~UNH to face BC in Hockey East Title Game~
Boston, Mass. - Senior forward Preston Callander and sophomore forward Daniel Winnik each scored a pair of goals to lift No. 3 New Hampshire to a 5-2 win against second-seeded Boston University in the second semifinal game of the 21st Annual Hockey East Championship Tournament at the FleetCenter in front of 17,565 on Friday evening.
With the win, the Wildcats (25-9-5) advance to face Boston College for the Hockey East title on Saturday night. The 21st Hockey East Championship game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be televised live on NESN.
The teams felt each other out in the opening minutes of the contest with few shots on goal. Boston University sophomore goaltender John Curry made a glove save on UNH senior forward Justin Aikins and junior defenseman Brian Yandle near the middle of the period as the Wildcats became the first team to sustain some pressure.
The Wildcats would net the game's first goal on a power-play rush. Winnik carried across the offensive line on the right side and dropped a pass to freshman Matt Fornataro in the high slot. Curry would stop the Fornataro wrister, but Callander scored on the rebound to give UNH a 1-0 lead at 14:38 of the opening frame.
The Wildcats had another great chance to score late in the period during a delayed-penalty situation when senior Sean Collins centered for fellow senior Tyson Teplitsky but Curry made a sprawling save.
Boston University (23-13-4), which only had three shots in the first period, had some early chances in the second, including a slap shot from senior Brad Zancanaro that was turned aside by the right pad of UNH freshman netminder Kevin Regan.
UNH would strike for another power-play goal 5:46 into the second period. Senior defenseman Robbie Barker sent a shot through from the left point. Curry made a pad save, but the rebound went to Winnik who sent a shot inside the left post to give UNH a 2-0 lead.
The Wildcats would capitalize again with a special teams goal, this time of the shorthanded variety. With the puck at the point on the BU power-play, a Terrier broke his stick on a shot effort that was blocked by Teplitsky and UNH broke back the other way in a two-on-one. Collins led the charge up ice and sent a pass across to Callander who collected the puck off his skate and wristed it in for his second goal of the game to give UNH a 3-0 lead at 6:46 of the second frame.
UNH would pick up its third power-play marker just 1:36 later when Yandle received a pass from Teplitsky at center ice, weaved into the zone on the right-wing side, and picked the top right corner and UNH had a 4-0 lead before the midpoint of the game.
Boston University would break through with its own power-play goal at 2:09 of the third period. Junior Dan Spang's shot from the high slot was knocked down in traffic and deflected towards the top of the left wing circle. Freshman Peter MacArthur then blasted a slapshot to the top right corner to make it a 4-1 game.
Winnik would add his second of the night with 5:56 remaining in the third period. Freshman defenseman Craig Switzer created a turnover at center ice and carried into the offensive end on the left wing side. Switzer set up Winnik between the circles and he snapped a shot upstairs to give UNH a 5-1.
The Terriers would get their second power-play goal of the game at 16:01 of the third period when Kevin Schaeffer sent the puck towards the front from the right point. Senior Brian McConnell would find the puck at the left post and lift it over Regan's pad to close out the scoring in the 5-2 game.
Regan earned the win with a 19-save performance in the Wildcat net, while Curry stopped 22 for the Terriers.
The teams were meeting for the sixth time in Hockey East Tournament play. Boston University still holds a 3-2-1 lead in the all-time Hockey East Tournament series between these two schools. The teams have now faced each other twice in the Hockey East semifinals with each school winning once.
No. 3 seeds are now 5-3 all time against No. 2 seeds in semifinals with the No. 3 seed winning each of the last five times there has been a 2-3 match-up.
New Hampshire advances to its sixth appearance in the Hockey East title game. The Wildcats have won the Hockey East Championship twice with back-to-back titles in 2002-2003.