BOSTON – Freshman Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) scored two minutes into double overtime to lift the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to 3-2 win against the sixth-ranked and third-seeded Boston University in Friday night's Hockey East quarterfinal action at Agganis Arena.
UNH improves to 15-17-3 overall and captures game one of the series. Boston University is now 21-13-1. The teams will meet again tomorrow (4 p.m. – NESN) in game two of this best-of-three series.
Downing stole the puck from Ben Rosen behind the BU net and shoved the puck in short-side to lift UNH to the win at 2:00 of the second overtime. The unassisted goal was Downing's 10th goal of the season. It was UNH's first multi-overtime game since a 5-4 loss in triple overtime to Boston College on March 21, 2008. The win was UNH's first overtime win in the Hockey East playoffs since a 3-2 double overtime win over Massachusetts on March 16, 2007.
Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) stopped 34 shots including 10 in the middle stanza. BU's Kieran Millan made a career-high 47 saves in the losing effort. Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) finished with a goal and an assist, while Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) scored New Hampshire's other goal.
Despite several early bids by the Wildcats, Boston University broke the scoreless deadlock as Alex Chiasson scored after a nifty deek and backhander at 14:39 of the period. Matt Nieto and Chris Connolly assist on the goal. UNH responded, however, with a pair of goals late in the first period. Sorkin roofed the rebound of a Kevin McCarey (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) shot at 17:20. Justin Agosta (East Meadow, N.Y.) also added a helper on the goal. UNH took the lead as a Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) fired a shot from just inside the blueline that split two defenders and beat BU's Kieran Millan blocker side at 18:06. UNH held a 12-10 shot advantage in the period.
In a back and forth second period, it was the Terriers netting the lone goal to tie it at 2-2 after two period. Kevin Gilroy was fed for a one-on-none rush and he
held the puck and slid it past a stretched out DeSmith. BU held a slim 8-6 shot edge in the frame.
In a scoreless third period, UNH had the better of chances with an 18-10 shot advantage. Millan and DeSmith were both asked to make big saves and were up to the challenge. New Hampshire had several bids in its power play opportunities and also strung a series of chances in the final minutes of regulation.
UNH outshot Boston University 13-7 in the first overtime and tasted Millan throughout the stanza, but could not break through.
The Wildcats held a 50-36 shot advantage for the contest.
DeSmith improves to 9-7-1. Millan is now 18-12-1.
UNH was 0-4 on the power play, while Boston U. was 0-3 in its extra-skater opportunities.
New Hampshire and Boston University complete in game two of this best-of-three quarterfinal series Saturday. Puck drops at 4 p.m. with coverage on NESN.