---- — PROVIDENCE — Sophomore Matt Willows notched his first career hat trick and the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team skated past No. 17 Providence College, 4-1, yesterday afternoon at Schneider Area to stave off elimination and even their best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series one game apiece.
The fifth-seeded Wildcats (19-10-7, 13-8-6 HEA) forced a third and decisive game against the fourth-seeded Friars (16-13-7, 13-8-6 HEA) this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. (NESN) in Providence.
Junior Kevin Goumas racked up assists on all three of Willows’ goals to increase his team-leading assist total to 32, and junior Jeff Silengo scored his third goal of the season in his triumphant return from a six-game injury absence.
Sophomore goaltender Casey DeSmith made 38 saves to improve his record to 18-8-7 on the season; he upped his career postseason record to 2-3-0.