DURHAM, N.H. — Steve Saviano scored two goals and set up another while Justin Aikins recorded three assists to propel eighth-ranked New Hampshire to Saturday night’s 3-2 Hockey East victory against No. 1 Boston College at the Whittemore Center.
The Eagles, who had not lost since falling to Northeastern, 3-0, on Jan. 3, had a nation-leading 14-game unbeaten streak snapped (13-0-1) just one night after clinching the Hockey East regular-season title.
UNH, which recorded its second win of the season against the No. 1-ranked team in the nation (6-3 home win vs. Maine; Nov. 12), improved to 18-11-5 overall and 10-7-5 in Hockey East. BC, which has not won at the Whittemore Center since Nov. 7, 1997 (0-8-0), is now 26-4-4, 17-2-3.
UNH opened a 2-0 first-period lead on a pair of Saviano goals, both of which were scored from the top of the crease. His first tally was a redirection of a Sean Collins’ centering pass at 6:04. Collins and Aikins, who also set up the first goal, were credited with assists on Saviano’s goal at 10:54.
BC trimmed the deficit to 2-1 at 14:39 when Ned Havern intercepted a pass in the right circle and fired a wrist shot under the crossbar.
New Hampshire capitalized on a 5-on-3 power-play situation at 5:39 of the second period when Preston Callander scored from the hashmarks between the faceoff circles. Saviano and Aikins recorded assists to help give UNH a 3-1 lead.
The ‘Cats took that two-goal advantage into the third period. John Clark lifted the Eagles within 3-2 at 16:12 when his shot from the left point sailed through a screen and into the net. Peter Harold, with a pass from the left corner, and Stephen Gionta set up the goal.
BC called time out with 1:24 remaining and pulled goaltender Matti Kaltiainen in favor of an extra skater. The net remained empty despite a BC penalty at 19:26, but neither team scored the rest of the way.
UNH goalie Mike Ayers recorded 28 saves, while Kaltiainen stopped 18 shots.