N. Andover, Mass. — Senior Mike Souza (Wakefield, MA/Wakefield) notched a goal and two assists to lead the Wildcats of University of New Hampshire over the Warriors of Merrimack College tonight at the Volpe Center by the score of 6-3. UNH goalie Ty Conklin (Anchorage, AK/Green Bay) recorded 23 saves in the evening, coming up big at times for the Wildcats for his 17th victory of the season between the pipes for UNH.
The Warriors drew first blood as senior defenseman Drew Hale (Arlington, MA/Sioux City Musketeers) recorded his first goal of the season taking a pass from junior forward Vincent Clevenger (West Chester, PA/Canterbury Prep) to give Merrimack an early 1-0. UNH knotted the game at one before the first intermission on a power play goal by Souza, his ninth goal of the season.
Junior Mark White (Woburn, MA/Avon Old Farms) gave UNH the lead on the second power play goal of the game for the Wildcats with eight minutes remaining in the second after a major penality was called on the Warriors. Merrimack goalie Cris Classen (Carrot River, SASK/Nipawin Hawks) kept the Warriors in the game notching 33 saves on the evening.
The third period proved to be a wild frenzy of scoring. UNH tacked on what was thought to be an insurance goal five minutes into the third when Tim Walsh (Concord, NH/Kimball Union) netted his second goal of the season. Merrimack brought the game within reach on a Tony White (Levak, ONT/Brockville Braves) slapshot from the point that beat Conklin to make the score, 4-2. The Warriors then caught UNH by surprise when Clevenger stuck the puck past the pad of Conklin 10 seconds later to bring Merrimack within one with 2:51 remaining in the game. That would be as close as the Warriors would get thanks to two goals by junior Matt Swain (Oakville, Ontario/Oakville) in the closing minutes, beating Merrimack goalie Jason Wolfe (College Park, MD/Niagara Scenics) who replaced Classen with six minutes remaining in the game.
Merrimack’s record falls to 8-13-1, 4-8-1 in Hockey East while UNH keeps in stride with their number one ranking, improving to 18-3-1, 10-1-1 in Hockey East. The Warriors will take on Umass-Amherst next Friday, January 21st in Amherst in the first game of the weekend series between the two teams. New Hampshire plays a pair of games against Northeastern next weekend with the Saturday night tilt at the Whittemore Center.