AMHERST, Mass. - Senior forward P.J. Fenton had a hand on each of UMass' goals, scoring a career high four points with one goal and three assists, as the #10 UMass hockey team defeated #7 New Hampshire, 4-1 on Friday night at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen remain undefeated at home (4-0-3) and improve to 7-3-5 overall and 4-2-4 in Hockey East. UNH now stands at 8-4-1 overall and 5-4-1 in Hockey East. The Minutemen stretched their unbeaten streak to 13 (9-0-4.)
The game was decided in the second period when UMass tallied the first two goals of the game. Senior defenseman David Leaderer (Rochester, N.Y.) put home the rebound on a shot from junior forward Chris Davis (Simsbury, Conn.) at the 3:17 mark in the period to start the scoring. Fenton (Longmeadow, Mass.) also assisted on the goal. At 12:37 into the period Freshman forward Michael Lecomte (St. Hyacinthe, Quebec) gave UMass a 2-0 advantage after taking a pass from freshman forward James Marcou (Kings Park, NY) right in between the faceoff circles. Lecomte wristed the shot past sophomore goaltender Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) with Fenton also tallying his second assist of the night.
Despite peppering UMass freshman goaltender Paul Dainton (Genelle, British Columbia) with 18 shots in the second period, UNH only managed to slip a power play goal past him. Assisted by senior defenseman Craig Switzer (Peachland, British Columbia) and senior defenseman Brad Flaishans (Glendale, Ariz.), senior forward Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) pushed home UNH's only goal of the night from right in from of the crease with 3:36 remaining in the period. The goal ended a shutout stretch of 142:52.
UMass put the game away in the third period with two power play goals. At the 4:56 mark, Davis made a pass to sophomore forward Will Ortiz (Framingham, Mass.) who put a slap shot on net. Fenton was there in front to tip it past Foster for to give UMass a 3-1 lead. Junior forward Cory Quirk iced the game with at the 12:35 mark on a ppower play goal assisted by Fenton and Marcou. UMass outshot UNH 12-9 in the period.
The game got off to a slow start in the first period with UMass and UNH combining for just 13 shots on goal (seven and six, respectively.) UNH missed an opportunity to take an early lead when they failed to convert on the five-minute major assessed to freshman forward Chase Langeraap (Cayuga, Ontario) for hitting from behind. Langerapp also received a game misconduct. During the power play, Ortiz received a slashing penalty, giving UNH a two-man advantage for a full two minutes, which UMass successfully killed off.
There were plenty of penalties issued in the game, with UMass taking 9-for-29 minutes, and UNH 10-for-20 minutes. In the second period coincidental minors for hitting after the whistle filled the penalty boxes with three players in each. Penalties proved to be costly for UNH in the final period as they took 5-for10 minutes and UMass went 2-for-3 on the power play.
UNH outshot UMass 33-31, but Dainton made 32 saves to Foster's 27. UMass is now 7-0-2 when scoring three or more goals this year and 38-0-1 in their last 39 games when scoring four or more goals.
The Minutemen will head to Tampa, Fla. for the Lightning College Hockey Classic at the St. Pete Times Forum on December 29 and 30. They will return to the Mullins Center on Friday, January 11 to face UNH once again.