Chestnut Hill, Mass. - On a night when BC honored its seven seniors, it was sophomore forward Stephen Gionta who registered the decisive third-period goal that lifted top-ranked Boston College to a 4-2 victory over New Hampshire and gave the Eagles their third Hockey East regular-season title in the last four years. It was a fitting result of the last regular-season home game for Justin Dziama, Ben Eaves, J.D. Forrest, Ty Hennes, Brett Peterson, Tony Voce and senior manager Andrew Kelley.
Boston College (26-3-4, 17-1-3 Hockey East), which entered the game with a five-point lead over Maine in the league standings, secured the Hockey East title by virtue of its win and Maine's 3-2 loss to UMass-Lowell.
UNH took the lead at 8:14 of the first when sophomore Mark Kolanos scored his first goal of the season. The Eagles evened the score less than a minute later when sophomore Patrick Eaves scored at 9:07. Tony Voce and Gionta had the assists. At 17:54 of the first, the Wildcats went back on top on a goal by Sean Collins.
The second period saw BC even the score again. Sophomore Chris Collins made a beautiful pass to find a streaking Taylor Leahy in front of the net. Leahy finished for his first goal of the season and the game was tied at 2-2.
At 2:32 of the third, Gionta potted the game-winner. Junior forward Ryan Murphy added an insurance goal for the Eagles at 14:23 of the third period.
Boston College junior goaltender Matti Kaltiainen made 17 saves to earn his 24th win of the season. New Hampshire senior Michael Ayers stopped 22 shots.
The Eagles and Wildcats will meet again tomorrow night at the Whittemore Center. The game begins at 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Patrick Eaves and Tony Voce each extended their point-scoring streaks to five games ... Stephen Gionta's point-scoring streak reached four games ... Tonight's win was BC's first over New Hampshire since February 16, 2001 ... Taylor Leahy got his first career multiple-point game, scoring a goal and adding an assist.