N. Andover, Mass. — Lanny Gare (Vernon, B.C.) scored with 59 seconds remaining in the third period to lift No. 10 New Hampshire (3-1-1, 2-0-1) to a 4-3 win over Merrimack (2-4-0, 0-3-0). Sean Collins (Reading, MA) and Darren Haydar (Milton, ONT) added a goal and an assist each as the Wildcats escaped with the Hockey East win in front of 2,934 at the Volpe Center. Ryan Cordeiro (Somerset, MA) scored two of Merrimack's three third period goals, which were scored over a span of less than two minutes but the host Warriors were unable to complete the comeback.
UNH took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when Collins fed Haydar as he was flying down the right side of the ice. Just before he reached the net, Haydar lifted the puck over the left shoulder of Warrior goaltender Joe Exter (Cranston, RI) for his fourth goal of the season. The Wildcats struck again with 54 seconds left to play in the first period. David Busch (Toronto, ONT) tipped in a shot from the point by defenseman Mike Lubesnick (Northbrook, IL) giving the Wildcats a 2-0 advantage after one. Collins netted the lone goal of the second period, scoring his fifth of the season at the 17:23 mark and the visitors had a comfortable three-goal lead.
Merrimack, which had been held scoreless for 107 straight minutes, stunned UNH with three straight goals within a span of one minute and 34 seconds. Cordeiro ended the drought, scoring at the 5:49 mark of the third period for the first Merrimack goal since an empty net score late in the third period two games ago. Anthony Aquino (Mississauga, ONT) pulled the Warriors within one just 26 seconds later. From center ice, Nick Parillo (Niskayuna, NY) led Aquino down the right side, leaving the junior forward with just UNH goaltender Michael Ayers to beat. Aquino then ripped a shot past Ayers on his stick side for his team-leading sixth goal of the season. Cordeiro tied the game one minute and seven seconds later, putting back a rebound off a Marco Rosa (Whitby, ONT) shot for his fourth goal of the year.
Colin Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) then set up the game-winner for UNH, feeding Gare in front of the net at 19:01 of the third period.
Ayers made 24 saves to pick up his first win of the season. Exter made 10 stops in the loss as UNH out-shot Merrimack 37-27 for the game.