MILWAUKEE, WISC. - The University of New Hampshire men's hockey team defeated Colorado College, 6-2 in the opening game of the Bank One Badger Showdown in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to advance to the championship game.
Junior forward Lanny Gare (Vernon, B.C.) scored the game winner at 13:33 of the third period to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead. Senior captain Darren Haydar (Milton, Ont.) came in on the left side and bounced a shot off of Colorado College goalie Jeff Sangers pads and Gare trailing the play picked up the rebound for the 'Cats third goal of the game. Haydar posted one goal and two assists to stay in the second spot in the national scoring race with 38 points in 17 games. Haydar trails St. Cloud State forward Mark Hartigan by two points, Hartigan has 40 points in 20 games played.
With the victory the Wildcats improve to 12-3-2 overall, while Colorado College drops to 9-7-1 on the season. Haydar, senior forward David Busch (Toronto, Ont.) and freshman forward Ed Caron (Hudson, N.H.) all recorded insurance goals in the third session to seal the victory for UNH.
At the 13:00 mark of the second period, freshman forward Justin Aikins (South Surrey, B.C.) tied the game for the Wildcats after Busch stole a pass in the slot and skated down the right wing and fed Aikins on the left slot beating Tiger goalie Jeff Sanger blocker side.
UNH got on the board early nine seconds in the second with a power play tally by freshman forward Sean Collins (Reading, Mass.) after getting a pass from senior captain Darren Haydar (Milton, Ont.) who came down the left wing and make a cross ice pass to UNH's leading freshman scorer.
Senior defenseman Mike Stuart opened the scoring with his seventh goal of the season for Colorado College at the 15:29 mark of the first period. Stuart's shot sailed over the right shoulder of senior goalie Matt Carney (Bridgewater, Mass.), teammates Joe Cullen and Alex Kim were credited with helpers on the goal.
Carney made 39 saves for the Wildcats in the win, while senior Jeff Sanger recorded 27 saves for Colorado College. The 'Cats went two for five on the power play, while the Tigers were 0 for four. UNH was outshot 41-33 in the game and they now have scored 36 goals in their last seven games.
UNH will play Brown on Friday, December 28 in the Bank One Badger Showdown championship game at 9 p.m. EST.