N. Andover, Mass. — Darren Haydar (Milton, ONT/Milton) and Jim Abbott (Mars, PA/St. Louis) picked up a goal and an assist each as No. 6 New Hampshire (15-4-4, 6-2-3) came away with a 4-1 win at Merrimack (10-12-1, 3-8-0). UNH scored two in the first and two in the third for the Hockey East win in front of 3,218 at the Volpe Center.
Haydar put in his team-leading 13th of the season 4:50 into the contest to give the Wildcats an early lead. Merrimack was set to go into the first break down 1-0 but let one slip in with just four seconds to play. After Warrior goaltender Joe Exter (Cranston, RI/Cushing) stopped a shot by Mike Lubesnick (Northbrook, IL/Sioux Falls), Abbott was there for the rebound and the Wildcats were up 2-0 after one.
Things went Merrimack's way early in the second with Anthony Aquino (Mississauga, ONT/Bramalea Provincial) pulling the Warriors within one at the 1:20 mark. Aquino snuck one in off Conklin's stick from behind the net for his fifth goal in the last five games.
UNH came out firing in the third, giving itself a two-goal cushion 2:12 into the period when Sean Austin (Malden, MA/DesMoines) netted his second of the season. Matt Swain (Oakville, ONT/Oakville) added his ninth of the year at 4:45 and the Wildcats went on to dominate the rest of the way. UNH out-shot Merrimack 13-6 in the third period and held a 32-29 advantage for the game.
Goaltender Ty Conklin (Anchorage, AK/Green Bay) stopped 29 shots as the Wildcats improved to 10-1-3 over their last 14 games. Exter finished with 28 saves as the Warriors dropped their third straight.
UNH and Merrimack will meet again tomorrow night in Durham, NH at 7 PM.