#7 Men's Hockey Edged 2-1 by #15 Boston U.
DURHAM, N.H. – Kieran Millan made 38 saves to backbone the 15th-ranked Boston University men's hockey team to Saturday night't 2-1 Hockey East victory against seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which had won seven consecutive Hockey East games and was unbeaten in 27 straight league home games (20-0-7), is now 13-5-4 overall and 11-2-2 in the conference. BU, which had lost to Boston College and Merrimack College earlier in the week, improved to 11-7-6, 8-5-4. The Terriers were also the last team to beat the 'Cats on their home ice back on Jan. 24, 2009.
Millan recorded double-digit saves all three periods with 10 in the first, 15 in the second and 13 in the third. UNH's Matt DiGirolamo (Ambler, Pa.) made 13 of his 22 saves in the opening stanza.
UNH took a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 5:00 of the second period. The initial slap shot off the stick of Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, British Columbia) was stopped by Millan. Mike Borisenok (Watervileit, N.Y.) corralled the rebound at the right post but was also denied by Millan. Borisenok then jammed the puck to the top of the crease, where Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.) shoveled the puck into the open net.
The Terriers leveled the score, 1-1, with a power-play goal at 8:24. Garrett Noonan initiated the scoring sequence with a pass from the left circle to the high slot, where Adam Clendening's shot ricocheted off the left post. Charlie Coyle gathered the rebound at the top of the crease and deposited the puck into the open net.
New Hampshire nearly regained the lead in the 12th minute, first when a Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) shot from deep on the right side was kicked out by Millan's right leg pad and then on a rush by Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) down the right side in which he nearly beat the goalie inside the near post.
It was the Terriers, however, who went in front at 12:43. Ross Gaudet took advantage of a UNH turnover in its defensive zone by gaining possession in the slot and backhanding a shot past DiGirolamo into the cage.
Less than a minute later, Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) fired a shot from the right circle that deflected off a defenseman into Millan and then Burke's wrister from the slot was also blocked by the BU goalie.
The Terriers put the puck in the net at 7:38 of the third period, but the net was dislodged before the puck crossed the goal line to keep the score 2-1. On the play, DiGirolamo stopped Alex Chiasson's initial shot as well as Coyle's rebound effort.
Midway through the final frame, UNH won a faceoff in the offensive zone to immediately generate Thompson's shot in the slot and DeSimone's follow-up off the rebound, both of which were stopped by Millan.
DiGirolamo was pulled in favor of an extra skater with 52 seconds to play and in the waning seconds, DeSimone's low shot deep on the right side was blocked away by BU's Max Nicastro.
BU recorded a 13-10 shot advantage and went 0-for-2 on the power play in the scoreless first period. On the Terriers' first power-play opportunity, Sahir Gill was positioned at the right post and redirected a shot into the cage, but did so with a high stick and the ruling of no goal was upheld by replay review.
In the 12th minute, Moses led a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush and slid the puck to the right circle, where Borisenok fired a shot that was stopped by Millan. The rebound went behind the goalie to the slot but out of the reach of Moses, who had an open net in front of him.
With just more than five minutes remaining in the opening stanza, Coyle led a rush down the left wing and carried the puck across the low slot wide of the right post and wristed a shot off the post.
New Hampshire returns to action Jan. 28-29 with a home-and-home series against Providence College. The series opener is in Providence and the teams battle Jan. 29 at the Whittemore Center. Both games begin at 7 p.m.