No. 7 UNH men’s hockey edges UMass-Lowell, 3-2

Collins scores game-winning goal with 1:12 to play

Greg Collins

DURHAM, N.H. - Greg Collins (Fairport, N.Y.) scored with 1:12 remaining to break a 2-2 tie and lift the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Friday night's 3-2 Hockey East victory against the University of Massachusetts Lowell at the Whittemore Center.

UNH extended its winning streak to five games to improve to 7-3-1 overall and 6-1-0 in Hockey East. UML is now 3-7-0, 2-5-0.

The River Hawks' Jason Tejchma tied the score, 2-2, at 4:06 of the third period. Bobby Robins chipped the puck up the right dashers to the neutral zone, where Tejchma chased down the puck, raced behind the UNH defense and backhanded a shot that trickled into the net.

The score remained tied until 18:48, when Collins' shot from mid-ice along the right dashers took a couple of bounces, eluded UML goaltender Peter Vetri and went inside the right post. Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.), who made the pass out of the defensive zone to Collins, and Craig Swizter (Peachland, B.C.) were credited with assists.

UML called time out at that point and pulled Vetri in favor of an extra skater with 1:05 to play. The River Hawks did not record a shot before Vetri had to re-enter the game with 22 seconds remaining. He exited again 11 seconds later but the visitors did not get a shot the rest of the way. UNH goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak (Shrewsbury, Mass.) was credited with 31 saves, including two on a shorthanded breakaway in the second period. Vetri stopped 36 shots.

Despite being outshot 16-7 in the first period, the River Hawks led 1-0 at the first intermission. Mike Potacco scored off a return pass from Matt Walsh at 7:02 when his shot from deep in the left circle snuck between Pietrasiak's legs. Rene Gauthier, who battled for the puck at the left point and passed the puck forward to Potacco, set up the tally.

UNH scored the only two goals of the second period to take a 2-1 lead into the final frame. Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba) tied the score at 10:13. The initial shot from the high slot by Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) was blocked by a UML defenseman in front but, from a group of players surrounding the crease, Miflikier swiped the loose puck into the net. Craig Switzer (Peachland, B.C.) was also credited with an assist on the tally. Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) gave the 'Cats a 2-1 lead just more than two minutes later, at 12:21, when he maneuvered from the right wall to the slot between the circles and wristed a shot inside the right post. Chris Murray (Dover, Mass.) and Josh Ciocco (Atco, N.J.) were credited with assists.

UNH and UMass Lowell conclude the weekend home-and-home series Saturday night (7 p.m.) at Tsongas Arena. The next Wildcat home game is Sunday, Nov. 27 vs. Northeastern University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 1 p.m. Note: This game was originally scheduled for Nov. 26 (7 p.m.).

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