No. 8 UNH hockey defeats No. 1 Boston College, 3-2

DURHAM, N.H. - Steve Saviano (Reading, Mass.) scored two goals and set up another while Justin Aikins (South Surrey, B.C.) recorded three assists to propel the eighth-ranked University of New Hampshire hockey team to Saturday night's 3-2 Hockey East victory against No. 1 Boston College at the Whittemore Center.

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' (Reading, Mass.; two assists) 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 of the opening stanza 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 (Regina, Sask.) 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 Adams 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 (Hingham, Mass.) recorded 28 saves, while Kaltiainen stopped 18 shots.

New Hampshire returns to action March 4 (7 p.m.) at Boston University. The next Wildcat home game is March 6 vs. BU. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.

 

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