Collins propels ‘Cats to tourney title with two goals, assist
DURHAM, N.H. - Sean Collins (Reading, Mass.) recorded two goals and an assist to lead the 10th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Sunday afternoon's 4-2 victory against St. Lawrence University in the championship game of the 8th Annual Ice Breaker tournament at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which also won the Ice Breaker in 2000 and became just the second home team to win the Ice Breaker (Denver in 1999), improved to 2-0-0. St. Lawrence, which also lost in the 1998 Ice Breaker championship game, is now 0-1-1.
With the score tied 2-2 through two periods, Collins netted goals 25 seconds apart early in the third period to break the tie and give the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish. A power-play goal off his own rebound in front at :55 came just 12 seconds after SLU was whistled for too many skaters on the ice.
Collins struck again, this time from the slot off a pass from Daniel Winnik (Mississauga, Ontario), at 1:20 to extend the advantage to 4-2. Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.) was credited with his second assist of the game on the play.
In his collegiate debut, New Hampshire goaltender Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) made 16 of his 36 saves in the third period as his stellar play preserved the two-goal lead. SLU goalie Mike McKenna, who was pulled in favor of an extra skater with 1:07 to play, made 31 saves.
Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) quickly gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead with his third goal of the tourney, a power-play goal at 1:05. Collins, who slid the puck across the crease to an open Hemingway at the left post, and Yandle were credited with assists.
The Saints took a 2-1 lead in the second period. Mike Madill tied the score, 1-1, at 6:33 when he rushed through the slot and poked a forehand into the net. Max Taylor put the Saints in front, 2-1, at 13:33 when he scored on his own rebound in front of the net. Josh Anderson set up the tally.
UNH pulled even, 2-2, with a 4x4 goal at 18:56 of the middle stanza. Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) drew the faceoff in the left circle back to Craig Switzer (Peachland, B.C.) at the point, and his shot was redirected into the goal by Josh Ciocco (Atco, N.J.).
UNH's Collins and Hemingway were named co-MVP of the Ice Breaker. They were joined on the All-Tournament Team by teammate Yandle, SLU's McKenna, Ohio State's Sean Collins and Dave Iannazzo of St. Cloud State.
UNH returns to action Oct. 15 (8 p.m.) at Michigan. The next Wildcat home game is Oct. 23 vs. Mercyhurst College. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.