~UNH advances to the Hockey East Championship at the TD Banknorth Garden~
DURHAM, N.H. - Senior forward Justin Aikins (Surrey, B.C.) recorded a career-high two goals and junior goalie Jeff Pietrasiak (Shrewsbury, Mass.) posted his second career shutout with 29 saves to lift the No. 10 ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to a 4-0 series clinching victory against Northeastern in Game 2 of the Hockey East quarterfinals on Friday night at the Whittemore Center.
With the win the Wildcats improved to 24-9-5 on the season, while Northeastern ends it season with a 15-18-5 mark. UNH finished the season with a 17-3-0 record at the Whittemore Center in 2004-2005.
Aikins got the Wildcats on the board first at 4:28 in the second with assistance from sophomore forwards Daniel Winnik (Mississauga, Ont.) and Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba).
Senior forward Preston Callander (Regina, Sask.) added another goal for UNH just fifteen seconds later after senior forward Sean Collins (Reading, Mass.) fed him the puck from the left point. Callander roofed the puck over NU goaltender Keni Gibson's right shoulder. Aikins scored his second goal of the game at 9:05 of the second period to cap the three-goal second frame for the 'Cats.
Freshman forward Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta) rounded out the scoring for the Wildcats at 4:37 of the third period. Sophomore forward Josh Ciocco (Atco, N.J.) and freshman forward Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) earned helpers on Fornataro's eighth goal of the season.
Pietrasiak (11-6-3 record) made 14 saves in the second period in his 20th start of the season, while Gibson posted 26 saves in the loss for the Huskies.
The Wildcats now advance to the Hockey East Championship at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston for the fourth consecutive year. UNH's opponent will be determined at the conclusion of the other Hockey East quarterfinal matchups, the semifinals are scheduled for Friday, March 18th with games at 5 and 8 p.m. The Hockey East final is scheduled for Saturday, March 19th at 7 p.m.