DURHAM, N.H. - In a battle for second place in the Hockey East standings, David Van der Gulik recorded a goal and an assist to propel the fifth-ranked Boston University men's hockey team to a 3-0 lead and the Terriers held on to defeat the University of New Hampshire, 3-2, Saturday night at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which fell to fourth place in the standings with its loss and the University of Maine's 3-1 win vs.
Boston College, is now 16-10-5 overall and 12-7-4 in Hockey East. BU, which had lost twice at home to the Wildcats this season, improved to 19-9-2, 15-7-1.
Trailing 3-0 midway through the game, UNH pulled within 3-1 late in the second period when Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.), from the inner-side of the left circle, backhanded the puck towards the right post, where Greg Collins (Fairport, N.Y.) was unmarked and shot the puck into the open net at 13:51. Thomas Fortney (Webster Groves, Mo.) set up the goal with the centering pass to Yandle from behind the net.
The Wildcats faced a 3-1 deficit at the start of the third period and capitalized on their fifth power-play opportunity of the game to close within 3-2 at 11:43.
Yandle moved the puck from the right point deep to Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.). His pass across the top of the crease found Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) at the left post for the goal.
UNH went on another power play with 3:41 remaining in the game, but the 'Cats were whistled for a penalty with 2:20 to play to put the teams at even strength and then put BU on the power play.
Wildcats' goalie Jeff Pietrasiak (Shrewsbury, Mass.) was pulled in favor of an extra skater as the team's penalty expired, but UNH could not generate pressure in the zone or the game-tying goal in the final 20 seconds.
Pietrasiak finished with 23 saves and BU counterpart John Curry stopped 25 shots.
BU scored on its first shot attempt of the game on Van der Gulik's shot from the high slot at 6:28 of the opening stanza. Brad Zancanaro, who carried the puck through the neutral zone on the left wing and left the puck for Van der Gulik, set up the tally.
The Terriers extended their lead to 2-0 at 14:10 when John Laliberte faked a slap shot at the high slot, moved to the right to avoid the UNH defender and wristed a shot into the upper-right corner. Tom Morrow, with the outlet pass from behind the BU net, and Van der Gulik were credited with assists.
Boston University carried that two-goal advantage into the second period and pushed it to 3-0 at 4:54 of the middle stanza. Kenny Roche gathered the loose puck in the slot and then from the left circle sent a pass across the slot to Bryan Ewing, who was alone at the right post and dumped the puck into an open net.
New Hampshire returns to action next weekend with a home-and-home series against Providence College beginning on the road Feb. 24 (7 p.m.). The teams face off at UNH's Whittemore Center on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.
Visit www.unhwildcats.com for ticket information.