BOSTON – Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) tallied a pair of goals and an assist, while Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta) became the program’s newest member of the century club notching two assists to lift the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team to Saturday night’s 5-3 Hockey East victory at Boston University’s Agganis Arena.
UNH improves 15-7-1 overall and captures its sixth-straight in Hockey East play moving to 11-4-1 in the league. BU is now 7-13-4, 6-8-3. The Wildcats capture their first-ever three-game season sweep of the Terriers.
UNH broke a 3-3 tie in the third with an even-strength goal at 4:49 in the period, the eventual game-winner. Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) fought for and freed the puck from behind the Terrier net. He made a pass to Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.), who tossed it in front where James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) was crossing and fire a shot that beat BU netminder Brett Bennett to make it 4-3. The Wildcats added an insurance tally at 14:31 in the final frame when Pollastrone scored a goal that went in off a deflection from the stick of BU’s Dan McGoff. vanRiemsdyk and Craig Switzer (Peachland, B.C.) each had helpers on the score.
The Wildcats got on the board first for the two-straight night. Radja scored a power-play goal from the right-side of the net just 1:52 in. Fornataro and Danny Dries (Lake Orion, Mich.) each had helpers on the tally. The assist was the 100th point of Fornataro’s career as he became the 66th player in program history to reach this milestone and the first since Brett Hemingway surpassed the century mark on March 9, 2006. UNH also killed off a five-minute major penalty during the first.
BU tied it up 4:27 into the second as Nick Bonino deposited a pass from Kevin Shattenkirk in the back of the Wildcat net. Chris Higgins was also credited with an assist on the goal.
UNH got back on top with a pair of goals from its first line. The first of the two goals was scored by Radja at 6:35 with assists from Fornataro and Joe Charlebois (Potsdam, N.Y.). The later tally was potted by Dries with assists from Radja and Kevin Kapstad (Boxboro, Mass.) at 12:09. The Wildcats did not enjoy its two-goal cushion long as the Terriers stormed back with a pair of late second-period goals of their own.
Colin Wilson scored the first of the two goals, a power-play goal, at 15:42. Wilson scored from his knees off a rebound of a Shattenkirk shot. Colby Cohen also had an assist on the goal. The third BU goal came just 40 seconds later a Joe Pereira scored on a breakaway. Jason Lawrence made the pass to setup the fast break, while Brian Strait won the faceoff and feed it to Pereira.
Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) stopped 26 shots en route to his sixth-straight Hockey East victory as he improves to 13-5-0 overall, while his counterpart Bennett falls to 6-7-3.
New Hampshire returns to action on Friday, Feb. 1 at Vermont. The game will be broadcast live on CSTV. The Wildcats’ next home game is Feb. 16 (7 p.m.) vs. Providence College.