CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Freshman goaltender Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) recorded 30 saves, including 12 in both the first and third periods, but the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team was defeated 4-3 by seventh-ranked Boston College in Friday night's Hockey East action at Conte Forum.
UNH is now 9-13-2 overall and 6-10-1 in Hockey East while BC improved to 15-10-1, 11-7-1.
Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) led the Wildcats' offense with two assists. Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Scott Pavelski (Plover, Wis.) and Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) scored for the 'Cats.
The 30 saves marked the second-highest total in DeSmith's nine-game career; he finished wiht a personal best of 32 saves Dec. 8, 2011 against Boston University.
BC netminder Parker Milner made 10 saves as UNH was held to a season-low 13 shots, including three in the third period.
The Eagles recorded a 12-5 shot advantage in the first period and scored the only goal of the stanza 35 seconds after the opening faceoff when Kevin Hayes collected the puck off the end boards to DeSmith's right and fired a tough-angle shot off the goaltender into the cage.
In the eighth minute with BC on the power play, Barry Almeida was alone in the slot and fired a one-timer that DeSmith on which made an acrobatic glove save. Three minutes later, UNH generated its best scoring chance of the period when Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) slipped behind the defense, skated down the slot and rifled a shot off the right post.
New Hampshire took a 2-1 lead with goals 3:02 apart early in the second period. Block leveled the score, 1-1, at 2:10 when he corralled his own rebound in the right corner and threw the puck in front of the net, where it caromed off Milner into the net. John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) and Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) were credited with assists.
Moses gave the Wildcats a 2-1 lead at 5:12 with his team-leading 18th goal of the season. Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) fed a centering pass from the right circle to Moses, who swept a low shot past Milner. van Riemsdyk tallied his first assist of the night on the play.
UNH went on its third power play of the night at 14:12 of the second stanza, but the Eagles netted a shorthanded goal 12 seconds later to tie the score, 2-2. Pat Mullane collected a pass in the neutral zone and advanced the puck to Chris Kreider, who attacked through the right circle across the low slot before tucking a shot into the cage.
With the score still tied midway through the final frame, UNH generated a rush and Moses, deep in the left circle, lifted an off-balance wrister that Milner blocked aside.
The Wildcats regained the lead, 3-2, at 15:18 on Pavelski's second goal of the season. van Riemsdyk carried the puck through the left circle, behind the net around to the right side, where he slid a pass across the top of the crease. With all three UNH forwards crashing the net at the left post, Kevin McCarey (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) pushed the puck towards the goal line and Pavelski jammed the puck into the net.
BC went on its fifth power play of the night at 16:05 and capitalized on the man advantage to tie the score, 3-3, at 16:55 when Brian Dumoulin's slap shot from the right point was redirected into the goal by Johnny Gaudreau.
The Eagles took a 4-3 lead with 55 seconds remaining in regulation. Mullane, at the right faceoff dot, found Steven Whitney cutting down the slot and he fired a shot past DeSmith.
UNH called its timeout at that point and DeSmith was pulled in favor of an extra skater with 21 seconds to play. BC iced the puck with 13 seconds remaining and called time out. The Wildcats kept pressure in the offensive zone and Henrion's shot from the slot ricocheted off Milner and the right post. The puck slipped into the neutral zone and the waning seconds ran off the clock before UNH could reenter the zone.
New Hampshire and BC conclude the home-and-home series Jan. 28 (7 p.m.) at UNH's Whittemore Center. The game will be broadcast live on WBIN-TV.