MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Junior Colin Hemingway (Surrey, British Columbia) had two goals and four assists and classmate Josh Prudden (Andover, Mass) also scored twice as the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team captured the Riverstone with a 6-3 victory over Dartmouth College Thursday night in front of a record-breaking crowd of 10,053 at the sold-out Verizon Wireless Center.
The game marked the largest crowd ever to witness an indoor collegiate sporting event in state history, topping the mark of 7,272 set recently when the University of Florida Gators took on UNH in men's basketball Nov. 28 at the Whittemore Center in Durham.
Hemingway's four assists and six points were both career-highs while Prudden also set a career-high with three points (two goals, one assist). Lanny Gare (Vernon, British Columbia) also had three assists for UNH, which improved to 11-3-2 overall (6-1-2 Hockey East). Dartmouth dropped to 4-4-1 overall (3-2-1 ECAC).
Tied 2-2 after one, UNH outscored the Big Green 4-1 in the middle period to take control. Freshman Sean Collins (Reading, Mass.) started the scoring with his team-leading eighth power-play goal of the season 32 seconds into the period. Hemingway slid a perfect pass through the legs of a Dartmouth defender to Collins, who tapped it in for his 13th of the year. UNH took a 4-2 when Hemingway tallied his second of the night at 1:38. After a goal by Dartmouth's Lee Stempniak made it 4-3 at 2:20, Prudden scored his second of the game at 9:53 of the second period to make it a 5-3 hockey game. Senior captain Darren Haydar (Milton, Ontario), who led the nation in scoring with 33 points entering the game, increased UNH's lead to 6-3 with his 14th of the year at 12:49. Haydar finished with one goal and one assist.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead at 10:20 of the first period when Prudden, just out of the penalty box, collected a loose puck in the high slot and lofted a wrister over the left shoulder of Big Green netminder Nick Boucher. Dartmouth tied it at 1-1 on a goal from Mike Murray at 16:10. The Big Green would grab a 2-1 lead at 17:57 when Kent Gillings won a face in the UNH zone back to senior captain Mike Maturo (one goal, one assist), who fired a slapshot topshelf past Wildcat netminder Matt Carney (Bridgewater, Mass.) for his team-leading seventh goal of the year. Hemingway tied the score at 2-2 with his first of the night just 24 seconds after Maturo's goal.
Carney finished with 34 saves in improving to 7-1-2 on the season. Senior netminder Tim Collins (Lebanon, NH) saw his first action of the season in net for the Wildcats, and played the final 2:48 of the third, making his first career save. Boucher (21 saves) played the first 34:31 for Dartmouth and allowed all six goals before giving way to Dan Yacey, who shut out the 'Cats for the final 25:29. The Wildcats finished with a 48-38 advantage in shots on goal.
UNH returns to action Dec. 27-28 during the Bank One Badger Showdown at the Bradley Center in Miwaukee, Wis. The 'Cats battle Colorado College on Thursday (12/27) and will face either Brown or Wisconsin on Friday (12/28).