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BOSTON, Mass. - Sophomore Sahir Gill tallied a goal and two assists to help the third-seeded Boston University team post a 4-2 victory over sixth-seeded New Hampshire on Saturday at Agganis Arena and force a third and decisive game in their Hockey East quarterfinal series.
The Terriers and Wildcats will meet on Sunday (March 11) at 5 p.m. with a spot in the Hockey East semifinals on the line. UNH earned a 3-2 double-overtime victory in the series opener on Friday.
BU (22-13-1), which never trailed in the contest, allowed UNH to tie the game at 2-2 on a tally at 4:04 into the third period.
The Terriers quickly responded to regain the lead for good, as sophomore Matt Nieto found the back of the net 50 seconds later and junior Ryan Santana made it a 4-2 affair at 7:18.
Senior Kieran Millan picked up his 80th career victory with a 35-save performance. The Wildcats got goals from senior Stevie Moses and junior Connor Hardowa while freshman Casey DeSmith recorded 32 saves.
Senior Chris Connolly opened the scoring 11:55 into the game when he poked in a loose puck at the top of the crease with assists from junior Alex Chiasson and freshman Alexx Privitera. The goal came right as BU's first power play of the contest expired.
The home squad would take that 1-0 lead into the first intermission before the visitors got on the board at 10:16 of the second when Moses wristed a shot past Millan from the right circle.
Gill allowed BU to bring a 2-1 lead into the second intermission when elevated the puck over DeSmith with 2:44 left in the middle stanza on a breakaway right after being knocked down and drawing a penalty.
The goal was made possible thanks to a nice lead pass by sophomore Patrick MacGregor. Classmate Garrett Noonan also assisted on the play.
UNH (15-18-3) tied the game once more early in the third when a power-play blast from the left point by Hardowa eluded Millan at 4:04. Sophomore Kevin Goumas earned his second assist of the contest on the equalizer.
Nieto's quick answer came in transition from the high slot following a pass by freshman Evan Rodrigues, as the sophomore rattled a shot off the left post and in. Gill set up Rodrigues with a feed from center ice.
Another great lead pass resulted in BU's fourth goal of the contest, as sophomore Adam Clendening spotted Gill all alone up the left boards above the UNH zone. Gill skated in with Santana streaking down the right to create a 2-on-0 rush. Once getting DeSmith to commit, Gill passed off with a cross-slot pass that Santana finished off to create a two-goal cushion.
Millan and the BU defense held its ground the rest of the way, helping the Terriers ensure a Sunday contest. BU will go a full three games in the league quartefinals for the sixth straight season.