BOSTON – Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) registered a pair of assists, but the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team fell 4-2 against the sixth-ranked and third-seeded Boston University in Saturday afternoon's Hockey East quarterfinal action at Agganis Arena.
UNH falls to 15-18-3. Boston University is now 22-13-1. The teams will play the rubber match of the best-of-three series Sunday (5 p.m.) at Agganis Arena. The winner will advance to the Hockey East semifinals at TD Garden next weekend.
UNH netminder Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) finished with 32 saves including 27 over the first two periods. BU's Kieran Millan stopped 35 shots including 18 in the third period.
Boston University got the scoring going with a power play goal just as the penalty was expiring. Chris Connolly tapped home the rebound of an Alex Chiasson shot that slide through DeSmith's attempts to cover the puck at 11:55. Alexx Privitera also assisted on goal. BU carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission and outshot UNH 14-8 in the frame.
New Hampshire tied it up midway through the second period as Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) scored on a wrister from the right circle. Goumas made a nice backhand pass to setup the goal. Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, British Columbia) also assisted on the tally at 10:16 of the second. Boston University regained the lead on a delayed-penalty goal by Sahir Gill at 17:16. Gill was pulled down, but managed to slide the puck in as he was falling. Patrick MacGregor and Garrett Noonan assisted on the goal. The goal by Gill and another play was reviewed and both calls were upheld after video review to give BU a 2-1 lead at the break. The Terriers held a 15-10 shot edge in the period.
UNH tied it early in the third period on a power play goal by Connor Hardowa (Edmonton, Alberta). Hardowa beat Millan on a slapshot from the left point. Goumas and Brett Kostolansky (Denver, Colo.) assisted on the goal at 4:04. BU answered just 50 seconds later as Matt Nieto's transition quick-releease wrister beat DeSmith to his high stick-side. The Terriers doubled its lead as Ryan Santana scored on a two-on-one breakout that was setup by Gill's cross-ice pass at 7:18. The puck took a fortunate BU bounce to setup the odd-man rush. New Hampshire would have the better of play trying to even things up in the third period, but could not break through Millan, who made 18 saves in the period.
UNH held a 37-36 shot advantage in the game.
BU was 1-5 on the power play, while UNH was 1-4 on the man-advantage.
DeSmith falls to 9-9-1, while Millan is now 18-14-1.
New Hampshire and Boston University complete the three-game series Sunday, March 11 (5 p.m.) at Agganis Arena. The winner will advance to TD Garden for the Hockey East semifinals next weekend.