DURHAM, N.H. -- The third-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team scored three times early in the first period, then rode the goaltending of senior Matt Carney (Bridgewater, Mass.) to a 5-2 victory over Boston College Saturday night at the Whittemore Center and with it, the Hockey East regular season title.
The win also assures UNH (24-6-3, 16-4-3) of a No. 1 seed in the conference tournament and a best-of-three quaterfinal matchup with Merrimack College next weekend at the Whitt. Boston College (18-15-2, 10-12-1) will enter as the No. 6 seed and play at either Maine or Boston University in the opening round.
Carney made 29 saves in improving his season record to 13-3-2. Over his last three outings, the senior has given up just four goals. Colin Hemingway (Surrey, British Columbia) led the Wildcats on the scoring sheet with a goal and two assists while Darren Haydar (Milton, Ontario) and Sean Collins (Reading, Mass.) each had a goal and an assist. Hemingway, recently named the Hockey East Player of the Month, has now recorded at least one goal in 20 of UNH's 33 games this season.
UNH set the tone early with three straight goals in the game's first 7:08. Defenseman Kevin Truelson (Avon, Mass.) tallied his first goal of the season just 1:28 in. Freshman Ed Caron (Hudson, N.H.) followed with his fifth of the year 39 seconds later off a feed from David Busch (Toronto, Ontario), and Haydar added a power play goal, his 27th of the year, at 7:08 for a 3-0 Wildcat lead.
BC scored late in the period on Jeff Juliano's goal off a deflection in front of Carney to make 3-1 after one, but the the Wildcats scored the only goal of the second period while on the power play to push the lead back to three at 4-1. Freshman Tyson Teplitsky (Saskatoon, Sask.) fed a long pass to Hemingway along the right boards at the BC blue line. The junior winger moved toward the left faceoff circle before zipping a tape-tape pass to Collins at the far post.
The Eagles' Dave Spina scored at 17:06 and Hemingway tallied an empty-netter at 19:26 of the third to cap the scoring.
The Wildcats, who claimed their third Hockey East regular season title, close out the regular season tomorrow afternoon against the Eagles at Conte Forum. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports New England beginning at 4 p.m.
Note: Tonight's contest marked Senior Night for five Wildcat players: Haydar, Busch, Carney, goaltender Tim Collins (Lebanon, N.H.) and senior walk-on Seamus Stack (Hastings, Neb.) were all honored before the game .