UNH keeps pace
Wildcats maintain Hockey East position with tie
Top-liners Dan Correale aand Grayson Downing each registered a goal and an assist as the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team skated to a 4-4 overtime tie with fourth-ranked Boston College in Hockey East action at Conte Forum Sunday afternoon.
UNH moved to 16-8-4, 11-7-3 in Hockey East play. BC is now 17-8-3, 12-7-2 Hockey East. The regular season series ends even at 1-1-1 thanks to a 5-2 BC home win on Jan. 11 and a 2-1 UNH win in Durham the following night. The Wildcats had dropped the season series with BC the past three years.
In addition to Correale and Downing, Eric Knodel and Matt Willows each potted goals for the Wildcats.
BC struck first as the Eagles scored just moments after a UNH power play expired. Steven Whitney scored with assists from Bill Arnold and Destry Straight at 8:57 of the first. The Wildcats got on the board with a bizarre power play goal at 19:01 of the first. Knodel fired a shot at net from the center red line to set up a line change and the puck stuck under Parker Milner's pad and into the net. Trevor van Riemsdyk and Downing assisted on the goal. The teams went into the first intermission tied 1-1 with UNH holding a slim 9-8 shot advantage.
New Hampshire took the lead just 34 seconds into the second period as Correale won a loose puck battle in open space and fired a centering pass from the left slot that deflected into the net. Brett Kostolansky feed the puck up ice to Correale and earned an assist on the goal. The Eagles responded with a pair of power play goals to take a 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
Michael Matheson scored his sixth of the season with assists from Johnny Gaudreau and Pat Mullane at 5:30. Mullane scored on the power play at 15:43 on a one-timer from the right slot. MacLeod and Matheson notched helpers. UNH held a 10-8 shot edge thanks in part to 1:32 of 5-on-3 in the period.
UNH netted the equalizer just 1:15 into the third period. Downing scored on a wrap-around effort. Austin Block's initial shot bounced out to Downing who carried the puck behind the net and banked it in. Correale also assisted on the goal. The Wildcats took the lead at 7:54 as Willows stuffed in a goal short-side. Brett Pesce intercepted a clearing attempt at the top of the right point and fired a shot that deflected out to a crashing Willows.
The New Hampshire lead was short-lived as just seven seconds later the Eagles scored off the face-off as Bill Arnold scored his 12th setup by Whitney at 8:01. UNH was called for a trip with 1:44 left in regulation, but BC was unable to capitalize and the teams traded chances throughout the remainder of the third setting up overtime. The Wildcats outshot BC 11-8 in the third period.
In a scoreless overtime Boston College had the better of early chances. However, UNH had the best looks in the extra time with a flurry of activity in front of the Eagle net in the whining minutes. The 'Cats out shot BC 3-2 in the overtime and held a 33-26 edge for the contest.
Sophomore netminder Casey DeSmith turned aside 22 shots, including seven in the first and third period. He moved to 15-5-4 on the season. His counterpart Parker Milner made 29 saves with nine in the second and third periods; he is now 17-7-3.
BC was 2-5 on the power play, while UNH went 1-7 in its extra-man opportunities.
UNH returns to action Feb. 22-23 at Hockey East foe Vermont. The teams play Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. with TV coverage on NESN. Game time Saturday is 4 p.m. with TV coverage on CBS Sports.
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