No. 18 UNH hockey nipped by No. 9 Boston College, 2-1
DURHAM, N.H. – The 18th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team recorded a 29-19 shot advantage, including 7-3 in the third period, but ninth-ranked Boston College skated away with a 2-1 Hockey East victory Saturday night at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which also recorded a 41-21 shot advantage in Friday's 6-2 loss at BC, is now 9-9-1 overall and 5-5-0 in Hockey East. BC improved to 10-4-2, 6-1-1.
UNH goaltender Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) recorded 17 saves while BC counterpart Thatcher Demko stopped 28 shots, including 12 in the first period. Kevin Hayes (one goal, one assist) was the only skater to record multiple points.
In a fast-skating first period, the Wildcats generated a 12-8 shot advantage but the Eagles led 1-0 at the first intermission. UNH generated a dangerous opportunity in the fourth minute when a Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) head-man pass sent Jay Camper (Rocky River, Ohio) into the offensive zone. Camper split between a pair of BC defenders down the slot and advanced the puck low on the left side, where Collin Bourque (Goffstown, N.H.) was denied by Demko.
In the sixth minute, UNH's Kyle Smith (Lumberton, N.J.) attacked down the slot as his initial pass was blocked but he retained possession, and then his backhander from point-blank range was stopped by Demko.
The Wildcats went on their second power play of the game at 10:17 and, moments later, Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.) blasted a low slap shot through a screen of three players. Demko stopped the puck but couldn't control the rebound and was forced to make another save against Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.), who was positioned at the top of the crease.
BC took a 1-0 lead at 16:07. From the left half-boards Johnny Gaudreau threw a pass to the slot for Kevin Hayes, who slipped the puck forward to Bill Arnold. With his back to the goal and falling to the ice, Arnold backhanded a shot into the net.
New Hampshire tied the score, 1-1, at 7:11 of the second stanza. Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) initiated the scoring sequence by circling behind the net to the right circle. He snapped a pass to the post and Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) sent the puck across the crease to Matt Willows (Congers, N.Y.), who deposited a shot into the open left side.
The Eagles regained the lead, 2-1, at 17:51 of the second period when Hayes entered the offensive zone on the right side, stopped at the faceoff dot and, using the defender as a screen, snapped a wrister past DeSmith.
UNH generated a couple of odd-man rushes in the final frame, but did not record a shot on goal either time. Kelleher led a 3-on-2 breakout down the right wing in the seventh minute and his centering pass found Camper in the slot, but the shot sailed wide right. With 4:30 remaining in the game, Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) skated down the left wing and sent a pass across the slot toward Jamie Hill (Glassboro, N.J.), but the puck was just beyond the reach of his stick.
UNH called time out at 18:12 and pulled DeSmith in favor of an extra skater with 1:18 on the clock. The Eagles cleared the puck into the neutral zone with one minute to play and Austin Cangelosi, just outside the offensive zone, flipped a shot wide right of the cage.
BC thwarted the Wildcats' advancement of the puck in the neutral zone and dumped the puck back behind UNH's empty net with 30 seconds remaining. The 'Cats methodically worked the puck into the offensive zone with 20 to go, but the visitors cleared the puck back just three seconds later to quell any last-second comeback attempt.
New Hampshire returns to action Dec. 28-29 at the Florida College Classic in Estero, Fla. The Wildcats' next home game is Jan. 3, 2014 (7:30 p.m.) against the University of Nebraska-Omaha.