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AMHERST, Mass. - Bobby Butler netted two goals to lead New Hampshire to a 4-2 win over the No. 14/10 UMass hockey team on Saturday night at the Mullins Center. Will Ortiz and Martin Nolet scored goals for the Minutemen, while Paul Dainton made 14 saves in goal. Brian Foster made 33 saves for the Wildcats (3-6-2, 3-2-1 HEA). The Mass Attack will be back in action next Thursday when they will travel to New Haven, Conn. to faceoff against Yale. Gametime is scheduled for 7 PM.
Butler's goals Saturday were his seventh and eighth against the Minutemen for his career. For the second time this weekend, both teams took minimal penalties, with each squad going 0-for-1 on the power play. Massachusetts also outshot the Wildcats 35-18 for the game.
The teams played an even and clean first period, with New Hampshire holding the edge in shots, 8-7. The Wildcats, however, were able to poke home a goal with 3:31 remaining in the frame to take the 1-0 heading into the locker room. Butler netted his second goal of the weekend late in the stanza when he gathered his own rebound and front of the crease and batted the puck past Dainton for his eighth goal of the season.
The Minutemen also had several scoring chances throughout the period, but Foster was there to preserve his team's early lead.
The scoring picked up during the second period, with both teams scoring twice. Massachusetts also outshot the Wildcats 20-4 throughout the frame. Will Ortiz netted his third goal of the season four minutes into the stanza when he snapped a shot from right above the hash marks that beat Foster. Justin Braun and Martin Nolet were credited with assists on the play.
Peter LeBlanc answered with his fourth goal of the year just 44 seconds following Ortiz's marker. LeBlanc took a pass from Blake Kessel and skated in on Dainton. LeBlanc started to draw the puck across the crease, but quickly brought it back to the right post and stuffed it under Dainton's pads.
New Hampshire took a two goal lead with six minutes to play in the period on Butler's second goal of the evening. After Kessel took a shot from the point that was initially saved by Dainton, the puck squirted out to the left faceoff dot where Butler knocked it past Dainton for his ninth goal of the year.
The Minutemen brought it back to a one-goal game with 1:35 remaining in the period. Nolet gathered a pass from Michael Lecomte in the slot, and Nolet ripped a shot through Foster for his third goal of the season.
Although the Minutemen outshot the Wildcats 8-6 during the third period, it was New Hampshire who netted an insurance goal. Mike Sislo put the Wildcats on top for good with eight minutes remaining in regulation off a nice feed from LeBlanc. LeBlanc skated down the left side of the ice before threading a pass over to Sislo on the doorstep for the tap-in goal.
Massachusetts had some chances to get back into the game, but Foster turned away each Minuteman bid.