The University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team’s 4-3 overtime victory at No. 2 Boston College Friday night was a game of firsts for the Wildcats.
UNH sophomore forward Kalle Eriksson notched his first career game-winning goal when he scored from the left circle during a four-on-three power play with 25.6 seconds remaining in overtime to clinch the program’s first win at Boston College since Nov. 5, 2010, and first against a ranked opponent this year.
UNH junior forward Filip Engaras and seniors Eric MacAdams and Kohei Sato each scored their first goals of the season and junior transfer Tyler Ward logged his first point as a Wildcat in what was the team’s fifth game in 10 days.
Wildcats goaltender Mike Robinson, a senior from Bedford, made a season-high 35 saves, marking his third 30-plus-save outing this year.
The Wildcats (3-3-1) and BC (5-2-0) will conclude their home-and-home series today at 4 p.m. at the Whittemore Center in Durham.
“It was a great character win,” UNH coach Mike Souza said. “Everyone contributed (Friday), which is always great as a coach, and got a really solid performance from our goaltender and special teams came through for us (Friday) when they had to.”
Engaras notched his first career short-handed goal and the Wildcats’ first of the season on a two-on-one rush alongside Ward, who provided the cross-ice primary assist, 6:55 into the third period to tie the game at 3-3.
“Clearly with the power play — not being able to score but also giving up a goal there — that was a bad turning point for us in the game,” Eagles coach Jerry York said.
Linemates MacAdams, an assistant captain who missed two of UNH’s previous three games, and Sato gave the Wildcats a 2-1 and 1-0 lead, respectively, with their goals.
MacAdams scored on Eagles freshman goaltender Henry Wilder from close range 10 seconds after BC drew even at 1-1 via a centering pass from Sato along the left boards.
Sato batted the puck out of the air and onto his stick in the neutral zone before scoring from in front of the right circle with 9:20 remaining in the first period.
Sato also connected with MacAdams on a promising stretch pass about 7:40 into the middle frame but Eagles sophomore defenseman Marshall Warren poked the puck off MacAdams’ stick to prevent a shot.
Wilder (31 saves) denied Sato and MacAdams’ freshman linemate Cam Gendron, a Hampstead resident, on a point-blank shot with 6:15 left in the second period to prevent the Wildcats from taking a 3-1 lead.
“Naturally, Kohei brings just a tremendous amount of speed. MacAdams, he’s tenacious, he’s good on the forecheck, he makes plays and has a good stick,” Souza said of forming the new line. “The goal was indicative of he’s got a really good stick. And we thought Cam Gendron’s done a nice job as a freshman. He’s a guy that’s sort of worked his way up into playing more.”
The Eagles took their only lead of the game 2:49 into the third period, when Patrick Giles put home a rebound goal to break a 2-2 deadlock. Nikita Nesterenko pulled the Eagles even at 2-2 with his goal that came with 1:49 remaining in the middle stanza. BC tied the game at 1-1 with 5:01 left in the first period, when Colby Ambrosio scored a power-play goal from the slot off a behind-the-net dish from Alex Newhook.
Newhook (Canada), Drew Helleson (United States) and Matt Boldy (United States) each played and sophomore goaltender Spencer Knight (United States) was available for BC after returning from the IIHF World Junior Championship. York said he thinks Knight, who made 34 saves in the United States’ 2-0 win over Canada in the final last Tuesday, will be ready to go Sunday.