New Hampshire hockey blanks UMass Amherst, 6-0

AMHERST, Mass. - Colin Hemingway scored a pair of goals and Michael Ayers made 26 saves to lead No. 3 New Hampshire to a 6-0 victory over the University of Massachusetts in Hockey East action tonight at the William D. Mullins Center. The loss eliminates the Minutemen from Hockey East playoff contention.

New Hampshire opened the scoring with a power-play goal at the 13:14 mark of the first period. Colin Hemingway stuffed in a rebound of a Darren Haydar shot to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. Defenseman Garrett Stafford also assisted on the goal.

The Wildcats extended their lead to 3-0 with two quick goals early in the second period. Freshman Justin Aikins scored the first of the two goals 2:56 into the period. He scored off a feed from Ed Caron. Steve Saviano netted the second off a rebound of a Haydar shot. Sean Collins had the other assist on the goal.

New Hampshire added two more goals midway through the period. Hemingway scored his second of the game at the 8:37 mark. The shorthanded goal was assisted by Lanny Gare and Mike Lubesnick. They made the score 5-0 when Patrick Foley scored less than a minute later on a slapshot from the right faceoff circle. Caron assisted on the goal. Jim Abbott added a goal in the third period to make the final score 6-0.

Senior Mike Johnson (Excelsior, Minn.) and freshman Tim Warner (Waltham, Mass.) combined to make 25 saves in the net for Massachusetts. The victory improves New Hampshire to 23-6-3 overall and 15-4-3 in Hockey East, while the loss drops Massachusetts to 8-23-2 overall and 3-18-2 in Hockey East.

Massachusetts closes out the 2001-2002 season when it hosts Merrimack on Sunday, March 3, in a 4:00 p.m. game at the Mullins Center. UNH will face BC in a home-and-home weekend series on Saturday in Durham and Sunday afternoon in Chestnut Hill.

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