BOSTON - Top-seeded Boston University used an offensive explosion including a hat trick by senior captain David Van Der Gulik (Abbotsford, B.C.) to defeat fourth-seeded New Hampshire 9-2 in the semifinals of the Hockey East Tournament at the TD Banknorth Garden. The Terriers improve to 24-9-4 on the season and advance to their first Hockey East championship game since 2003. With the loss the Wildcats fall to 20-12-8 on the year.
BU's nine goals are the most in a Hockey East tournament game since the Terriers defeated Massachusetts 14-1 in the quarterfinals back in 1996. The Terriers will play in tomorrow's Hockey East championship game at 7:00pm and seek their first tournament title since 1997.
New Hampshire took a 1-0 lead at 2:53 of the first period when junior Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Man.) scored his 15th goal of the year on a one-timer from the right circle. Junior Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) set up the score with a cross-ice pass from the left circle on a power play opportunity. Senior captain Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.) also assisted on the play.
Boston University tied the game 1-1 at 9:06 of the opening period when senior Dan Spang (Winchester, Mass.) scored his seventh goal of the season off a rebound in front. Sophomore Brian McGuirk (Danvers, Mass.) and sophomore Ryan Weston (Henniker, N.H.) both assisted on the play.
The Terriers started to open the floodgates on the first goal of the game for Van Der Gulik at 10:28 of the period. The Terrier captain gave BU a 2-1 lead with a score from inside the slot on a terrific centering pass from senior Jekabs Redlihs (Riga, Latvia).
Van Der Gulik struck again at 7:40 of the second period when he gained control of the puck from just inside the BU blue line and streaked down the left side to beat UNH sophomore goalie Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) five-hole with a snapshot from the left circle. That made the score 3-1 BU.
The Terriers took a commanding 4-1 advantage at 11:28 of the second period on a goal by freshman defenseman Matt Gilroy (North Bellmore, N.Y.) on a shot that deflected in off a UNH defenseman.
Van Der Gulik completed the hat trick with another score at 13:49 of the period to give the Terriers a 5-1 advantage. Senior Brad Zancanaro (Trenton, Mich) skated in along the right side and found an open Van Der Gulik in front on a centering pass.
UNH made it a 5-2 game on a power-play goal by Micflikier at 14:34 of the second period. The goal was his second of the game and his 16th of the season.
Less than one minute into the third period the Terriers responded by taking a 6-2 lead. Sophomore Bryan Ewing (Plymouth, Mass.) was credited with his 12th goal of the year when his wrap around attempt was deflected into an open net by UNH forward Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.).
Then Zancanaro scored his 14th goal of the year from inside the slot on a give and go at 2:07 of the third period to make it 7-2 BU. Van Der Gulik set up the goal for his fourth point of the contest. After the score the Wildcats pulled Regan from net and replaced him with senior goalie Jeff Pietrasiak (Shrewsbury, Mass).
Just over a minute later Ewing recorded his second goal of the game by tipping in a slapshot by Spang on a power play to give the Terriers an 8-2 lead.
BU scored again on the power play at 3:36 of the final period to make it 9-2. Spang notched his second goal of the game on a slapshot from just inside the blue line.
Boston University goalie John Curry made 25 saves to earn the win. The Terriers are unbeaten in 21 of their last 23 games.