Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Redhawks back at Number 1

The Miami RedHawks reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in Monday's USCHO.com/CSTV Division I men's poll, taking 49 of 50 first-place votes to replace Michigan atop the voting this week. The Wolverines finished in second place after losing and tying against Michigan State, which rose to No. 5 this week. Between those two teams were North Dakota, and Denver to complete the top five. Wisconsin climbed five places to 11th with a win and a tie versus archrival Minnesota, and Minnesota-Duluth made a still bigger move, up seven spots to No. 12 after a sweep of Massachusetts-Lowell. Finally, Providence used a sweep of No. 13 Northeastern to enter the rankings in 14th, and St. Cloud State hung on at No. 20, dropping seven places after a sweep by Minnesota State.

BC Upends Maine

The University of Maine men's ice hockey team dropped a 4-2 decision to Boston College on Saturday night at Alfond Arena in Orono. The Eagles broke a 2-2 tie late in the second period and then added an empty-net goal. Simon Danis-Pepin (Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec) and Andrew Sweetland (Bonavista, Newfoundland) each netted goals for the Black Bears, who fall to 8-11-3 on the season and 4-8-3 in Hockey East play. Boston College improves to 12-5-7 overall and 8-3-6 in conference play.

The Eagles got on the board 10:49 into the first period when Dan Bertram found Joe Whitney who skated in and beat Maine goalie Ben Bishop (Des Peres, Mo.) for his seventh goal of the season.

Maine tied the game not long after. Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta) was able to find Mike Banwell (Scarborough, Ontario) who fed a pass to Danis-Pepin just inside the blueline. Danis-Pepin rifled a shot past BC goalie John Muse for his third goal of the season and second of the weekend. The teams went into the first intermission tied at 1-1.

Ben Smith broke the tie for the Eagles with a power play goal just 37 seconds into the second period. Bertram and Tim Kunes each assisted on the goal, which was the 14th of the season for Smith which was scored from the just in front of Bishop.

Again, the Black Bears would tie the game up at 2-2. House and Danis-Pepin teamed up to find Sweetland who beat his defender and Muse with a shot from the right face-off circle. It was his fifth goal of the season and third on the power play.

The Eagles took the lead for good just over 10 minutes later. Brian Gibbons fed Nathan Gerbe who had a breakaway and beat Bishop for his 19th goal of the season which turned out to be the game-winner. Matt Greene added an empty-net goal for BC.

Bishop had another strong game in goal for the Black Bears and he stopped 27 shots, including several breakaways. He falls to 8-11-3 on the season. Muse made 18 saves for the Eagles.

Each team scored a power play goal as Maine was 1-for-5, while Boston College was 1-for-4.

Maine returns to action on Friday, Feb. 1 when it travels to UMass Lowell for a 7:00 p.m. game with the River Hawks.

UNH Sweeps Season Series with BU

The Boston University men's ice hockey team erased a two-goal deficit for the second time in as many nights, but once again came up short, as seventh-ranked New Hampshire completed a weekend sweep of the Terriers in a 5-3 contest at Agganis Arena on Saturday evening. Three freshmen scored for the Terriers, who fall to 7-13-4 overall and 6-8-3 in Hockey East play.

Senior Mike Radja tallied two goals and an assist and classmate Matt Fornataro recorded two assists - including his 100th career point - for the Wildcats, who improve to 15-7-1 overall and stay in first place in the league standings with a 11-4-1 mark.

The Terriers got goals from freshmen Nick Bonino, Colin Wilson and Joe Pereira, while fellow freshman Kevin Shattenkirk earned a pair of assists.

UNH scored the lone goal of the first period before the teams combined for five tallies in the middle stanza. After BU made it a 1-1 contest early in the second, the visitors took a 3-1 lead with consecutive tallies. The Terriers responded with a pair of their own to enter the second intermission in a 3-3 deadlock.

The Wildcats got the eventual game winner from freshman James vanRiemsdyk at 4:49 of the third before tacking on an insurance goal with 5:29 left in regulation.

UNH held a slim 30-29 advantage in shots, as senior Kevin Regan earned the win between the pipes with a 26-save performance. Sophomore Brett Bennett made 25 saves for the Terriers.

Radja opened the scoring just 1:52 into the contest on a power play when he sent home a shot just to the left of the cage on assists from Fornataro and freshman Danny Dries.

Shortly after, BU was awarded a five-minute power play following a game disqualification call on UNH's Peter LeBlanc. The Terriers were unable to captilize, however, and settled for a 1-0 deficit after the first.

Bonino knotted the game at 4:27 of the second when a shot from Shattenkirk ricocheted off the boards and left him wide open at the right post for an easy tap-in. Junior Chris Higgins also assisted on the tally.

The Wildcats used goals from Radja and Dries at 6:35 and 12:09 of the period, respectively, to build a multi-goal cushion. In transition, Radja and Fornataro executed a give-and-go, resulting in Radja sending in a blast from the slot. Dries picked up UNH's second power-play tally of the evening on assists from Radja and junior Kevin Kapstead.

BU got back into the game soon after, as Wilson and Pereira scored just 40 seconds apart to ignite the Agganis crowd.

Wilson sent home his own rebound from the left side on a power play at 15:42 on assists from Shattenkirk and freshman Colby Cohen. Pereira converted a breakaway following a solid lead pass from junior Jason Lawrence, who collected the puck after sophomore Brian Strait won a battle along the boards. Attacking from the left side, Pereira snuck the puck past Regan at the near post just before sliding into the cage himself.

UNH made sure BU would never take the lead though, as the visitors controlled the third period and used a vanRiemsdyk's goal amidst traffic in front of the cage to take the lead for good at 4:49.

Junior Jerry Pollastrone, who assisted on the game winner, tacked on the Wildcats' fifth goal of the night.

BU was 1-for-6 on the power play, while UNH converted on two of its five chances with the man advantage.

With the win, UNH completes its first ever regular-season sweep of the Terriers in Hockey East play.