‘Cats Pounce

Boston University surrendered three goals in a span of less than three minutes during the second period Friday, losing to New Hampshire in Hockey East’s late semifinal, 5-2.

Such is life when you’re playing the Wildcats these days — particularly when you’re offering a “sad” effort, as BU coach Jack Parker felt his Terriers had.

“Whether they’re clicking or not, what makes them dangerous is they all can shoot the puck,” Parker said. “They all have quick releases. They have great forwards who can move the puck and make poised plays. They had opportunity after opportunity to show how good they were at that.

“I don’t think you saw anywhere near as hard as UNH had to play,” he said. “They didn’t have to. We gift-wrapped it for them. I’m not taking anything away from that. We gave them opportunities and they buried them. It was a way too easy game for them.”

UNH coach Dick Umile felt his top two lines were, in fact, “clicking.” Who can blame him, with the way his boys have lit the lamp this season?

The Wildcats led the conference in scoring with 4.08 goals per game overall, and just a shade under four even in Hockey East play.

Senior captain Preston Callander scored the only goal in the first period, before the onslaught in the second, during which sophomore Daniel Winnik potted a goal. Both players finished with two for the night while centering the top two lines, respectively (on which all six players have at least 30 points).

“I think he’s got one of the best sticks in the league,” Umile said of Callander, HE’s Best Defensive Forward for 2004-05. “That’s pretty special, to be best defensive player. When you look at his point totals and what he does offensively, it just tells you he’s one of the most complete players in the league.

“He’s been tremendous for us all season: we have to put him out there against teams’ best lines to defend down low. He’s just been a terrific leader.”

“Daniel is a big, strong centerman,” he said, appraising his sophomore center — the “best on the team” as far as the 15-year UNH coach is concerned.

“He’s a big kid that’s got a very, very good stick. He’s worked on his shot, and a couple of his goals that he got tonight were very, very accurate. He’s developed that accuracy with his shot. I thought that line played extremely well. Both lines were clicking tonight, and that’s a good thing for us.”

The UNH power play, potent as ever, continued its power-play clip of converting better than 20 percent, which was terrible news for Terrier fans when faced with the fact that the pups were shorthanded 10 times. Of the six UNH scores, only Winnik’s second tally came at even strength.

“We do a lot of work on it in practice,” Winnik said of the man-advantage. “We just have so many looks that it seems teams can’t adapt to it and it’s been working for us all year long.”

See? Friday was merely another day at the office.