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.