Boston University is a young hockey team. There is no denying this. Five freshman. Nine sophomores.
But last night, the Terriers underclassmen took another step in growing up as their fountain of youth was the difference with three freshman and one sophomore finding the back of the net against the UNH Wildcats in a 4-2 win at Aggainis Arena.
Friday in Durham, UNH had handed BU its first loss of the season, making the last undefeated team in the country human again. But for the No. 2 ranked Terriers, who hadn’t won a game in two weeks (0-1-3 in their last four), a big win couldn’t have come at a better time than on Saturday night against a Wildcats team that may the closest to nipping at their heels in Hockey East.
Through the first period it appeared that UNH might be on their way to sweeping the top team in the league, repeating their overpowering win from the previous evening. The Wildcats were out shooting the Terriers 2-1 and BU had taken three questionable penalties to put them at even more of a disadvantage. If not for BU Goalie Grant Rollhieser — who had a career high 41 saves — it could have been ugly early and often.
Miraculously entering the first intermission, the Terriers only found themselves down 1-0 when UNH’s Brett Kostolansky’s blew a one timer fed from down low by a helpless Rollhieser.
Fast forward twenty minutes and the Terriers had the BU faithful on their feet at the end of the second period behind a four goal rally backed by a goal and an assist from sophomore Alex Chiasson.
Chiasson, who experienced growing pains last year as a freshman, is leading his team with 12 points through nine games so far. Chiasson was cited in the past as being talented but inconsistent, lacking the drive to reach his full potential. But the Quebec native is now playing a major role for the Terriers with a new outlook.
“I think a lot of it has to do with how I mentally prepare for every game,” explained Chiasson. “This year compared to last year I try to practice really hard every day, just try to go 100% every day in the gym or on the ice, and so far its been paying off during games.”
Chiasson’s goal came on a penalty kill where line mate Corey Trivino intercepted a pass at the blue line and dished the puck to a streaking Chiasson. who drilled a one timer into the top corner above the shoulder of UNH net minder Matt DiGirolamo.
“He’s made a huge step this year, he’s given us great game after game, shift after shift. But the thing that’s best about his game right now is that he’s so consistent and he has confidence,” said BU coach Jack Parker commenting on the play of Chiasson. “I thought he was one of the guys that played pretty well last night but was really upset with his team, and was more determined than ever to make sure we had a good game tonight.”
Now more than ever the Terriers must look inward and see confidence in their young core. Midway through the first period their invaluable junior captain Chris Connelly left the game with a broken finger and Parker explained that he was estimated to miss 4-6 weeks.
But speaking with Chiasson after the game its apparent that he has all the confidence in the world in himself and his team. When asked if his shot might have been deflected into the top corner by the UNH defensemen’s outstretched stick, the smiling Chiasson said “No I don’t think so, I’m pretty sure it went top cheese right away.”