March 5, 2011

BC tops UNH to win Hockey East title

PR Wire Report

BC's Joe Whitney checks UNH's Mike Beck during Saturday's game in Durham, N.H. (photo: Dave Arnold Photography)

DURHAM, N.H. -- Sophomore center Pat Mullane (Wallingford, Conn.) snapped a 3-3 tie with 4:53 remaining to lift Boston College to the Hockey East regular-season championship with a 4-3 win over New Hampshire at the Whittemore Center on Saturday night.

The win completed a weekend sweep for the Eagles (26-7-1, 20-6-1 HE), who will be the No. 1 seed in the league tournament and host No. 8 UMass (6-21-6, 5-16-6 HE) in a best-of-three quarterfinal series.

UNH (19-9-6, 17-6-4 HE), which would have finished first with a win or two ties this weekend, will be seeded second and host No. 7 Vermont (8-18-8, 6-14-7 HE).

Juniors Cam Atkinson (Greenwich, Conn.) and Tommy Cross (Simsbury, Conn.) both tallied a goal and an assist, while Barry Almeida (Springfield, Mass.) scored his third goal in four games for the victors, who captured their first regular-season crown since 2004-05.

BC goaltender John Muse (East Falmouth, Mass.) registered 27 saves, including one on a Mike Sislo shorthanded breakaway attempt while the Wildcats were holding a 2-0 lead.

BC and UNH traded goals in the first 10 minutes of the third period prior to Mullane's decisive tally. UNH goalie Matt DiGirolamo totaled 25 saves.

All quarterfinal series will start on Friday, with the exception of the one involving third-seeded Boston University (18-10-8, 15-6-6 HE), which may start its series against No. 6 Northeastern (12-14-8, 10-10-7 HE) on Thursday night due to a possible scheduling conflict at Agganis Arena.

The other quarterfinal series will feature No. 4 Merrimack (22-8-4, 16-8-3 HE) hosting a series for the second time in school history, as the Warriors entertain No. 5 Maine (17-10-7, 14-8-5 HE).