CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - No. 1 Boston College held off a comeback attempt from New Hampshire on Sunday to secure a 3-2 victory over the ninth-seeded Wildcats in the Hockey East Quarterfinal at Kelley Rink. The Eagles advance to host 7-seed UMass Lowell on Wednesday (March 17) in the Hockey East Semifinal at 4:30 p.m.
Boston College (17-4-1) stormed out to a 3-0 first period lead, scoring three times in less than three minutes from Alex Newhook, Mike Hardman and Nikita Nesterenko. UNH (6-14-3) battled back with a pair of goals in the second period, but Goaltender of the Year Spencer Knight helped clinch the win with 13 saves in the final frame.
Knight finished his first career playoff start with 35 saves, improving to 16-2-1 between the pipes this season.
Sunday marked the sixth straight meeting between the schools to be decided by a goal or less. Only one goal separates the teams in the last eight matchups overall.
Matt Boldy had a pair of assists for the Eagles, increasing his team-high point total to 26.
BC won the faceoff battle 35-27 and was 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
1st 5:35, BC (1-0) | During a 4-on-4, Newhook skated onto a stretch pass from Boldy off the end boards to negate an icing call and the sophomore snuck a shot inside the short side post to beat Mike Robinson.
1st 7:30, BC (2-0) | Eamon Powell's right point shot was stopped by Robinson, but Hardman located the loose puck near the left post and buried the rebound.
1st 8:25, BC (3-0) | Marshall Warren picked out Colby Ambrosio along the left goal line extended and the rookie centered to a wide open Nesterenko, who one-timed a shot glove side.
2nd 6:22, UNH (3-1) | Eric MacAdams came off the half boards and drifted to the top of the right wing circle before wristing a shot through heavy traffic that found the upper right corner.
2nd 8:56, UNH (3-2) | MacAdams slipped a pass between the circles for Luke Reid, who dragged the puck to his forehand in the slot and fired a low shot glove side that handcuffed Knight.
Top-seed Boston College faces No. 7 seed UMass Lowell at Kelley Rink in the Hockey East Semifinal on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. on NESN, SportsLive and WEEI. No. 3 seed UMass hosts fifth-seeded Providence in the other semifinal at 7 p.m. in Amherst.