UNH Falls 6-3 to #2 BC
|UNH Freshman Matt Dawson|
Snaps Thatcher Demko's Streak
DURHAM, NH - The Wildcats welcomed #2 in the nation Boston College into the Whittemore Center and held tough for roughly 50 minutes, before watching the Eagles take over and hold on to a 6-3 lead.
In the first period, the Wildcats put up quite the battle against the Eagles and played a solid twenty minutes. Unfortunately, the Eagles were able to capitalize on a mistake by the UNH power play. Just 9 seconds into UNH's first power playof the game, Ryan Fitzgerald was able to take a faceoff win and speed down the ice before blasting a shot past the glove of Danny Tirone to give BC a 1-0 lead. The goal came at 6:23 of the first period and deflated the UNH power play opportunity.
However, UNH hung tough after that. They were able to respond before the end of the period on another power play chance at 17:40 of the first. Freshman defenseman Matt Dawson sniped a shot over Tatcher Demko's shoulder to tie the game 1-1. This ended Demko's streak of three straight games without allowing a goal.
The second period was one of special teams. There were five penalties combined for both teams, and plenty of opportunities to take control of the game for both teams. Early in the second, UNH would fall victim of two penalties in one minute and needed to kill off a 5 on 3 for one minute and a 5 on 4 for another minute. In my opinion, this was a statement kill for the Wildcats. They shut down the Eagles power play with blocks, active sticks and phenomenal saves by Tirone to keep the game tied. At the end of the power play, Andrew Poturalski drew a penalty on a short handed bid and ended the BC power play in explosive fashion. The fans at the Whittemore Center came to their feet in applause for the Wildcats.
The strength of BC's defense was evident through the first 40 minutes and UNH was struggling to get many high quality opportunities on Demko. Despite getting 18 shots on goal, they remained with one tally on the board.
At 11:30 of the second period Teddy Doherty found a puck sitting in the slot, between multiple legs and fired it past Tirone, who had lost sight of the puck. The goal gave the Eagles the lead for the second time, 2-1.
Again, UNH was given a few golden opportunities on two power plays late in the second period, but they were unable to capitalize and the BC defense and goaltending again proved too much for the Wildcats. The UNH power play was mainly kept to the outside and didn't have many looks at shots towards Demko.
In the third period, Boston College eventually became the team that prevailed. Despite keeping up with the Eagles for most of the game, UNH fell behind by two goals at 7:45 of the third. Matthew Gaudreau took advantage of John Furgele misplaying the puck into the referees skates and gave BC a 3-1 lead.
UNH answered back on a goal by John Furgele who redeemed himself after his earlier mistake and pulled the Wildcats to within one. Furgele was set up by a beautiful pass from freshman Chris Miller.
Another miscue by the UNH defense led to the fourth BC goal. Matt Dawson fell down in the neutral zone, which lead to a odd man rush for the Eagles. BC was able to find the trailing defenseman Teddy Doherty who made no mistake in putting the puck past Tirone to make it 4-2.
Less than a minute later, Adam Gilmour stretched the BC lead to 5-2. Tyler Kelleher drew the Wildcats to within 2 goals with 90 seconds left in regulation. UNH pulled Tirone for an extra skater but BC scored an empty netter to seal the deal and secure the 6-3 victory.
The Wildcats suffered their first Hockey East loss and will play on the road Tuesday at RPI.
Here are the video highlights courtesy of UNH Athletics: