CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Senior blueliner Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.) tallied a pair of assists as the 20th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team fell to No. 9 Boston College 6-2 on Friday night at Conte Forum. Senior Jeff Silengo (Madison, Conn.) and junior Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) each tallied a goal in the game.
The Wildcats fall to 9-8-1 overall and to 5-4-0 in Hockey East action while the Eagles improve to 9-4-2 on the year and to 5-1-1 in conference play.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead just 1:07 into the first period as Johnny Gaudreau recorded his 13th goal of the season on a breakaway. Linemate Bill Arnold played a pass up the ice that tipped the stick of a UNH player and bounced into the Wildcat zone. Gaudreau skated on to the puck and found the back of the net on the lower left side.
The Wildcats remained resilient and kept creating chances, however BC netminder Brian Billett made saves on all 16 shots the 'Cats sent at him in the period. Knodel paced the Wildcats with four shots from the blueline while junior Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) was right behind him with three. Downing notched back-to-back chances with 7:30 remaining in the first period as he was deep in the Eagle zone. His first shot was saved by Billett while his backhanded second attempt went just wide.
On the three additional shots BC sent at UNH goaltender Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.), each of them were denied by the netminder. At the end of the first period, BC held a 1-0 lead.
Just 18 seconds into the second stanza, Silengo registered his fifth goal of the season to level the score at 1-1. The play started with Knodel behind the UNH net with the puck. He sent a pass to his left to fellow blueliner Justin Agosta (East Meadow, N.Y.). Agosta skated up the ice with it and dished the puck to Silengo just inside the blueline of the BC zone. Silengo skated in just a little and fired a wrist shot that beat netminder Billett over his glove for the goal.
The Eagles responded with four unanswered goals in the second period to gain a 5-1 advantage. Steve Santini registered the second goal of the game for BC at the 1:06 mark of the second period. Austin Cangelosi passed the puck up the ice to Destry Straight who in turn laid a pass to Santini. Santini connected with the pass and found the back of the net. With 4:56 left in the second period, Cangelosi notched his second point of the night with a goal. Cangelosi received a pass from Gaudreau and eventually jammed the puck into the net past DeSmith. Teddy Doherty extended the BC lead to three with a goal at the 16:26 mark of the second period. Chris Calnan played a pass to Adam Gilmour who set up Doherty. Doherty skated across the face of the goal and put his shot into the net. The play was initially reviewed by the officials, but after the deliberation, the call stood. Kevin Hayes added to the BC lead to make the score 5-1 at 16:44 of the period with a rip from outside of the faceoff circle. His wrist shot went high on DeSmith and into the top corner of the net. Senior netminder Jeff Wyer (Reading, Mass.) played the remaining 3:16 in net for New Hampshire and did not face a shot.
At the end of the second period, the Wildcats held an 11-shot advantage with the totals rising to 28-17. Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) blasted a pair of shots at the BC net in the period while van Riemsdyk matched Sorkin's total.
In the opening seconds of the third period, senior Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) ripped a blast from the left faceoff circle and at the BC net. The shot made a direct hit on the crossbar and bounced out of play. Downing followed up with a backhanded attempt of his own in the next minute, but Billett made the extended leg save to keep UNH from cutting the lead.
BC added a sixth goal at the 4:59 mark of the third period when Straight tapped in an attempt by Ryan Fitzgerald. Cangelosi played the puck up to Fitzgerald who tried to put the puck away, but left it sitting in the crease as he was on the back door of the net.
van Riemsdyk netted the second goal of the night for UNH with his fourth of the season at the 6:41 mark of the third period. Sorkin played the puck from behind the BC redline to Knodel at the point. Knodel slid the puck across the ice to van Riemsdyk. van Riemsdyk skated forward a few feet, turned around and ripped a shot that sailed through traffic and into the net.
At the end of the third period, BC took the game by a score of 6-2. The Wildcats pummeled Billett with 41 total shots in the game, but the netminder made 39 saves to improve his record to 6-3-1. DeSmith received the decision in net for the Wildcats as he made 12 save son 17 shots faced through 36:44 of ice time. His record falls to 7-6-0. Wyer played the remaining 23:16 in relief and made three saves on four shots faced.
The Wildcats went 0-for-4 on the power play while BC did not get a power play opportunity.
The two teams will finish the season series Saturday night as the action heads to the Whittemore Center. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.