Boston College and Boston University renewed bitter acquaintances at Agganis Arena on Friday night. The teams played a brutal, physical game, as is expected between these teams. A sellout crowd cheered the efforts of the players who played in the World Juniors who returned to after admirable performances, notably for Team USA’s gold medal team, and the home fans were rewarded with a Terrier victory.
The first period was scoreless. BU controlled the pace of play early, setting the tone with speed and physicality. The skating was fast and the hits came furiously. Nikolas Olsson threw his shoulder into a few Eagles and got the BU crowd excited while Scott Savage answered back with a few brutal hits of his own. Through the first period, BU outshot BC 15-11. Joe Woll and Jake Oettinger made many difficult saves and it looked like we would get a 1-0 goalie duel. That was, until the 2nd period got underway.
The offenses broke loose with all three goals between the teams coming in the second period. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson got the scoring started with a slot shot early. The Eagles answered fast, taking advantage of a Terrier penalty. Thirteen seconds into Patrick Curry’s tripping penalty, Colin White got to the left goalie crease and tied the game at 5:15 into the period. The goal was White’s team high 11th score of the season. Under 2 minutes later, BU reclaimed the lead. Jordan Greenway got behind the net, passed the puck to Clayton Keller in the slot, who scored his 8th goal of the season.
The Terriers would not relinquish this lead behind a masterful effort by Jake Oettinger. The 6-4 freshman goaltender faced wave after wave of Eagle attack late in the second and through the whole third period. BC kept the pressure up high in the third, dominating the shot total, 12-5, over BU. Oettinger stood strong, including a candidate for save of the year. He made a kick save on Austin Cangelosi when there was a clear look between Oettinger’s left skate and the post. The sellout Agganis Arena crowd roared their approval for their young goaltender. BC ran out of time after pulling their goaltender for an extra skate, and Boston University escaped with a 2-1 victory over their arch-rivals.
Terrier coach David Quinn was happy with the victory, but not at all pleased with the 3rd period effort. Doyle Somerby echoed his coach’s thoughts, noting that BU played much of the third just holding onto the lead, not attacking for the next goal. Quinn and Clayton Keller praised the BU fans for their intensity despite classes not starting on this end of Commonwealth Avenue until Thursday. Keller added that it was weird going from being in the same locker room with so many BC guys with Team USA in the World Juniors to being on opposite sides of this intense rivalry.
This was the first of three times these teams will face off over the next 26 days. The next game will be at Conte Forum in nearby Chestnut Hill on Monday. Puck drops at 7:30