North Andover, MA - Colin Hemingway (Surrey, BC) and Jim Abbott (Mars, PA) each scored twice and Garrett Stafford (Los Angeles, CA) had three assists to lead No. 4 New Hampshire (20-7-4, 14-5-2) to a 6-1 win over Merrimack (12-14-5, 7-11-3). Patrick Foley (Milton, MA) and Nathan Martz (Chilliwack, BC) also scored for the Wildcats as they rolled to the Hockey East victory in front of 2,881 at the Volpe Center.
It was the 299th career victory for head coach Richard Umile, who is in his 13th season at UNH. Goaltender Mike Ayers (Hingham, MA) made 16 saves for his 19th win of the season. Merrimack's David Breen (North Andover, MA) broke up Ayers' shutout bid with his second career goal at the 18:30 mark of the third period.
Foley struck first for his seventh goal of the season at the 15:51 mark of the first period. Justin Aikins (South Surrey, BC) led Foley as he skated through the slot and the junior slid a backhand along the ice past Merrimack goaltender Joe Exter (Cranston, RI).
Martz put UNH up 2-0 with his 12th goal of the year 4:39 into the second period. After a feed from Steve Saviano (Reading, MA), Martz found himself alone on the doorstep and used a quick move to go around Exter on his stick side. Hemingway netted his first of the game at the 15:50 mark of the middle period, taking the puck the length of the ice before beating Exter.
Abbott scored his first of the game 6:06 into the final period after Stafford fed him from the opposite blue line and sent him in alone. Hemingway put the Wildcats up 5-0, taking advantage of a 5-on-3 situation when he one-timed a pass from Stafford at 8:26 of the third period. The final UNH goal came in another 5-on-3 situation for the Wildcats, with Abbott sending home a pass from Hemingway at the 15:48 mark.
Exter finished with 23 saves over the first 52:18 before being replaced by Casey Guenther (Boissevain, MN) who stopped seven shots. Merrimack was scoreless in four power play attempts while UNH went 3-for-5 with an extra man.