BOSTON, Mass. - Juniors Matt Nieto and Garrett Noonan each lit the lamp but the No. 19 Boston University men's ice hockey team was defeated by Vermont, 5-2, on Saturday night at Agganis Arena.
BU (16-15-2, 13-10-2 HEA) and Vermont (11-16-5, 8-12-5 HEA) split the weekend series following the Terriers' 3-1 triumph on Friday. Nieto's goal was his fourth over the two games this weekend and his sixth in the last three games.
The Terriers now stand in fifth place in the Hockey East standings with two games left in the regular season. BU has 28 points, two behind a three-way tie for second and three behind league leader New Hampshire.
A shorthanded goal by Noonan pulled the Terriers to within a goal at 3-2 with 12:31 remaining in regulation, but Vermont put the game out of reach with a tally at the 18:22 mark of the third period before adding an empty net goal with nine seconds to play.
Freshman Sean Maguire stopped 37 shots in the loss after recording a season-high 49 in Friday's triumph.
Junior Chris McCarthy scored the empty-netter and added two assists for the Catamounts, who got a goal and an assist from sophomore Kyle Reynolds. Freshman goaltender Brody Hoffman recorded 26 saves to earn his 11th win of the season.
Vermont opened the scoring just 3:24 into the contest while skating shorthanded. With BU controlling possession in the UVM zone, a puck hopped over the stick of sophomore Evan Rodrigues, allowing junior Matt White to corral it and skate in all alone before beating Maguire.
The visitors doubled their lead just over three minutes later when what looked to be an innocent shot by senior Brett Bruneteau from the right corner made its way through traffic at the crease at the 6:35 mark.
The Terriers got one back before the end of the first, however, as freshman Danny O'Regan found Nieto at the foot of the right circle on a power play with 2:06 left in the stanza. Nieto placed the puck high over Hoffman to score his sixth straight goal for the Terriers. Freshman Ahti Oksanen also picked up an assist on the marker.
The Catamounts put an end to any BU momentum when they potted the eventual game-winner just 39 seconds into the middle frame. A wrister from the stick of sophomore Michael Paliotta at the right point once again got through traffic to beat Maguire and give UVM a 3-1 cushion.
With BU trailing, 3-1, in the third and skating shorthanded, Rodrigues drew a penalty outside the crease and the Terriers got back within one on the delayed call, as a slapshot by Noonan from the top of the right circle went off the left post then off Hoffman and in with 12:31 left in regulation. Junior Sahir Gill and Rodrigues picked up assists on the play.
Vermont eventually got back to full strength and prevented the Terriers from getting an equalizer before securing the win with two late goals. Reynolds took a pass from McCarthy converted a short-side attempt at the bottom of the right circle with 1:38 left. McCarthy's team-leading 11th goal of the year came with Maguire pulled to create the 5-2 final.
BU will return to action on Friday (March 8) when it kicks off a home-and-home weekend against Northeastern with a visit to Matthews Arena. The game, which will be broadcast by CBS Sports Network, will start at 7:30 p.m.