DURHAM, N.H. - Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) tallied a goal and two assists for the 12th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team, but a late two-goal surge by Providence College allowed for a 4-4 tie on Friday evening at the Whittemore Center. The Wildcats move to 13-9-5, including 9-7-4 in Hockey East, while the Friars adjust to 7-16-4, 4-12-4 HE.
The Wildcats drew first on a goal by Alan Thompson (Derry, N.H.) at 9:42 of the opening period. Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) played the puck up the left side to Kevin Kapstad (Boxboro, Mass.), who centered the puck to Thompson. The senior forward beat Providence goalie, Alex Beaudry, five-hole for the second goal of his career.
Providence knotted the score, 1-1, with a goal by Kyle MacKinnon. Pierce Norton, at center ice, passed the puck to Ben Farrer at the left point, who fired a shot toward the goal. MacKinnon deflected the shot over Brian Foster's (Pembroke, N.H.) right shoulder at with just under 4:30 remaining in the first period.
Just before time expired in the first UNH scored to make it 2-1. The Wildcats, who were on the power play, pulled Foster for a 6-on-4 advantage. The opportunity paid off as Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) won the faceoff to back to Butler, who passed the puck across ice. Peter LaBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario), who was positioned at the left post, fired a one-timer into the net as the end of period horn sounded.
In the second period, the Wildcats extended the lead to two goals, 3-1, on a tally by Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) at 16:29. James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) had the puck at the right point and fed it to Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.). Pollastrone delivered it to the stick of Kessel, who one-timed it past Beaudry's weak side.
The Friars, however, cut the deficit to one goal, 3-2, with a goal by Matt Taormina with just over eight minutes remaining in the second period. The goal was assisted by David Brown and Nick Mazzolini.
The Wildcats, who went 2-for-3 on the power play, regained a two-goal lead, 4-2, just over a minute into the third period. Butler fired the puck past Beaudry after a pass from DeSimone from the top right circle to earn the 30th goal of his career.
Providence got within one goal once again, 4-3, just over five minutes into the final stanza. MacKinnon received a pass from Eric Baier and handled the puck the length of the ice then beat Foster stick side to earn his second tally of the game.
The Friars evened the score, 4-4, on a Pierce Norton goal with 4:32 left to play in regulation. MacKinnon won the faceoff on the left circle as Norton skated into the slot, collecting the puck where he fired it over Foster's left shoulder.
In a scoreless five-minute overtime, the Wildcats held a 6-0 advantage in shots. Overall, UNH held a 40-24 advantage in shots.
Overall, Foster turned away 20 shots including eight in the first period, while Beaudry had 36 saves including 13 in the first period.
The teams complete the home-and-home series on Saturday, Feb. 14 in Providence. Face-off at Schneider Arena is set for 7 p.m.