DURHAM, N.H. - Josh Ciocco (Atco, N.J.) scored the eventual game-winning goal on a wraparound with 6:52 left in the third period, and Jeff Pietrasiak (Shrewsbury, Mass.) made 34 saves on Senior Night to give the New Hampshire Wildcats a 5-2 victory over the Boston College Eagles Saturday night in Hockey East action at the Whittemore Center.
With the victory, New Hampshire clinches home ice for the best-of-three quarterfinal series, which will take place next weekend. The Wildcats finish as the fourth seed and will host fifth-seeded Providence College beginning Thursday, March 9, at 7 p.m.
On the game-winning tally, Joe Charlebois (Potsdam, N.Y.) sent a pass towards the BC net that was deflected by Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.). Ciocco corralled the puck, went behind the net, and stuffed it past Eagle goalie Cory Schneider for the first goal of the game since the first period.
UNH continued pressuring Boston College, as Thomas Fortney (Webster Groves, Mo.) forced a turnover. The puck found its way to Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.), who spotted Trevor Smith (North Vancouver, B.C.) streaking up the ice all alone. Smith took advantage of the wide open opportunity, notching his tenth goal of the season.
New Hampshire finished the scoring late in the game, as the Eagles pulled Schneider for an extra attacker. Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Man.) intercepted a BC pass, fed the puck ahead to Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.), who found Daniel Winnik (Mississauga, Ont.) along the left-side boards. Winnik sent the puck into the empty net for the final goal of the game at 18:45 of the third period.
The Wildcats drew first blood five minutes into the game, taking advantage of a power play situation. Hemingway and Brad Flaishans (Glendale, Ariz.) cycled the puck to the blue line, where Jamie Fritsch (Odenton, Md.) fired a shot past Schneider for his fourth goal of the season.
Boston College (20-11-3, 17-8-2 Hockey East) tied the game midway through the first period on a goal by freshman Benn Ferriero off assists from linemates Joe Rooney and Dan Bertram. The Eagles struck again at the 10:56 mark as Nathan Gerbe raced into the UNH zone and shot the puck past Pietrasiak. Stephen Gionta and Mike Brennan were credited with assists on that play. UNH was not behind for long, as Micflikier scored his 12th goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2 at the 11:22 mark.
As mentioned above, New Hampshire (18-11-7, 14-7-6 Hockey East) will host Providence in a best-of-three quarterfinal series next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday if necessary. (March 9-11). For tickets to attend any or all of the series, visit the Whittemore Center Box Office, call 1-866-WILDCAT, or go to the internet at www.unhwildcats.com.