The changing fortunes of the University of Massachusetts and University of New Hampshire men’s hockey teams were on display last night.
Paul Thompson had two goals and two assists and Bobby Butler added a pair of goals as the surging Wildcats rolled past the reeling Minutemen, 7-2, at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H.
UNH raced out to a 4-0 first-period lead and never looked back in improving to 9-7-4 (9-2-3 Hockey East). After a 2-6-2 start, the Wildcats have gone 7-1-2.
T.J. Syner and Rocco Carzo scored for UMass, but the 16th-ranked Minutemen (11-8-0, 6-6-0) turned in another desultory effort, losing for the sixth time in eight games as their 9-2 start fades from memory.
“It was a very uninspired performance; I apologize to the entire UMass hockey community, and anybody that’s followed this program, for that showing,’’ UMass coach Don Cahoon said. “Tonight, we played like a defeated group of people; we were lackluster in so many ways.’’
Thompson wasted little time getting the rout started, scoring a power-play goal at 4:52. Thompson helped set up Butler for his first tally just 37 seconds later and the Wildcats were off and running.
Thompson scored the backbreaker at 16:37, beating Dan Meyers (26 saves) for a shorthanded goal, and Kevin McCarey struck 1:46 later to complete the first-period outburst.
Minnesota 3, Harvard 1 - Nick Larson scored two goals and the Golden Gophers (11-10-1) finished a weekend sweep of the visiting Crimson (2-10-2). Colin Moore got his first goal of the season for Harvard.
Maine 4, Merrimack 2 - Gustav Nyquist broke a 2-2 tie with 17 seconds left and Ryan Hegarty added an empty-netter nine seconds later, powering the No. 18 Black Bears (11-7-2, 8-4-1 Hockey East) past the visiting Warriors (7-11-0, 4-7-0).
Union 2, Quinnipiac 1 - Luke Cain scored 2:19 into overtime, lifting the No. 17 Dutchmen (12-4-5, 6-0-3 ECAC) past the 12th-ranked Bobcats (13-7-1, 7-6-0) in Hamden, Conn.
Canisius 3, Bentley 2 - Cory Conacher scored his second goal with 2:40 left to break a tie and lift the Golden Griffins (10-10-2, 8-7-1 Atlantic Hockey) past the Falcons (9-8-3, 7-5-2) to earn a split of the weekend series in Waltham.
Quinnipiac 1, Harvard 0 - Kelley Davies scored at 17:12 of the second period and Victoria Vigilanti made 31 saves as the host Bobcats (9-7-6, 6-3-5 ECAC) held off the Crimson (8-4-3, 6-4-1).