On Friday night, the Boston University Terriers were outlasted in a war of attrition against the Vermont Catamounts. The two nationally-ranked Hockey East rivals faced off again on Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse and the first two periods felt like a continuation of the prior night’s battles, just turned up to eleven and with a different ending.
BU jumped out to a first period lead in both games, with Chase Phelps collecting his first goal of the season. The goal came in the middle of a brutal period, in which there were eight penalties between the two teams. Jordan Greenway and Brian Bowen got wrapped up and traded punches, and there were several scrums that had to be separated by the officials. There ends the similarities between the two games.
Friday’s game saw the Catamounts return fire and take a lead. Saturday’s saw no such result. UVM traded punches BU’s freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger faced 27 shots from the Catamounts and he saved all of them. He collected his first collegiate road shutout and provided an enormous lift after a disappointing game the night before. The game also took on a more defensive feel than the shootout from the previous night.
The teams only had one goal between each other on the board after 40 minutes of play. In the third period, BU blew the doors off the beloved old barn in Burlington. BU started the 3rd period on the power play and made the Catamounts pay. Freshman Clayton Keller buried a sharp shot from the right circle and into the net to put BU up 2-0. Keller’s goal was his first since returning to the lineup after injury, and the third power play goal of the weekend for the Terriers. BU came into the weekend only 1-24 in Hockey East power plays this season. According to Coach David Quinn, Keller’s return to the lineup was a massive boost to the timing and pace of his team’s play, allowing the Terriers to run their offense more efficiently. BU cranked up their offense, even more, getting a goal from Nick Roberto and a short-handed empty net goal from Brandon Hickey to wrap up the scoring.
BU won the game 4-0, and splits the season series against the Catamounts. Coach Quinn praised the Catamounts, saying “That’s a team that’s gonna play late into the year. I’m just proud of my guys, the way we competed against that kind of team.” BU will return home and host the Yale Bulldogs at Agganis Arena in Boston on Tuesday before beginning exams and winter break. Vermont has a week off before hosting the Dutchmen of Union College at Gutterson on the 17th and 18th.