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DURHAM, N.H. - Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) recorded 37 saves, including 17 in the third period, to tie the University of New Hampshire career victories benchmark of 58 and propel the eighth-ranked Wildcats to Saturday night's 5-3 Hockey East victory against fifth-ranked University of Massachusetts in men's hockey action at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which swept the home-and-home series vs. UMass to extend its league winning streak to four games, is now 13-6-1 overall and 9-4-1 in Hockey East. UMass, which lost consecutive games for the first time this season, is 9-5-5, 4-4-4.
Regan, with his 11th win this season, tied the program record for career wins established by Michael Ayers (2000-04). UMass counterpart Paul Dainton finished with 25 saves.
James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) and Greg Collins (Fairport, N.Y.) both finished with a goal and an assist for the Wildcats while Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.) and Joe Charlebois (Potsdam, N.Y.) tallied two assists.
New Hampshire led 5-2 at the start of the third period and UMass' final-frame pressure resulted in a Cory Quirk power-play goal with 3:02 to play as he redirected P.J. Fenton's shot from the high slot; Justin Braun initiated the sequence with a pass from the left circle.
The Minutemen's frenzy continued into the closing minutes and James Marcou's shot from the low shot sailed high of the crossbar. Dainton was pulled in favor of an extra skater with 55 seconds to play and the visitors called time out with 51.3 on the clock. The next 20 seconds featured Marcou's blast from the right point that went wide of the far post and then consecutive shots turned aside by Regan from Michael Lecomte, Fenton and Justin Braun. Lecomte's shot from the slot headed for an open net was blocked by UNH's defense to preserve the two-goal lead.
UNH finally cleared the puck from its defensive zone with 10 seconds remaining.
Kevin Kapstad (Boxboro, Mass.) gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead at 5:53 of the first period when corralled the puck in the slot off a rebound, shifted to the left to avoid a defenseman and fired a shot into the open left side of the net. Sislo, with the initial shot from deep in the right circle, and Thomas Fortney (Webster Groves, Mo.), who made the outlet pass through the neutral zone to Sislo, set up the tally.
The teams combined to produce six goals in the second period and UNH took a 5-2 advantage into the second intermission. The Minutemen pulled even, 1-1, at 1:22 when P.J. Fenton netted an extra-attacker goal on a delayed penalty with a screened shot from the right point. Michael Kostka, with the pass from the left circle, set up the tally.
UNH reclaimed the lead 58 seconds later when Collins threw the puck at the net from the left corner and it caromed into the net off Dainton. UMass once again leveled the score when Kostka scored a power-play goal from the top of the crease at 3:52. James Marcou, with the initial shot from the left doorstep, and Quirk were credited with assists.
The scoring barrage continued at 6:26 when UNH's vanRiemsdyk scored a 4x4 breakaway goal by deking Dainton in the low slot and tucking a shot between his leg pads. Charlebois made the outlet pass from the Wildcats' defensive zone to spring vanRiemsdyk behind the defense.
The 'Cats gained their first two-goal lead of the night, 4-2 at 12:23 when Danny Dries (Lake Orion, Mich.) swept a loose puck in the crease into the net. Jamie Fritsch (Odenton, Md.), with the initial shot, and Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) set up the goal.
Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) scored a power-play goal at 15:46 to give UNH a 5-2 advantage. In a 2-on-1 rush, vanRiemsdyk's initial shot was stopped by Dainton but Butler chipped in the rebound. Charlebois' outlet pass set up the odd-man rush.
The Wildcats return to action on Saturday, Jan. 19 (7 p.m.) when they compete in the seventh annual Battle for the RiverStone against in-state rival Dartmouth College at Verizon Wireless Arena. The game will be broadcast by WMUR-TV.