DURHAM -- The University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team entered its home-and-home series with No. 11 Providence looking to button up its play on the penalty kill. That will likely again be a point of emphasis for the Wildcats during practice this week.
The Friars scored two goals, including the game-winner, on the power play and another shortly after a man advantage in their 5-1 triumph over UNH Saturday night at the Whittemore Center.
The Friars (14-6-5, 8-5-2 Hockey East) took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission behind freshman Patrick Moynihan’s go-ahead power-play goal that came with 9:14 left in the frame. Moynihan tallied his ninth career goal on a rebound bid following a Michael Callahan blast from the high slot.
Greg Printz capped the game’s scoring with 2:28 remaining when he notched his second goal of the game on Providence’s fourth power-play opportunity.
Providence, which entered Saturday with the second-best power-play percentage in Hockey East (26.8), also scored two power-play goals against the Wildcats in a 4-3 home loss on Friday.
UNH (12-9-1, 6-6-0) has allowed 19 power-play goals over its past 15 games and at least one in each of its past six bouts. The Wildcats’ 73.4 penalty-kill percentage entering Saturday ranked last in the 11-team Hockey East.
UNH went 2-for-4 on the penalty kill and 0-for-3 on the power play.
Printz also redirected a Jack Dugan shot past UNH sophomore goaltender Ty Taylor 9:46 into the second period to build a 3-1 Friars advantage.
Printz’s first goal came 10 seconds after UNH killed off Eric MacAdams’ five-minute major penalty for hitting from behind. MacAdams also received a game misconduct.
UNH sophomore forward Filip Engaras and Friars freshman forward Parker Ford traded goals over the opening four minutes of the game to create the 1-1 deadlock.
Engaras skated around a Friar and beat Providence goaltender Michael Lackey (29 saves) glove side off assists from linemate Kohei Sato and Ryan Verrier 1:14 into the contest to open the scoring. Ford went top shelf on Taylor (14 saves) from the right circle at the 3:09 mark to knot the score.
Shane Kavanagh scored on an empty Wildcats goal with 2:56 remaining to create a 4-1 Providence advantage.
Providence pinned the Wildcats in their own zone for long stretches and did not allow them to create any promising transition opportunities in the third period.
The Wildcats outshot Providence, 24-15, through two periods and 30-19 overall.
Engaras has notched three goals and five assists over his past six games. Sato is on a seven-game point streak, logging two goals and six assists over the stretch.
The loss snapped UNH’s four-game winning streak and its five-game home winning streak. Taylor is now 6-1-0 over his seven starts this season.