DURHAM, N.H. -- Junior Colin Hemingway (Surrey, British Columbia) recorded his first career hat trick to lead the top-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to a 6-2 victory over Northeastern Saturday night at the Whittemore Center.
Hemingway tallied goals in each of the first, second and third periods to raise his season total to 25 as UNH (21-6-3, 13-4-3), remained atop the Hockey East standings with 29 points, one-point ahead of second-place Boston University. The Terriers beat UMass-Lowell, 5-3 Saturday. Northeastern, which was outshot 47-29 on the night, fell to 17-12-3, 10-8-2 in Hockey East, but remained one-point ahead of Lowell in the race for home ice.
The Wildcats broke open a tight game with three goals in the third. Up 3-2, freshman Sean Collins (Reading, Mass) gave UNH its first two-goal lead of the night when he banked a wrister past Northeastern goaltender Keni Gibson (42 saves) and off the crossbar for his 17th of the year at 5:43. Preston Callander (Regina, Sask.) tallied his fourth of the year at 11:25 of the third to make it 5-2 and Hemingway followed with an empty-netter at 16:31 for his fourth goal in two nights and a 6-2 UNH lead. Callandar, Nathan Martz (Chilliwack, B.C.), Jim Abbott (Mars, Pa.), Lanny Gare (Vernon, B.C.) and Darren Haydar (Milton, Ontario) each had two-point nights for UNH.
Northeastern took its only lead of the night, 2-1 at 1:58 of the second period when defenseman Donny Grover wristed a tough-angle shot from the boards that was deflected in by a UNH defenseman. The lead lasted for just 1:19 when Callander fed Martz in front to make it 2-2. UNH netminder Matt Carney (Bridgewater, Mass.) stopped NU forward Mike Ryan's breakway bid with a sprawling save shortly after Martz's tally and UNH then rushed up ice, eventually scoring on Hemingway's follow of his own rebound to grab a 3-2 lead at 4:24. Carney (27 saves) preserved the slim one-goal lead late in the period when he robbed Northeastern's Eric Ortlip point-blank with a sprawling save.
The two teams traded goals in the first period, although the Huskies hit two posts in a 15-second span midway through. Northeastern's Mike Ryan hit the left post on a clean breakaway about nine minutes in. Moments later, NU's Trevor Reschny took a centering pass in the slot, and with Carney down, clanged a shot off the right post. The Wildcats got on the scoreboard soon after on Hemingway's first of the night on the power play at 12:35, but the Huskies tied it at 14:54 when Carney mishandled Jim Fahey's shot from the left point and let the puck slip out of his glove in front of the goal mouth. Brian Tudrick tapped it in to make it a 1-1 game.
The Wildcats return to action Friday night (2/22) when they host UMass-Lowell at the Whittemore Center at 7 p.m.
Note: Haydar's two helpers moved him into the Top 10 on UNH's all-time assists list. The Hobey hopeful has 105 career assists, tied for ninth with Peter Herms.