Boston, Mass. — With first place at stake in the early-season Hockey East standings, the Boston University and University of New Hampshire hockey teams battled to a 1-1 overtime tie in front of 3233 fans at B.U.'s Walter Brown Arena on Sunday night (November 4th).
New Hampshire entered the game with a slim lead in the standings over the Terriers, and the game ended with the Wildcats still holding the one-point edge.
UNH is now 3-1-2 overall and 2-0-2 in the league for six points. In the meantime, the Terriers remained undefeated with a 4-0-1 overall record and a 2-0-1mark in the league for five points.
After playing to a scoreless 0-0 tie through two periods, it was New Hampshire that drew first blood when Colin Hemingway scored his sixth goal of the year at 9:26. Hemingway took a nifty pass from Lanny Gare that bounced off the boards in front of the B.U. bench.
Hemingway came in from right to left on Terrier goalie Sean Fields and beat Fields who was sprawled on the ice. In addition to Gare, Josh Prudden also earned an assist.
Less than a minute later, B.U.'s Frantisek Skladany tied the game when he played give-and-go with linemate Gregg Johnson. The play started when Terrier defenseman John Cronin passed the puck in deep to Skladany. He gave the puck to Johnson who gave it back to Skladany who came in on UNH goalie Matt Carney's left side. Skladany beat Carney for his fourth goal of the season.
The real stars of the game, though, were Fields and Carney.
Fields turned aside 37-of-38 New Hampshire shots, the most noteworthy coming in the closing second of the third period. The Wildcats' Jim Abbott fired a 60-foot shot that was headed to the far right hand corner of the goal when Fields flashed his glove and made the save.
Carney, in turn, had 28 saves for the Wildcats, the most notable coming with just 23 seconds to play in overtime.
The Terriers' Mike Pandolfo took a shot from about 10 feet in front of Carney and it appeared it was headed for just under the cross bar when Carney, who was on the ice, lifted his right pad and redirected the puck with his skate.
Fields was selected the game's first star, while Skladany was the second, and Carney the third.
"Both goalies played great," said Terrier head coach Jack Parker.
"New Hampshire could have had a bunch of goals early because they really dominated play in the first half of the game," said Parker looking, in particular to the first period shot differential in which New Hampshire had a 13-5 edge. "We had trouble getting the puck out of our zone, and we looked tired out there.
"We had a lack of speed, and they were quick," the coach went on. "But, I liked how we hung in there and came back especially so quickly after they had scored."
In the second period, the Wildcats had a 9-8 advantage, while they outshot the Terriers by only a 16-14 advantage in the third period. In the overtime, B.U. had the only two shots on net.
"This was a fabulous game," said New Hampshire coach Dick Umile. "We had some early chances, and they got some good goaltending.
"I didn't expect this to be a high-scoring game," the coach went on. "This game lived up to the advanced billing."