MEN'S HOCKEY PLAYS HOST TO SIXTH-SEEDED BOSTON COLLEGE IN HE QUARTERFINALS

Bracket | Tickets | Audio | Stats | Video | Game Notes
DURHAM, N.H. --The ninth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team enters post season play when it entertains defending National Champion and 18th-ranked Boston College in the Hockey East quarterfinals. The third-seeded Wildcats, which earned home-ice advantage for a league best 13th-straight season, open play against the sixth-seeded Eagles on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Whittemore Center. All games in this best-of-three series will be played the Whitt with 7 p.m. starts scheduled for Friday and Saturday as well as Sunday if necessary. All games can be heard on the Wildcat Sports Network with live audio, live stats and live video available online through www.unhwildcats.com.

SCOUTING THE EAGLES: No. 18 Boston College enters this weekend’s Hockey East quarterfinal series with a 16-13-5 record and an 11-11-5 record in Hockey East, good for the sixth seed in the tournament. After losing both games in a home-and-home series against New Hampshire on Feb. 20-21, the Eagles ended the regular season winning three of their last four, with their lone defeat a crushing 2-1 overtime loss to Northeastern. BC would avenge that loss with a 4-1 win on the final day of the regular season. The Eagles enter the tournament as back-to-back defending Hockey East champions, but have their lowest seeding since 2002. BC, which won it all a year ago, are led offensively by Brock Bradford, who has 40 points on 23 goals and 17 assists. Brian Gibbons and Benn Ferriero have 26 and 25 points, respectively. In the net, John Muse once again has been the ironman for the Eagles, playing in all but 7:56 this season. He is 16-13-5 with a 2.78 GAA and a .901 save percentage.

SERIES HISTORY VS. BOSTON COLLEGE:
The Wildcats hold the advantage in the all-time series with the Eagles 62-56-10 in 128 all-time meetings dating back to Feb. 6, 1937. After dropping the first meeting of the season, 8-6, at Conte Forum on Nov. 15, the Wildcats bounced back with a sweep of a home-and-home series on Feb. 20-21 with scores of 3-2 and 4-2, respectively. UNH has won five of the last six in the regular season, while BC has won five-straight in the Hockey East playoffs against the Wildcats. Last year, the Eagles ended UNH’s run in the Hockey East playoffs with a 5-4 win in triple overtime in the longest game in UNH history March 21 at the Hockey East semifinals. Coach Umile owns a 38-20-9 all-time record against BC and the Wildcats own a 13-15-6 all-time record at Conte Forum and a 16-3-0 all-time record at the Whittemore Center.The ‘Cats have won 13 of the last 15 meetings at Towse Rink. James van Riemsdyk is the active leading scorer against the Eagles with 12 points, with six goals and six assists in just seven games, while Jerry Pollastrone has 11 points in 13 games. Brian Foster  is 2-1-0 with a 2.34 GAA and a .923 save percentage, while Matt DiGirolamo is 0-1-0 in his only start against the Eagles.

SCORING LEADERS VS. THE EAGLES:
Player    GP    G-A-P  
 
James van Riemsdyk    7    6-6-12
Jerry Pollastrone    13    1-10-11
Bobby Butler    10    4-3-7
Mike Sislo    6    3-3-6
Thomas Fortney    14    1-4-5
Danny Dries    6    3-2-5
Greg Collins    14    2-2-4
Jamie Fritsch    13    3-1-4
Peter LeBlanc    10    1-2-3
Kevin Kapstad    11    0-3-3
Phil DeSimone    7    3-0-3
Paul Thompson    7    0-2-2
Nick Krates    7    0-2-2
Blake Kessel    3    1-1-2
Steve Moses    2    1-0-1
Matt Campanale    3    0-0-0
Alan Thompson    3    0-0-0
Damon Kipp    2    0-0-0
Mike Beck    1    0-0-0
Kevin McCarey    1    0-0-0
Goaltending Stats
Player    GP/Min    GA    GAA    W-L-T    SV    SV%

Foster    3/179:16    7    2.34    2-1-0    85    .923
DiGirolamo    1/58:47    7    7.15    0-1-0    29    .805
Foster Game-by-Game vs. the Eagles
Date        Min    Res.    Svs.    GA    Shots

3-3-07        59:44    L    24    4    28
2-20-09        59:43    W    33    2    35
2-21-09        59:49    W    28    1    29
Totals        59:44    2-1-0    85    7    92
DiGirolamo Game-by-Game vs. the Eagles
Date        Min    Res.    Svs.    GA    Shots

11-15-08        58:47    L    29    7    36
Totals        58:47    0-1-0    29    7    36

SCORING LEADERS IN HE QUARTERFINALS
Player    GP    G-A-P    

Jerry Pollastrone    6    5-1-6
Thomas Fortney    6    2-2-4
Danny Dries    2    1-2-3
James van Riemsdyk    2    0-3-3
Greg Collins    6    1-1-2
Bobby Butler    4    1-1-2
Jamie Fritsch    6    0-1-1
Peter LeBlanc    4    0-1-1
Kevin Kapstad    4    0-1-1
Mike Sislo    2    0-1-1
Phil DeSimone    2    0-0-0
Paul Thompson    2    0-0-0
Nick Krates    2    0-0-0
Goaltending Stats
Player    GP/Min    GA    GAA    W-L-T    SV    SV%

none

SCORING LEADERS IN HOCKEY EAST TOURNAMENT
Player    GP    G-A-P 
   
Jerry Pollastrone    10    5-2-7
Bobby Butler    7    5-2-7
Thomas Fortney    10    3-3-6
James van Riemsdyk    3    0-5-5
Greg Collins    10    2-3-5
Danny Dries    3    1-2-3
Jamie Fritsch    10    0-1-1
Peter LeBlanc    7    0-1-1
Kevin Kapstad    7    0-1-1
Mike Sislo    3    0-1-1
Nick Krates    3    0-1-1
Phil DeSimone    3    0-0-0
Paul Thompson    3    0-0-0
Goaltending Stats
Player    GP/Min    GA    GAA    W-L-T    SV    SV%

none

WILDCAT DOMINANCE IN HE QUARTERFINALS:
UNH has won 14-of-15 quarterfinal games in the last seven years, all Wildcat series wins. In those contests, UNH has outscored its opponents 70-26. Most recently, UNH has won nine straight quarterfinal games. Jerry Pollastrone is the active leader in Hockey East quarterfinal scoring, with six points in six games, including his first career hat trick in last year’s clinching win over Massachusetts.

UNH VS. BC IN THE HOCKEY EAST TOURNAMENT:
UNH is 3-6-0 in nine meetings against the Eagles in the Hockey East playoffs. The Wildcats swept the only time these teams met in the Hockey East quarterfinals in 1994.
3-9-90    (A)    4    Boston College    5    L    OT
(BC wins HE Semifinal at Conte Forum)

3-11-94    (H)    4    Boston College    1    W
3-12-94    (H)    6    Boston College    5    W    2OT
(UNH wins best of three games, 2-0, quarterfinals)

3/14/97    (N)    4    Boston College    0    W
(HE Semifinals at Fleet Center)

3/20/99    (N)    5    Boston College    4    L    OT
(HE Finals at FleetCenter)

3/17/00    (N)    1    Boston College    2    L
(HE Semifinals at FleetCenter)

3/19/05    (N)    1    Boston College    3    L
(HE Finals at the FleetCenter)

3/17/07    (N)    2    Boston College    5    L
(HE Finals at the TD Banknorth Garden)

3/21/08    (N)    4    Boston College    5    L    3OT
(HE Semifinals at the TD Banknorth Garden)

'CATS, UMILE ONE WIN SHY OF 20
: UNH is now just one win shy of a 20-win season for the 13th-straight year. Overall,  Dick Umile is in search of his 17th 20-win season in just 19 years of coaching at UNH. Last year, BC was the only other Hockey East team to post 20 wins. The Eagles, who are four wins away from a 20-win season, hold the next longest active streak with six-straight 20-win seasons.
Team    Consecutive Seasons of 20+ Wins        08-09 Wins
Michigan        22*            26
Michigan State        17            10
New Hampshire        12            19
Denver            8*            20
North Dakota        7*            22
Boston College        6            16
Quinnipiac        4            18
Miami            3            19
Notre Dame        3*            27
Clarkson        2            10
Princeton        2*            20
Air Force        2*            23
* = includes 2008-09 season

POINTS ALL AROUND: 
Last weekend, 17 of 18 skaters in the lineup registered a point.
Player            G-A-P
Peter LeBlanc        2-1-3
Greg Collins        1-2-3
James van Riemsdyk    2-0-2
Kevin Kapstad        1-1-2
Blake Kessel        1-1-2
Alan Thompson        1-1-2
Jerry Pollastrone        0-2-2
Mike Sislo        0-2-2
Paul Thompson        0-2-2
Danny Dries        1-0-1
Damon Kipp        1-0-1
Bobby Butler        0-1-1
Matt Campanale        0-1-1
Phil DeSimone        0-1-1
Thomas Fortney        0-1-1
Jamie Fritsch        0-1-1
Nick Krates        0-1-1
Steve Moses        0-0-0
Total            10-18-28

KIPP NETS FIRST COLLEGIATE GOAL, POINT: 
Freshman Damon Kipp notched his first collegiate goal and point by scoring UNH’s first goal Friday night at Vermont.

WILDCATS 11-4-0 IN ONE-GOAL GAMES:
  While UNH was just 7-5-0 in one-goal games last season, the Wildcats have one 11 of 15 one-goal games.

WIN FOR THREE:
UNH captured the third seed in the tournament with a win over Vermont on the final game of the regular season.

ENDING ON THE RIGHT NOTE:
The win in the finale marks the first win to close out the regular season since 2005-06.

EAGLES HAVE ‘CATS’ NUMBER IN HOCKEY EAST TOURNAMENT:
UNH will attempt to snap a five-game losing streak against the Eagles in the Hockey East playoffs, including back-to-back losses at the TD Banknorth Garden in the title game in 2007 and in a triple-overtime semifinal a year ago. However, the Wildcats are 3-6-0 in Hockey East tournament games, but did sweep the only time these teams met in the quarterfinals, 2-0-0, in 1993-94.

SCORING IN BUNCHES, TALLYING IN ALL PERIODS:
Last weekend’s 10-goal output was the most by UNH in a single weekend all year. The Wildcat offense has scored four or more goals in 7 of their last 10.  UNH scored in every period last weekend, including a goal in the overtime period.

POLLASTRONE APPROACHING 100:
With 94 points, senior forward Jerry Pollastrone is looking to become the 67th member of the Wildcat century club. Last season, Mike Radja and Matt Fornataro joined the prestigious list.  On Friday night at Vermont, Pollastrone had a pair of assists in a 6-4 loss.

KESSEL SETS CAREER HIGH:
  With a goal and an assist, Blake Kessel set a career high with two points.

SISLO MATCHES CAREER HIGH, WITH TWO ASSISTS: 
Mike Sislo matched a career high with two assists Saturday. He had a pair of assists in a six-point effort against Holy Cross on Dec. 11, 2008.

COLLINS POSTS CAREER-HIGH THREE POINTS: 
With a goal and two assists against Vermont on Saturday, Greg Collins set a career high. Collins’ goal was the game-winning goal in overtime.

WILDCATS SECURE 13th-STRAIGHT HOME-ICE ADVANTAGE:
UNH secured home ice for a league-best 13th-straight season. The last time UNH traveled for the quarterfinals was the 1995-96 season when the Wildcats lost two games to none at Maine.

GETTING OUT TO AN EARLY LEAD:
UNH has benefitted from getting an early lead. The Wildcats are 13-0-3 when leading after two and 12-1-3 with a lead after the first period.

BALANCED WINNING FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR:
With a win over Merrimack on Feb. 27, UNH captured a victory over every league foe for the second straight season.

Preseason Coaches Poll      vs.     Actual Regular Season Finish
Rk.    Team (FPV)        Rk. Team  
           
1.    Boston College (6)        1.  Boston U.    
2.    Boston University (3)    2.  Northeastern
3.    New Hampshire (1)    3. New Hampshire
4.    Northeastern        4. Vermont
5.    Vermont        5. Mass-Lowell
6.    Massachusetts        6. Boston College
7.    UMass-Lowell        7. Massachusetts
8.    Providence        8. Maine        
9.    Maine        9. Providence
10.    Merrimack        10. Merrimack

COLLEGE HOCKEY NEWS’ PAIRWISE RATINGS (AS OF 3/9):
Rk     Team     PCWs     W-L-T     Win %     Rk     RPI     Rk

1      Boston University     24      27-5-4      .8056      2      .5976*  1
2     Notre Dame     23     27-5-3     .8143     1     .5819     2
3     Michigan     22     26-10-0     .7222     4     .5703     3
4     Denver     20     20-10-5     .6429     11     .5565     6
5t     Northeastern     19     23-9-4     .6944     6     .5688     4
5t     Vermont     19     20-9-5     .6618     9     .5606     5
7t     New Hampshire     18     19-10-5     .6324     12t     .5514     7
7t     North Dakota     18     22-12-4     .6316     14t     .5508     8
9     Yale     16     20-7-2     .7241     3     .5466*     9
10     Cornell     15     18-7-4     .6897     7t     .5455     10
11     Miami     14     19-10-5     .6324     12t     .5452     11
12     Princeton     13     20-9-0     .6897     7t     .5421     12
13     Minnesota     11     15-12-7     .5441     20t     .5308     16
14t     Ohio State     9     22-12-4     .6316     14t     .5400     13
14t     St. Lawrence     9     19-11-4     .6176     16     .5340     14
14t     Colorado College     9     16-10-10 .5833     17     .5324     15
17t     Air Force     8     23-9-2     .7059     5     .5284*     18
17t     Minnesota-Duluth 8     16-12-8     .5556     19     .5283     19
19t     Boston College     6     16-13-5     .5441     20t     .5300     17
19t     Wisconsin     6     17-15-4     .5278     28     .5270     20
21     St. Cloud State     5     18-15-3     .5417     23t     .5251     21
22t     Alaska-Anchorage     3     14-15-5     .4853     36     .5123     24
22t     Mass.-Lowell     3     17-15-2     .5294     25t     .5249     22
24     Minnesota State     2     15-15-6     .5000     32t     .5171     23
25     Alaska     0     15-13-6     .5294     25t     .5119     25

WILDCATS’ SUCCESS AGAINST LEAGUE FOES:
UNH has won 14 season series against Hockey East foes in the last two seasons. Overall, the Wildcats have won 14, lost two and split two series since the start of the 2007-08 season.

FOSTER GARNERS HOCKEY EAST GOALIE OF THE MONTH, FEBRUARY:
Brian Foster was selected ITECH Hockey East Goalie of the Month for February. Foster went 6-1-1 in the month and allowed two goals or less in six of eight games, including ending the month with his third shutout of the season, fifth of his career. Foster’s lone loss of the month came as Maine captured a 1-0 win Feb. 7 on a short-handed one-on-none goal. Foster had 20-plus saves in all eight games, including a pair of 30-plus save performances. Foster ended the month by winning his final five games and was unbeaten in the last six games. He ended the month with 26 saves in a 1-0 shutout of Merrimack on Feb. 28. Overall, he posted a 1.86 goals against average and a .932 save percentage.

SCORING BY CLASS: 2008-09 breakdown of scoring by class.
    (G) %    (A) %    (P) %    

Seniors    (20) 19%    (67) 36%    (87) 30%
Juniors    (19) 18%    (42) 23%    (61) 21%
Sophomores    (54) 51%    (59) 32%    (113) 39%
Freshmen    (13) 12%    (16) 9%    (29) 10%
Totals    (106) 100%    (184) 100%    (290) 100%

SISLO APPROACHING 20 GOALS:
Mike Sislo has 18 goals this season and looks to become the first 20-goal scorer since Trevor Smith had 21 goals in 2006-07. Before Smith you have to go back to 2004-05 when Preston Callander (25), Brett Hemingway (22) and Jacob Micflikier (20) all lit the lamp 20-plus times.

UNH CAPTURES 21st STRAIGHT HOCKEY EAST PLAYOFF APPEARANCE:
With a win over Merrimack on Feb. 27, UNH officially qualified for its 21st straight Hockey East playoff appearance. The Wildcats have qualified for the postseason in every year since 1989.

van RIEMSDYK NAMED WALTER BROWN SEMIFINALIST: 
James van Riemsdyk was named a semifinalist for the 57th annual Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England. Last year, van Riemsdyk was a semifinalist along with eventual winner Kevin Regan. van Riemsdyk was among 16 semifinalists selected by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, as announced by president Tim Whelan on Feb. 2. van Riemsdyk was among a list of four players that are repeat nominees (BC’s Benn Ferriero, PC’s Matt Taormina, UMass’ James Marcou). Including Regan in 2008, UNH has had six former Wildcats earn the Walter Brown Award, including Bob Miller (1977), Ralph Cox (1979), Ty Conklin (2001), Mike Ayers (2003) and Steve Saviano (2004). The Gridiron Club plans to announce the finalists and winner of the 57th Walter Brown Award in March, following league playoffs and before the start of NCAA Tournament play.

WHITTEMORE TRULY HOME SWEET HOME:
UNH is 19-3-2 in its last 24 games at Whittemore Center and are 25-6-2 dating back to the start of the 2007-08 season.

AMONG HOCKEY EAST’S TOP WEEKLY PERFORMER (AS ANNOUNCED WEEKLY BY HE):

Greg Collins, (Sr., F, Fairport, N.Y.) Registered a career-high three points (1g,2a), which included the overtime game-winner Saturday vs. UVM.
Blake Kessel, (Fr., D, Verona, Wis.) Had a goal and an assist Friday night in Vermont and skated a +2 on the weekend.

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