PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Senior captain Doug Sheppard scored a short-handed goal at 18:28 of the third period to lead the Providence College Friars to a 4-3 upset of second-ranked New Hampshire in HOCKEY EAST action on Saturday, February 12 at PC's Schneider Arena in Providence, R.I.
The Wildcats got on the scoreboard first with some nifty passing during the game's first power-play at 14:17 of the first period. Mike Souza and Darren Haydar passed back and forth before sending a centering pass to John Sadowski who one-timed a shot past Friar goaltender Boyd Ballard. PC evened the game at 18:35 of the first when Fernando Pisani fired a shot from the left side that deflected in the net on the short side. However, the Friars failed to play tight defense on a faceoff in their defensive zone with four seconds remaining in the first period and Mike Souza rifled a wrist shot past Ballard to give UNH a 2-1 lead.
Freshman Devin Rask led the PC offense in the second period, scoring two consecutive goals and giving the Friars their first lead of the game. Rask netted his first in a short-handed situation at 1:18 of the second and his second tally came off a backhander from five feet in front of the net at the 7:03 mark. UNH tied the game at 3-3 when Souza got an awkward rebound at the goal line and stuffed a shot in the net at 11:36 of the second period.
Both teams had a number of chances to take the lead in the third, but the winning goal came after Ballard stopped Darren Haydar on a break away. The rebound of Haydar's shot came off the boards and Fernando Pisani skated it up the ice creating a two-on-one when he feed the puck to Sheppard who lifted it over UNH goaltender Ty Conklin for the game winner.
Ballard played strong in net for the Friars, recording 32 saves and earning his ninth win of the season. Conklin made 24 stops in the loss for New Hampshire.
With the win, Providence improved to 15-14-1 overall and 7-11-0 in HOCKEY EAST. With the loss, New Hampshire fell to 19-6-5 overall and 11-4-5 in league action. The loss, combined with Friday's 6-2 defeat to Northeastern, marks the first time the Wildcats have lost back-to-back games since the 1997-98 HOCKEY EAST Quarterfinals.