UNH men’s hockey: No. 9 Wildcats vs. No. 8 Boston College matchups and notes


Joshua Shaw, Sports Writer


“Playoffs? Don’t talk about – playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs?” After five months, it’s time for the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wildcats to discuss the topic former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Mora dreaded.  

The Wildcats travel to Conte Forum to play the Boston College (BC) Eagles Wednesday, March 9 in the Opening Round of the Hockey East Tournament. The last time these two met in the postseason, the Eagles ensnared the ‘Cats with three first period goals that ended their 2020-21 season.  

On the other hand, the Wildcats 2021-22 regular season ended in the worst-case scenario with three straight losses. Worse, they’ve been outscored 6-11 during this latest losing streak and were recently shutout by the UMass Lowell. 

The Eagles come into the Hockey East Tournament on a three-game winning streak with all three wins coming against ranked opponents. On Feb. 27, the Eagles bested then No. 16 Boston University 3-1 and then beat No. 12 University of Massachusetts in back-to-back games. That said, the Eagles haven’t sailed through teams during their streak and have only outscored opponents nine to seven.  


Wednesday, March 9, 2022 

University of New Hampshire Wildcats (14-18-1, 8-15-1) vs. Boston College Eagles (14-17-5, 9-12-3).  

When: 7:00 p.m.  

Where: Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass. 

Watch: NESN & College SportsLive 

Listen: WGIR 610 AM, WQSO 96.7 FM, WPKX, 930 AM, WUNH 91.3 FM 


UNH lines vs. UMass Lowell (March 5)  


#14 Tyler Ward, #11 Jackson Pierson, #24 Robert Cronin.  

#26 Liam Devlin,  #16 Filip Engarås, #13 Nick Cafarelli  

#15 Chase Stevenson, #21 Cam Gendron, #19 Eric MacAdams  

#29 Joseph Cipollone, #9 Connor Sweeney, #12 Eric Esposito 


#3 Ryan Verrier, #27 Luke Reid 

#28 Alex Gagne, #20 Colton Huard 

#5 Will MacKinnon, #8 Nikolai Jenson 

#10 Kalle Eriksson 


#41 David Fessenden, #31 Mike Robinson 


Key Players  

UNH may have a goaltender controversy on their hands. Senior and mainstay starting goaltender Mike Robinson started the ‘Cats last 15 games prior to the season finale, but over his last five games has struggled. The New Hampshire native has 2.73 goals-against-average and a 90.6 save percentage over his last four starts. That said, Robinson was the starter the last two times these teams met and played well, making 56 out of 60 saves to lead UNH to a pair of wins.   

Junior David Fessenden threw his hat back into the ring during March 5 when he got the start against Lowell. Fessenden flourished over three periods, making 27 saves on 28 shots faced.   

Away from the crease, the ‘Cats will call on senior Tyler Ward. With his lone goal on March 4, Ward displaced fellow senior Jackson Pierson as the team leader with 24 points. In addition, the forward’s been the main star on the power play, with three goals when UNH has the man advantage.  

Senior forward Jack MacBain has mesmerized the Eagles since returning from the Beijing Olympics. The forward has scored in his last four games and continues to lead the team with 29 points despite only playing in 22 of 36 of the Eagles games.  

In the net, the Eagles will turn to graduate student goaltender Eric Dop. The transfer has started 15 straight games and has allowed just five goals over his last three games. Dop isn’t an unfamiliar face to the Wildcats. Last time they traveled to Conte Forum, Dop was benched five minutes into the second after he allowed three goals on 10 shots faced.  


Series History  

UNH All-Time vs. Boston College: BC leads 78-68-16 

UNH at Conte Forum: BC leads 26-16-8 

UNH Last Matchup vs. Boston College: UNH defeated No. 20 Boston College 5-2 (1/15/2022) 

UNH Head Coach Mike Souza vs. BC: 5-3-2 

Photo courtesy of China Wong