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DURHAM - Casey DeSmith and the University of New Hampshire hockey team bounced back big-time on Saturday to knock off Boston College, 2-1, in a wild one in front of 6,501 at the Whittemore Center.
The No. 4-ranked Wildcats snapped a six-game losing streak to the No. 3-ranked Eagles that included a 5-2 loss at Conte Forum on Friday night.
"We were a little angry last night," said senior forward John Henrion, who scored the game-winning goal with less than five minutes to play. "This was like a must win for us to least get two points out of the weekend. We were extremely disappointed with our performance last night."
Boston College had been 5-0-2 in its last seven games at the Whit and the Wildcats had last beaten the Eagles here on Feb. 20, 2009.
UNH improved to 14-4-2 overall with the win and BC dropped to 13-4-2.
The Wildcats climbed back into second place in Hockey East behind idle Boston University. UNH is 9-3-1 in the league and trails first-place BC by two points.
After squandering major chances on the power play in the second period, Henrion and the Wildcats took quick advantage of their final power play chance of the night to get the game-winner.
"There was a lot of urgency," Henrion said. "We knew it was a big chance and could be a huge turning point, which it was."
BC's Kevin Hayes was called for tripping with 5:01 left to play.
Thirteen seconds later, Henrion got his stick on a rebound of a Justin Agosta shot from the point and knocked it past Parker Milner (37 saves) to put UNH back on top. Kevin Goumas also assisted.
It was Henrion's seventh goal of the season and his second game-winner.
DeSmith, the sophomore out of Rochester, and the Wildcats held off the Eagles the rest of the way to seal the win.
With 1:55 left, the puck got behind DeSmith and sat in the crease. The Wildcats converged on it and moved it out and at first a penalty shot was called. After conferring, the referees and linesmen decided there was no cause for a penalty shot and play resumed.
DeSmith finished with 22 saves for the win.
On Friday night, he stopped 12 of the 17 shots he faced and was pulled in favor of junior Jeff Wyer for the third period.
UNH coach Dick Umile said the decision to start DeSmith again was made by the coaching staff after the team returned from Boston on Friday night.
"Casey has bounced back before like that," Umile said. "I thought he played terrific tonight. He stood tall in there."
BC senior Brooks Dyroff jumped on a bad UNH turnover and fired a shot past DeSmith from in close to tie the game at 1-1 at the 7:57 mark of the third period. Dan Correale, who had set up UNH's first goal, coughed up the turnover.
The Wildcats grabbed a 1-0 lead in the last minute of an action-packed second period.
UNH was on the power play for much of the period and had a whopping edge 21-3 edge in shots in the frame but had nothing to show for the advantage until the very end.
In fact, it looked like the Wildcats had given up all the momentum.
But then Correale went deep into the right corner and got the puck in front to Matt Willows. Willows waited patiently for Milner to make a move and then fired the puck behind him with 47 seconds left in the period.
It was the first career goal for Willows and the sixth goal his third line has helped produce in the past four games.
Just before the goal, UNH pressured the Eagles, but had been unable to score on a five-minute power play after Michael Matheson had been called for contact to the head on a hit on Goumas.
The power play included a full two minutes of a two-man advantage after Hayes was called for crosschecking during the five-minute penalty.
Within a minute of the end of their extended power play, Willows and the Wildcats finally had their goal.