DURHAM, N.H. -- The third-ranked University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team (22-6-1, 17, 4-1 HE) was upended by the No. 7 ranked Boston University Terriers (17-5-8, 18-3-1 HE) on Friday night, 4-2, in a battle of the top two teams in Hockey East.
Brandon Yip scored two goals, including the game-winner and senior goaltender John Curry made 31 stops in the victory for the Terriers.
UNH drew first blood in the opening period when it capitalized on an early slashing call that went against the Terriers’ Yip. With 11:13 remaining in the period, senior forward Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba) slid a pass across the ice from the left wing to senior blue liner Chris Murray (Dover, Mass.) who received the puck at the top of the right circle. Murray fed the puck into the slot to a waiting Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) who sent a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Curry to tally the power-play score.
BU answered at 7:50 in the second period when Yip took the puck at the bottom of the right circle and skated in front of the net towards the left circle. After controlling the puck, Yip threw a backhanded shot on net that sailed over the shoulder of junior net minder Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.), and into the back of the net.
The Terriers took the lead for good just over a minute later while the Wildcats were on a 4-on-3 advantage. Luke Popko took a pass from Tom Morrow and streaked down the left side of the ice, unleashing a wrist shot from the left point that beat Regan glove side to record the short-hander. Regan made 26 saves in the game.
BU added to their lead 2:54 into the final frame after a scrum in front of the net. Regan stopped two consecutive Terrier shots, but could not recover for the third as Yip put the puck in the net from the bottom of the slot. Matt Gilroy and Chris Higgins were credited with assists on the play.
With 5:20 remaining in the third, UNH started the comeback when junior forward Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta) threaded a pass from the left side of the net, across to the right side of the net, where sophomore forward Trevor Smith ( North Vancouver, B.C.) tipped the puck past Curry to cut the deficit to 3-2.
That would be as close as they would get as BU added an empty net goal to seal the game with Sean Sullivan recording the empty-netter with 51 seconds remaining in the final period.
The Wildcats can clinch at least a share of the Hockey East Regular season title with a win tomorrow night when they finish the home-and-home series with the Terriers at Agganis Arena (7 p.m.). The game will be televised live by Comcast (CN8).