Boston, MA — The Boston University Terriers and New Hampshire Wildcats have both authored curious seasons. Both have been on roller coasters with some exemplary nights and some not worthy of remembrance. The puzzling Hockey East squads met at Agganis Arena on a cold and blustery Friday night to open second half conference play and BU got the better end of this long rivalry.
The Terriers got the early jump with a 12-5 shot advantage in the first. Early in the game, Ryan Cloonan set up the first goal for his second straight opening assist. He feathered a puck to Jack DeBoer on the doorstep where the freshman tipped home his first goal as a Terrier. BU kept the pressure on Mike Robinson and benefited from an Angus Crookshank hooking penalty. On the ensuing power play, Terrier captain Dante Fabbro wound up a shot from the blue line and sailed it over Robinson’s Head and into the net before intermission.
New Hampshire tilted pace their way in the second, with an 11-4 shot victory. Jake Oettinger held the fort most of the frame and only yielded one shot in the frame. Matthew Quercia took a hooking minor near the mid-point of the period. He disputed the call but sat as UNH cut the lead in half with a pinballing goal last hit by Liam Blackburn.
UNH got the jump in the third as Angus Crookshank won a race to the puck and circled the net. The freshman Ottawa Senators draft pick passed the puck to Blackburn and the junior from Prince George, British Columbia, potted his second goal of the night and tied the game. He is now the team’s leading scorer and has a ten-game point streak going.
Unfortunately for their guests, BU had an offensive explosion ready for the rest of the third. First, only 2:28 after the equalizer, Joel Farabee broke across the blue line Andy found space in the attacking end. The freshman from Cicero, NY, and veteran of the USA World Junior Team, lasered a gorgeous shot through Robinson inside the post and returned BU to the lead. Next, UNH took a too-many-men-on-the-ice Penalty. Seconds after the power play expired, Cam Crotty tracked down a loose puck and doubled the lead. A minute and change later, Farabee again found open space. He dropped a pass to Bobo Carpenter and the other Terrier captain finished the scoring with a laser for a 5-2 final.
UNH drops their record to 6-8-6 and 2-5-3 in Hockey East. “Disappointing. Disappointing ending.” Remarked Wildcat Head Coach Mike Souza. “I thought we showed good character coming back. But to give the game away as quickly as we did, some unnecessary breakdowns against a team that’s opportunistic that’s got a lot of skill, then to have a mental mistake, to take a too many men on the ice; it’s disappointing.”
The Wildcats return home tomorrow night when they face the Boston College Eagles. Puck drops at the Whittemore Center at 7 pm.
BU improves to 7-8-3 and 6-5-2 in HEA play.
“They’ve got a good team,” mused Terrier Head Coach Albie O’Connell. “They’re really resilient. They’ve played a lot of games tight. They know how to play in tight games. They know how to come back. They came back against Yale. And we talked about that in-between periods. They still came back, but we had an answer in the third. Some big plays guys made to get us over the hump there.”