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BOSTON - The No. 18 Boston University men's ice hockey team fell to No. 8 New Hampshire, 4-1, during the Terriers' home opener Friday night at Agganis Arena. After a close game through two periods, the Wildcats erupted for three goals in the third period to seize the victory. It was the first Hockey East game of the season for both teams.
The Terriers fall to 0-2-1, with a 0-1-0 record in Hockey East, while the Wildcats sport a 1-0-0 record with a 1-0-0 mark in Hockey East. The two teams do not meet again until a home-and-home series on Jan. 25 and 26.
After junior Matt Gilroy scored the opening goal mid-way through the first period on a power play, New Hampshire answered with a power-play goal of its own. But after two periods of tight defensive play by both sides, the Wildcats found an advantage over the Terriers and scored the first of the team's four unanswered goals.
Senior Karson Gillespie had a tough night in goal, as he racked up 18 of his 23 saves during the first two periods but allowed three goals in the third on only eight shots. Junior Jason Lawrence and Gilroy led the Terriers with four shots on goal each, as Boston University placed a total 31 shots on net.
Boston University took the early lead over New Hampshire with a power-play goal from Gilroy with 7:34 left in the first period after UNH juniors Greg Collins and Kevin Kapstad both received penalties for tripping within 14 seconds of one another. BU was able to capitalize on its two-man advantage when UNH defender Craig Switzer lost his stick; Colin Wilson gave the puck to junior Brandon Yip, who fed Gilroy for the first goal of the game.
BU began the second period down two men, as Joe Pereira received a penalty for charging with 1:56 left in the first and Brian McGuirk was called for cross checking at the end of the period. The Terriers killed the penalty and the power play was reversed eight seconds later when New Hampshire freshman Mike Sislo was called for hooking. However, after several close shots, the Terriers were unable to convert the power play.
Three men were taken off the ice late in the second period, as freshman Colby Cohen and UNH freshman James vanRiemsdyk were called for hitting after the whistle with 2:33 left in the period. A scant 21 seconds later, junior John McCarthy earned a hooking penalty, giving New Hampshire a power play with four Wildcats on the ice. UNH senior Matt Fornataro scored the game-tying goal with 45.7 seconds left in the period off assists from junior Jerry Pollastrone and senior Mike Radja.
The third period turned out to be the Terriers' undoing, as the Wildcats struck for three goals, cementing the 4-1 victory. UNH netted the game-winner with 13:44 left in the period, as junior Jamie Fritsch scored off assists from junior Thomas Fortney and Collins.
UNH scored its first insurance goal with 5:45 left in the period as Radja put the puck past the netminder off assists from Fornataro and vanRiemsdyk. VanRiemsdyk netted a score of his own 29 seconds later on an unassisted goal.
Both teams earned one goal on eight power play opportunities. Even though the Terriers out-shot the Wildcats 31-27, New Hampshire's eight shots on goal in the third period fell BU, as three of them got past Gillespie. On the other end, UNH senior Kevin Regan stopped all 10 of the Terriers' shots in the third period en route to a 30-save game.
The Terriers next head to Michigan to play the Wolverines on Friday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 27. BU is 11-8-0 all-time against Michigan, but suffered a 7-2 loss the last time the teams met on Oct. 9, 2004.