DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team defeated the Eagles of Boston College (21-9-4, 16-6-2) 4-1 in front of a sellout crowd at the Whittemore Center on Saturday night. New Hampshire shares the regular season title with BC and is the No.1 seed heading into Hockey East Tournament play next weekend. Head Coach Dick Umile also celebrated his 300th career win as the Wildcats defeated Boston College to improve to 21-7-6 overall, 15-5-4 in league play.
New Hampshire jumped out to an early lead, scoring the first goal 2:39 into the first frame. Junior Tyler Scott (Rockville, Md.) etched his third goal of the season. Junior Tim Horst ( South St.Paul, Minn.) had the lone assist on the goal. UNH improved its power-play percentage and took a 2-0 lead as sophomore Sean Collins (Reading, Mass.) knocked the puck past Boston College netminder Matti Kaltiainen at 7:05 of the first period. Junior Steve Saviano (Reading, Mass.) and sophomore Justin Aikins (South Surrey, B.C.) were credited with the helpers.
The Wildcats added to their lead, 3-0, when Collins, who recorded his second goal of the game and seventh of the season at 9:58 of the second stanza, capitalized on a BC turnover, beating Kaltiaien from a tape to tape pass from Saviano. Junior Nathan Martz (Chiliwack, B.C.) was also given an assist on the goal.
Boston College cut the dominating Wildcat lead by one goal when Tony Voce scored on the power play at 18:16. Andrew Alberts and Ben Eaves assisted on the play.
With two minutes remaining in the final period, and both teams short-handed due penalties, BC pulled its goalie from the net to add the extra skater on the ice. New Hampshire took advantage of the empty net as senior assistant captain Colin Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) scored his 17th goal of the year. Juniors Mike Lubesnick (Northbrook, Ill.) and Mike Ayers (Hingham, Mass.) were credited with the helpers.
Ayers made 24 saves in the win, improving his record to 20-7-6 while Kaltiainen stopped 21 shots in the loss to end the regular season with a record 15-7-3.
New Hampshire will host UMass-Lowell next weekend in a best of three series in Hockey East quarterfinal play. The first game of the series is Friday night. The puck drops at 7 p.m.