Men's Hockey Drops Double-OT Heartbreaker to No. 6 Boston U., 5-4
BOSTON – Alex Chiasson scored at 6:42 of the second overtime to lift the sixth-ranked and third-seeded Boston University to a 5-4 win over the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team Sunday afternoon's Hockey East quarterfinal action at Agganis Arena. With the win, the Terriers captured a 2-1 win in the series by virtue of Saturday's 4-2 win. UNH won game one 3-2 in double overtime.
Freshman Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) turned aside a career-high 50 shots, while his counterpart Kieran Millan stopped a career-high 68 shots in the winning effort. In addtion, freshman forward Casey Thrush (Easton, Md.) scored a career-high two goals, while Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.) and Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) lit the lamp for the Wildcats.
UNH closes out the 2011-12 season 15-19-3. Boston University is now 23-13-1. The Terriers advance to the Hockey East semifinals at TD Garden next weekend.
After New Hampshire had a series of bid early in the second overtime, it was Chiasson knocking home the rebound of a Wade Megan shot for the winner. Chiasson finished with a goal and three assists in the game. UNH had eight of the 11 shots in the second OT and held a 72-55 shot advantage for the contest.
UNH appeared to have the game's first goal as Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) knocked home a rebound, but it was ruled to be hit in with a high stick. BU wasted little time to take advantage of the break scoring just 52 later as Evan Rodrigues scored in transition with assists from Matt Nieto and Sean Escobedo at 4:11 of the period. New Hampshire answered with a pair of goals from its third line. Thrush netted both of them with helpers from Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and Matt Willows (Congers, N.Y.) on each goal. The first of those goals came as Willows fought behind the net to keep the puck in and fed it to Block whose shot trickled out to Thrush for the put in on the right slot. The go-ahead goal came in transition as Block passed to Willows near center ice and Willows found an open Thrush in the center of the ice for the one-timer. UNH controlled play in the first with a 16-4 shot advantage including holding BU without a shot on net over the final nine-plus minutes in the frame.
Each team scored twice in the second period, in a tale of two halves. UNH controlled the play in the first half of the frame netting goals at 1:42 and 4:34 to build a 4-1 lead. BU got back into it with goals at 16:11 and 18:58 of the period. Burke scored UNH's first goal on the power play. Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) fired a shot wide of the net, but Downing was behind the net and passed it out to an open Burke in the slot. The second tally was a shorthanded goal by Borisenok. Borisenok and Kevin McCarey (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) nearly connected on a shorthanded goal just moments before the eventual tally. BU attempted to enter the zone and McCarey stole the puck and found Borisenok behind the defense, who finished his one-on-none opportunity against Millan. The Terriers scored a pair of rebound goals. Garrett Noonan scored both of them after a scrum in front of the net. Chris Connolly and Alex Chiasson assisted on the first, while Chiasson and Ruikka added helpers on the second goal. UNH held a 21-16 shot edge in the period.
The Terriers wasted little time to tie it at 4-4. Wade Megan scored on a wrister from the left circle. Noonan and Chiasson were credited with assists on the goal just 30 seconds into the frame. BU would continue to control play through the early minutes of the third, but could not breakthrough. The Wildcats had an effective power play in the middle of the frame that evened out play, but neither team could score forcing overtime for the second time in the series.
In a scoreless overtime both teams had golden opportunities to tuck away the game winner. A combined 20 shots on net, BU held a 16-14 edge in the extra frame. Perhaps UNH's best bid came in the final five minutes when a Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) one-timer was stoned by an aggressive Millan.
DeSmith, despite a career-best effort falls to 9-10-1, while Millan, who had two career-high performances during the weekend, is now 19-14-1.
The game was the final one for six UNH seniors. Borisenok, Moses, McCarey, Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, British Columbia), Tyler Scott (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Matt Di Girolamo (Ambler, Pa.) all competed in their last games as Wildcats.