Anger, frustration, fear, elation. That's how the past 24 hours went for John Henrion and the New Hampshire Wildcats.
Henrion netted a late power play goal to give UNH a 2-1 win over Boston College Saturday night at the Whittemore Center in Durham, NH. The win earned the Wildcats a split in the weekend series with the Eagles after UNH fell by a 5-2 score on Friday night at BC's Conte Forum.
The Wildcats, however, would rather not think about the loss.
"We were angry," said Henrion after the game. "This was a must-win for us tonight, there was a sour taste [after Friday night]".
Henrion's goal came on a juicy rebound off a Justin Agosta one-timer courtesy of Kevin Goumas just a handful of seconds into Kevin Hayes' tripping penalty. Goumas, who was the victim of a nasty high elbow from Boston College freshman defenseman Michael Matheson shortly after the game's halfway point, never left the bench despite taking minutes to get off the ice and favoring his neck and shoulder for some time after the hit.
Matheson's elbow earned him a game misconduct, his second ejection in the team's last three games, which came after he'd already been penalized for a delay of game early in the first and hitting from behind just minutes before hitting Goumas.
The Wildcats, however, were unable to capitalize on the five-minute major penalty, despite having a full two minutes of 5-on-3 action after Kevin Hayes was whistled for a cross-checking penalty. UNH did notch 21 shots on goal in the second stanza, and wound up outshooting the Eagles 40-17.
"We had a bunch of chances on the 5-on-3, a ton of shots on net," said Henrion, "but we just couldn't bury it."
On the shift following the kill, Matt Willows fed Dan Correale a puck on the right point, and Correale skated around Patrick Wey and Colin Sullivan before finding an open Willows on the doorstep. Correale's pass hit Willows on the tape, and the sophomore delayed for what must have felt like forever before beating Parker Milner high on the glove side for his first career goal.
"It feels great to get the weight off my shoulders after two years," Willows said.
But as hard as Correale worked to give UNH its lead, he gave it away just as easily, throwing a pass to no one in front of the UNH net almost eight minutes into the third period, which Brooks Dryoff picked up and lifted over Casey DeSmith's shoulder.
BC had a chance to grab the lead not much later when Henrion was penalized for elbowing Johnny Gaudreau, but UNH successfully killed the penalty, and it seemed as if the teams would take a point apiece before Hayes tripped up Austin Block on a partial breakaway coming off the right wing.
The game's final exclamation point came with inside two minutes to play in the final stanza, when BC was awarded a penalty shot when it was ruled that a UNH player had covered the puck in the crease. But the referees re-convened and agreed that the puck hadn't been covered, and play resumed.
"Scared," was Henrion's response when asked what he felt when the penalty shot was first whistled. "I had the puck, and I made sure I told the linesman that it wasn't covered by anyone's hand."