The two-day wait was worth it for Matt Willows and the Wildcats.
Willows scored all three goals, including the shorthanded game-winner, in the University of New Hampshire’s 3-1 Hockey East win over Boston University on Monday afternoon in a game that had been rescheduled from Saturday because of the weekend snowstorm.
With the win, the Wildcats earned a weekend sweep from the Terriers. Monday’s two points put the Wildcats (18-15-1, 10-8 conference) in fourth place in the league. The top five get first-round byes in the conference tournament.
BU (8-18-4, 3-10-3 conference) has lost 12 of its last 14 games. The Terriers got on the board first as freshman Brendan Collier's wrist shot eight minutes into the first period beat UNH goalie Casey DeSmith for his first collegiate goal.
Willows, a junior wing, equalized five minutes later when senior forward Kevin Goumas capitalized on a loose puck and fed Willows for the goal.
The second period game-winner came in the waning seconds of a Terrier power play. Willows collected the puck on a breakaway and beat BU goalie Sean Maguire to the glove side for the 2-1 lead at 11:49 of the middle frame.
Willows had a chance to complete his hat trick with 7:34 left in the third when he was awarded a penalty shot after being slashed by BU freshman defenseman Doyle Somerby, but Maguire cut down the angle and stopped the shot.
Willows did get his hat trick, though, on an empty-netter with 1:17 to go.
The Wildcats put in a dominating performance, outshooting BU, 38-17. Maguire’s 35 saves kept BU in it.
UNH now has nearly two weeks off before it completes the regular season with a home-and-home with Merrimack College on Feb. 28 and March 1.