DURHAM, N.H. - Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) scored two goals, including his team-leading 11th, and added an assist, but the third-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team suffered a 6-5 loss to Providence College in Saturday night's Hockey East clash at the Whittemore Center.
UNH saw its record slip to 14-5-2, including 9-4-1 in Hockey East, while Providence upped its mark to 10-9-3, 8-5-2 in HEA play.
John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) marked his 22nd birthday with a goal and an assist, while Casey Thrush (Easton, Md./goal, assist), Justin Agosta (East Meadow, N.Y./two assists) and Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa./two assists) added multiple-point efforts.
The Friars parlayed a Wildcat turnover into the game's first goal at 5:23 of the first period. Ross Mauermann stole the puck just inside the UNH blue line and fed Shane Luke along the left wall; Luke blistered a slap shot by Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) for his third goal of the season to give PC a 1-0 lead. The Wildcats outshot the Friars, 13-8, in the opening stanza, but Providence killed off two 'Cat power-play opportunities to bring the one-goal lead to the intermission.
Providence increased its lead to 2-0 just 49 seconds into the second period when Luke dropped the puck back to Brandon Tanev, who beat DeSmith with a wrist shot for his third goal of the season. Nick Saracino also tallied an assist on the play.
Saracino made it 3-0 at 3:25 of the second with his third goal of the season, courtesy of a give-and-go with Mauermann. Myles Harvey was also credited with an assist.
The Friars took a 4-0 lead at 8:29 of the period when Derek Army scored his ninth goal of the season, assisted by John Gilmour and Steven Shamanski.
UNH finally got on the scoreboard at 10:52 of the second on Henrion's eighth goal of the season. Goumas wrapped around the cage and directed a shot on PC goalie Jon Gillies that deflected to Henrion in the right circle. The senior right wing buried the rebound in the net to slice PC's lead to 4-1. Goumas and Agosta notched the assists.
Jeff Wyer (Reading, Mass.), who replaced DeSmith after the Friars' fourth goal, was in net when Army scored his second goal of the night and 10th of the year at 12:01 of the middle frame for a 5-1 lead.
The Wildcats scored the second period's sixth and final goal on the power play at 17:03. Henrion slid a pass from the left wing to a rushing Goumas, who deposited the puck into the net for his 10th goal of the season and a 5-2 deficit. Knodel also assisted on the goal.
PC outscored UNH, 4-2, in the second period despite the Wildcats' 14-12 shot advantage in the frame.
UNH drew within 5-3 at 2:53 of the third period when Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) swatted a loose puck in the crease past Gillies for his fifth goal of the season. Thrush and Scott Pavelski (Plover, Wis.) racked up assists.
The Friars reclaimed a three-goal advantage 56 seconds later when Kyle Murphy registered his third goal of the season at 3:47 to make it 6-3.
Thrush trimmed Providence's advantage to 6-4 at 14:04 of the third on an unassisted goal, his third. The fourth-line winger slipped a quick wrist shot past Gillies moments after jumping on the ice and scooping up a loose puck on the left-wing side.
After pulling Wyer for an extra attacker, the Wildcats cut the deficit to 6-5 on Goumas' second goal of the night and team-leading 11th of the season at 19:47. Agosta set up Goumas with a pretty backhand pass, with Knodel supplying the secondary assist.
The Wildcats posted a 15-7 shot advantage in the third period and a 42-27 edge in the contest. UNH went 1-for-4 on the power play, and PC was 1-for-2 in PP opportunities.
Gillies made 37 saves for the victory to improve his record to 10-7-2; Wyer, whose record now stands at 1-1, stopped 10 shots in the loss; DeSmith added 11 saves.
Providence, which hadn't won on Whittemore Center ice since March 12, 2004, snapped a 10-game losing streak and 17-game winless string in the all-time series dating back to Feb. 24, 2007.
UNH next takes to the ice for a road game at Merrimack on Friday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.unhwildcats.com.