BOSTON, Mass. - Backed by a 35-save shutout from senior Kieran Millan, the No. 6/10 Boston University men's ice hockey team opened its 2011-12 campaign with a 5-0 victory over No. 12 New Hampshire on Saturday evening at Agganis Arena.
The Terriers (1-0-0, 1-0-0 Hockey East) broke a scoreless tie early in the second period with goals by junior Wade Megan and senior Corey Trivino. Sophomore Matt Nieto, junior Alex Chiasson and senior Kevin Gilroy all tacked on third-period markers to complete the scoring. Senior Chris Connolly and freshmen Charlie Coyle and Sahir Gill each recorded two assists on the night.
With his performance, Millan recorded his 62nd career victory at BU to tie the program record held by Sean Fields '04. It was the sixth shutout of his career.
The Terriers put together a strong effort right from the opening whistle and got on the board first after settling for a scoreless deadlock entering the first intermission.
On a power play early in the second, a shot by Gill whistled wide of the goal, but Connolly corralled the puck and found Megan streaking towards the goal. Megan took Connolly's pass from behind the net and punched it in at the top of the crease at the 3:16 mark.
Just over two minutes later, Connolly once again found a teammate at the goalmouth to double the Terriers' lead. Trivino was the beneficiary this time, as Connolly spotted his classmate at the left post and slid a perfect pass from the top of the right circle. The tap-in make it a 2-0 affair at 5:46 of the second.
Nieto pushed the BU advantage to 3-0 just 75 seconds into the third when he scored off a rebound following a shot from the point by Chiasson. Coyle also assisted on the play.
Looking for a boost to their offense, the Wildcats began pulling goaltender Matt Di Girolamo with over five minutes remaining in regulation. Coyle broke up a play and set up Chiasson, who skated in on and potted an empty-netter with 4:19 left to play.
Skating 5-on-5, the Terriers added one more goal when Gilroy picked off a pass behind the UNH goal and curled around the left post before beating Di Girolamo at the 17:00 mark.
The Terriers outshot the Wildcats, 37-35, and scored on one of their five power-play chances. BU killed off all six of UNH's opportunities with the man advantage.
Di Girolamo recorded 32 saves in the loss for the Wildcats (0-1-0, 0-1-0 HE), who were also playing in their season opener.
BU will return to action on Friday (Oct. 14) when it visits Providence for a 7 p.m. contest. The game, which is the Friars' season opener and the debut of new coach Nate Leaman, will be broadcast live by NESN.