New Hampshire-Boston: Frozen Four Hopes Slip Past Wildcats
Jason Lawrence scored a power-play goal with 15 seconds remaining in regulation to lift No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Boston University to a 2-1 victory against 12th-ranked University of New Hampshire in Sunday’s Northeast Regional final of the NCAA men’s ice hockey championship at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The score was tied, 1-1, at the start of the third period. UNH went on its third power play of the game at 5:40 and Mike Sislo wristed a shot from the left circle that caromed off the near post.
In the ninth minute, the Wildcats' Peter LeBlanc fired a shot from the right circle that was turned towards the slot by BU goaltender Kieran Millan.
Boston had a dangerous scoring bid with three minutes remaining in the first period when Brandon Yip collected a loose puck in the left circle and sent a one-timer on net that was caught by UNH goalie Brian Foster.
New Hampshire was whistled for a penalty at 19:14 and the Terriers capitalized to break the 1-1 tie at 19:45 in the second.
The Wildcats pushed the puck into the offensive zone at the start of the face-off, but Boston iced the puck with 3.5 seconds on the clock.
Boston skated to a 1-0 lead in the first period with a goal from Corey Trivino, but in the opening minute, UNH generated a two-on-one rush in which James van Riemsdyk carried the puck down the right wing and snapped a wrist shot from the circle wide of the far post.
BU responded with a scoring opportunity in the third minute when Foster surrendered a rebound on Luke Popko’s shot from deep on the right wing, but failed in the attempt.
In the fifth minute, BU maintained pressure by intercepting a clearing attempt at the blue line. Higgins then collected a loose puck in the slot, turned and fired a low shot by Foster’s stick.
Less than four minutes later, van Riemsdyk schemed a dangerous scoring chance on a wraparound at the left post. Millan yielded a rebound and Sislo pushed a shot on net that was covered by Millan.
The Terriers controlled possession on an offensive zone face-off and Vinny Saponari centered the puck from the left corner to the slot, where Foster knocked down Chris Connolly’s shot.
Trivino corralled the rebound and swept the puck into the open right side.
UNH created two more scoring opportunities in the closing minute of the first period, but didn’t drift past the line until that last six minutes of the second period with a goal from Butler past the right post.
Boston generated many scoring opportunities in the third period, but was denied until the last 45 seconds to go in its last power play of the night.
Saponari lifted a shot from the inner-left circle high of the cage, ending the game with a Boston victory, 2-1.
UNH’s Lawrence was named Most Outstanding Player of the Northeast Regional. He was joined on the All-Regional Team by teammates Millan, Nick Bonino, and Matt Gilroy. UNH’s Kapstad and LeBlanc were also selected to the team.
Millan finished with 27 saves, including 12 in the first period. Foster made 11 of his 21 saves in the first period.
Britney Milazzo is a Contributor for Bleacher Report.
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