DURHAM, N.H — In a game between the top two teams in Hockey East, second place Boston University Terriers defeated third ranked New Hampshire, 4-2, Friday night at the Whittemore Center Arena in Durham.
Not only did the game feature the top two teams in their league, but it starred two top goaltenders and strong defenses. Before tonight’s match up BU’s John Curry had the better goals against, and Regan the better save percentage. Boston University’s defense ranks first in the country only allowing 1.69 goals per game while UNH’s ranks third with 1.93.
The Wildcats would get on the board first with a power play goal.
At 8:47 UNH’s leading goal scorer Mike Radja put a Chris Murray pass past Curry to make 1-0 UNH. Both teams would have other scoring opportunities in the first period. Radja once again followed Curry behind the net, leaving it open for Brett Hemingway who would be unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
Seventh ranked Boston University had their best opportunity of the period off a Boomer Ewing shot which Kevin Regan made a big save on.
BU got right to business at the start of the second period. BU was on the power play and once again Ewing came strong onto Regan but he came up even bigger with the save. Brandon Yip’s return was big for BU.
Yip had missed several weeks due to an ankle injury. He would put BU on the board at 7:50 with assists coming from his line mates Pete Macarthur and Chris Higgins.
Just 2:08 later BU would strike again on the shorthand. Luke Popko would take the puck from UNH defensemen Craig Switzer and would go in on a breakaway. Regan was unable to make the save and BU took their first lead of the night.
On the same power play Jerry Pollastrone had a chance to score the equalizer for the ‘Cats but BU defensemen Kevin Schaeffer blocked the shot. The second period would end with BU on top 2-1.
Once the final frame started it didn’t take long for the Terriers to strengthen their lead. Yip would get his second goal of the night at 2:54 when he tipped in a loose puck past Regan after he made the initial save. Higgins and Matt Gilroy got assists on the goal.
“The game was what I expected it was going to be back and forth and obviously they got it done. The 3-1 lead wasn’t the plan,” said UNH’s Dick Umile.
Four minutes later the goal that would have made it back to a one goal game was called off. Brett Hemingway kicked in a rebound that was shot by Radja. UNH would score again on the power play. Trevor Smith who leads UNH in points got credit for the goal at 14:40. Line mates Pollastrone and Matt Fornataro got assists on the power play tally.
Jack Parker was impressed with his team’s performance after UNH made it a one goal game.
“The crowd gets in it. They get the goal they get jumping up again and I thought we weathered the storm after they made it 3-2. I thought we weathered the storm pretty well. We played well defensively and that’s what you have to do or this club can beat you 6-1.”
Having it be a one goal game, UNH pulled Regan with one minute remaining to play. Nine seconds later, Ryan Weston would score his second goal of the year to seal the win.
BU improved their record to 17-5-8, 12-4-7 in hockey east. UNH fell to 22-6-1, 17-4-1 in hockey east. The two teams face off again Saturday night at the Agganis Arena. UNH can clinch a share of the Hockey East Regular Season championship with a win tomorrow. Game time is 7 p.m.