DURHAM, N.H. - Trevor Smith (N. Vancouver, British Columbia), Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta) and Brad Flaishans (Glendale, Ariz.) each recorded a goal and an assist to lead the second-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Friday night's 5-1 Hockey East victory against the University of Massachusetts at the Whittemore Center.
UNH extended its winning streak to five games to improve to 18-3-1 overall and increase its Hockey East leading point total to 27 on a 13-1-1 league record. UMass, the only Hockey East team to defeat the 'Cats this season, is now 10-8-3, 7-6-1. The Wildcats tied the school record for the best start in the program's history, which was set in the 1999-2000 season.
Chris Murray (Dover, Mass.) was the fourth Wildcat with a multiple-point effort in the game on two assists, while UNH goaltender Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) recorded 27 saves and his second assist of the season.
UMass starting goalie Jon Quick played the initial 48:07 of the game and exited the game with a total of 22 saves and the Minutemen trailing 5-1. Dan Meyers went the rest of the way in net and was credited with three saves.
New Hampshire netted goals 87 seconds apart in the first period to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Smith gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 11:52. Murray initiated the scoring sequence with a pass from the defensive zone through the neutral zone along the right dashers. Fornataro lunged to sweep the puck from the right point to the slot, where Smith charged on to the loose puck, shifted to the forehand and tucked a low shot inside the left post.
Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario) scored his first collegiate goal at 13:19. Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) was denied on a shot from the right circle but LeBlanc was in front to score off the rebound. Flashains was also credited with an assist.
UMass pulled within 2-1 at 8:13 of the middle stanza on a power-play goal by Chris Capraro. Regan stopped Mike Kostka's initial shot from the left point, but Capraro collected the puck off the rebound in the left circle, maneuvered to the slot and fired a shot into the net. Mark Matheson also set up the tally.
New Hampshire once again struck with two quick goals - this time 2:47 apart - to built a 4-1 lead after two periods. Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) extended the advantage to 3-1 at 15:20 when he collected Murray's pass in the right circle, pulled up to evade a defenseman and then tucked a shot inside the right post; Regan's outlet pass to Murray began the play.
Fornataro, with a shot from the left circle inside the near post, gave the 'Cats a three-goal cushion at 18:07 after collecting Smith's pass from the slot.
Flashains capped the scoring at 2:45 of the third period. He skated the puck through the neutral zone along the left boards into the left corner and circled behind the net to the right point, where he surveyed the situation and lifted a shot into the upper-right corner of the net.