BOSTON -- Matt Nieto scored a natural hat trick with goals in each period and freshman Sean Maguire made a new career-high 49 saves as the No. 19 Boston University Terriers opened a crucial Hockey East weekend series with a 3-1 win over the visiting Vermont Catamounts on Friday at Agganis Arena.
The Catamouts held an overwhelming edge in the final stanza, outshooting the Terriers by a 22-8 count, adding to 50-32 for the game overall.
Nieto scored a goal in each period for the Terriers to record the first trifecta by a BU player since current Nashville Predator forward Brandon Yip turned the feat in a 8-2 win at Providence on March 6, 2009.
Sophomore Evan Rodrigues set up his second straight goal for Nieto, a Long Beach, California native, at the 4:47 mark as he faked a slap shot in the high slot before sending a pass across the wing for the wrister.
UVM made a good run at cutting the lead to one with 3:30 left as senior Chris McCarthy was sprung through the neutral zone for a semi-breakaway, but was stopped by a challenging Maguire outside the face-off circle. With matching minors in the final minutes, UVM pulled rookie Brody Hoffman (29 saves) for the edge, but was shut down, falling for the second time in three games and the sixth straight time against BU.
Joshua Kummins covers Hockey East for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.