BOSTON, Mass. — Boston University dominated New Hampshire from the first drop of the puck, getting on the scoreboard just 39 seconds into the game and taking a 3-0 lead after the first period en route to a 5-0 win.
Colin Wilson scored twice and Chris Higgins assisted on three goals as the top Terrier line of Higgins, Wilson, and Jason Lawrence scored three of the first four goals.
“Colin Wilson played great tonight,” BU coach Jack Parker said. “He was the best player on the ice both offensively and defensively.” Parker then laughed ruefully, mindful of the sophomore’s looming pro career. “I don’t think we’ll have him after this semester so we might wear him out.”
Freshman Kieran Millan, named the number one Terrier goaltender a week ago, stopped 22 shots for the shutout, running his record to 13-1-1.
Third-liners Vinny Saponari and Corey Trivino both added goals to complete the scoring.
Boston University (17-5-1, 10-5-1 HEA) has now lost only a single game since Thanksgiving. It remains in second place in Hockey East, four points behind Northeastern, which also won.
“[UNH] didn’t get many Grade A chances,” Parker said. “It was a really solid team effort. We played really well in the first period and dominated the game in a lot of ways.
“They came out much harder in the second period and we got a little lazy, playing on the offensive side of the puck, but got [Wilson's] huge goal at the end of the period to get it settled in again.
“We played a real smart third period, a thorough third period, and won the game.”
New Hampshire (11-7-4, 7-5-3 HEA) had also been on a roll, recovering from a tough November to go 6-0-1 in its last seven games. The Wildcats, however, were never in this game. Although they retain their hold of fourth place, they fall two more points behind Northeastern, BU, and Vermont, all of whom won.
“They came out and absolutely took it to us in the first period, offensively and defensively,” UNH coach Dick Umile said. “They never let us get to the net. The out-competed us in our own end. Before we knew it, we were behind 3-0.
“They took away our space, They played very physical. We didn’t support the puck as well as we should have. We left the guy out there by himself, trying to make a play with no support. They won the one-on-one battles so we never got the puck.
“Tonight, we weren’t in their league, that’s for sure”
The Terriers needed all of 39 seconds to grab a lead they would never surrender when Wilson buried a rebound of a Lawrence shot into a wide-open net.
Although UNH went on the power play a minute later, the Wildcats got nothing out of it and went down, 2-0, at the 4:31 mark. Vinny Saponari crashed the net after his shot was blocked, putting him in position to tip Corey Trivino’s follow-up.
When BU went on the power play minutes later, the opportunity to pound another early nail into the coffin almost came to fruition with the puck sitting on the edge of the crease, but Brandon Yip couldn’t knock it in.
BU defenseman Brian Strait made a key pokecheck near the end of a penalty kill to keep UNH off the board and in short order the Terriers extended their lead to 3-0. From the left wing, Higgins passed across, through David Warsofsky acting as a decoy, and to Lawrence who put it into the open side.
Although the period ended with BU outshooting UNH, 11-5, the margin of grade A chances was far more lopsided as the Wildcats began a night-long struggle to get quality shots on Millan.
Wilson and Higgins combined for their second goal late in the second period to make it 4-0. Higgins carried the puck up the right wing before threading a pass to Wilson in front where he roofed it.
Trivino completed the scoring in the third period, banking the puck in off a UNH defenseman’s skate.
The two teams complete their season series on Saturday night at UNH’s Whittemore Center.