1-4-3.

Radja recorded career highs in both goals - with his first career hat trick - and points. Fornataro established personal bests in both assists and points as all four of his points on the night were assists. James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.; goal, assist) and Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.; two assists) also had multiple-point games for the Wildcats.

UNH goaltender Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) made 28 saves, including 11 in the second period. At the other end of the ice, Brown netminder Dan Rosen stopped 32 shots with 14 saves in the middle stanza.

The Wildcats struck twice in 37 seconds to quickly take a 2-0 lead early in the first period. Radja netted his fourth goal of the season at 4:17 when he snapped a wrist shot from the slot into the net. Fornataro, with the pass to Radja from the left circle, and DeSimone were credited with assists.

Jamie Fritsch (Odenton, Md.) extended the advantage to 2-0 at 4:54 when his shot from the top of the right circle sailed into the upper-left corner of the net. DeSimone, who made the drop pass from the faceoff circle, and Fornataro set up the tally.

Brown did not capitalize on its power-play opportunity at 6:36, but moments later the Bears generated a flurry in which Regan denied David Brownschidle and Sean Hurley, then Jesse Fratkin fired a shot wide of the net.

The 'Cats threatened to add to their two-goal lead with 7:45 remaining in the opening stanza, which was near the end of their power play. Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) was stopped by Rosen, as were Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario) and Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.) off the rebound.

UNH took that 2-0 lead and a 12-8 shot advantage into the second period, but the Bears pulled within 2-1 by netting the only goal of the middle stanza at 10:15 when Jordan Pietrus' shot from the slot trickled past Regan into the net. Chris Poli and Ryan Garbutt were credited with assists.

The Wildcats went on their third power play of the night shortly thereafter and generated dangerous opportunities, but Rosen turned aside all three shots he saw in that two-minute span.

Brown opened the third period with 39 seconds remaining in its fourth power-play opportunity but did not threaten. The Wildcats netted three special teams' goals - a 5x3 power-play goal, a power-play tally and a shorthanded strike - to build a 5-1 lead.

Radja scored his second goal of the game at 4:44 when Brad Flashains' (Glendale, Ariz.) initial shot from the high slot sailed wide of the net, vanRiemsdyk collected the puck behind the net and four Rajda at the right post.

The 'Cats netted a power-play goal at 10:13 to take a 4-1 lead as Fornataro's shot from the left circle deflected off vanRiemsdyk into the net. Radja was also credited with an assist on the play.

Radja completed his hat trick at 12:31 when he snapped a wrist shot from the slot into the upper-left corner of the net. Fornataro and Kevin Kapstad (Boxboro, Mass.) set up the shorthanded tally.

Brown's Piertrus scored his second goal of the night at 14:09 to close the scoring as his shot from between the faceoff circles went under the crossbar. Sean Hurley was credited with an assist.

New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 30 (7 p.m.) vs. the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Videostreaming will be available online at UNHwildcats.tv.