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College Hockey: BC keeps UNH on the skids

Special to the Union Leader

January 14. 2018 8:48PM

BOSTON — The University of New Hampshire hockey team’s winless ways continued on Sunday.

Former Pinkerton Academy star J.D. Dudek, a junior, registered a goal and an assist, helping No. 16 Boston College past the Wildcats 5-2 at Conte Forum. UNH is 0-6-1 in its last seven games.

UNH coach Dick Umile was concise in his post-game comments.

“I told the team we’ll talk when we get home because I don’t want to say something but right now we’re not playing very well as a team,” said Umile, whose club dropped to 4-7-1 in Hockey East, 9-11-2 overall. “We didn’t play a good first period but the game got away from us in the second (when BC outscored UNH 3-1).”

Asked about the recent slide, Umile was even more concise.

“You don’t have to remind me of that. Everybody’s contributing. We’re finding new ways not to win games. It seems everybody takes a turn.”

Senior co-captain Dylan Chanter was more loquacious when discussing his team’s play.

“We’ve talked in the past and it’s one of those things where I don’t know if there’s one specific answer,” Chanter said. “A lot of things go into winning a hockey game. Unfortunately we haven’t been meeting all the criteria.

“It’s really frustrating. But everyone in that locker room holds himself responsible. We hold each other accountable.”

The Wildcats have lost seven in a row to BC and are winless in their last nine meetings (0-9-2) against the Eagles.

“We’ve had some great games against these guys since I’ve been here,” Chanter said. “Unfortunately we haven’t put a full 60 minutes together against these guys.

“We’ve just been on the wrong side of it in the last few years.”

UNH was on a power play early in the first period when the Eagles (11-9-3, 11-4-0), who vaulted into first place, struck for a short-handed goal.

Graham McPhee stole the puck inside the blue line and lofted it over a sprawled Danny Tirone (24 saves) at 14:08. Tirone played in his school-record 113th career game.

But just when it looked like the Eagles would lead 1-0 going into intermission, UNH capitalized on a BC penalty. Mike McNicholas fed Benton Maass, who unloaded a slap shot from the top of the left circle that beat Joseph Woll (20 saves) just under the crossbar at 18:27.

Just as the first period ended, UNH’s Anthony Wyse was penalized for hooking. That penalty loomed large when BC scored on the ensuing power play, at 18:49 of the second.

Logan Hutsko fed David Cotton in the left circle and he beat Tirone to his glove side for a 2-1 lead.

The Eagles upped their lead to 3-1 at 5:16 when Dudek notched his third goal of the season on a wrist shot from the left circle.

Graham McPhee made it 4-1 at 14:24 when he skated right to left in front of the crease and flicked a shot by Tirone.

The Wildcats sliced one goal off their deficit at 17:13 when Ara Nazarian scored on a wrist shot from just outside the crease.

But BC put the game out of reach on a Jacob Tortora goal at 14:06 of the third. On the goal, Dudek passed to Chris Grando, who fed a cross-ice pass to Tortora, who scored on a one-timer.

Despite the recent lack of victories, Chanter feels UNH isn’t mired in a mental slump.

“It’s always exciting getting up for a game and have a chance to turn this thing around,” Chanter said. “As much as it’s frustrating to lose, I don’t think it takes away from getting up for that next game.”