By: Jake Reiser
BOSTON — As the banners dropped at Agganis Arena to celebrate Boston University’s Beanpot and Hockey East Championships, their Frozen Four appearance, and Jack Eichel’s Hobey Baker Award, the BU hockey team looked to return to their winning ways in their regular season home opener. The Terriers (1-1-0) certainly did, giving the home crowd a much needed 4-1 victory against the Wisconsin Badgers (0-1-2).
Like last night’s game against the USA U-18 development team, BU’s opponent got off to a quick start, as Adam Rockwood cashed in on a crazy bounce from the corner to put the Badgers up 1-0 just 1:22 into the game.
But after Wisconsin’s quick first goal, Coach David Quinn noticed a marked change on the bench compared to their reaction last night.
“We didn’t let it rattle us, we didn’t let it affect our approach and what we were trying to do,” Coach Quinn said. “It would have been easy after last night, you give up a goal like that two minutes into the game, and all of a sudden, you’re moping around, tripping over your lip, but we didn’t do that.”
The game settled for the rest of the first period, but right away in the second, Matt Lane put a rebound from behind the net past Badgers goalie Matt Jurusik to even the game at 1.
“[Lane] is strong, he’s quick, he’s got a good stick, he’s got good hands, he’s not easily denied, I don’t think he traveled more than a foot combined [in regards to his goals], and he’s off to a great start,” Coach Quinn said. “That’s how you gotta score these days, there’s layer after layer of people lying down, trying to block shots, goaltending is better, you’ve gotta pay a price to score a goal and he pays a price.”
The second period was marred by four Badgers penalties, and Brandon Fortunato cashed in with one second left on a Kevin Schulze interference call. He took a feed from senior forward Danny O’Regan and sniped one top glove side to put the Terriers up 2-1.
“[Coach Quinn] said if I were to get my shot a lot better, then I would improve as a player tremendously,“ Fortunato said. “I worked a lot with him last year, when I went home for the summer, I worked on it every day, and for the first month since I’ve been here, I’ve worked on it every day and I feel like I’m getting stronger and I think it’s getting better.”
In the third, Fortunato wrapped his way from the left point to the top of the right circle and ripped a shot that tipped off of Chase Phelps’ stick and into the net, making it 3-1 Terriers. Just four minutes later, the fourth line added another goal. Senior Mike Moran took a shot in traffic, and Bobo Carpenter cleaned up the rebound, putting it past Jurusik for his first goal as a Terrier, extending the Terrier lead to three.
Sophomore Connor LaCouvee played the entire game in net for BU, stopping 17 of 18 shots.
“We have grown up a lot over the last 24 hours,” said Coach Quinn. “Much better tonight, we were much more purposeful, we did play a more mature game. It wasn’t pond hockey out there; Red Rover, Red Rover, send a defenseman on over. We actually paid attention to where the other guys on the ice were, and we made our decisions accordingly.”
The Terriers will take the ice again on Saturday, October 24th, when they play the Connecticut Huskies at 4:00 p.m. at Agganis Arena. The game can be heard live on the Terrier Sports Radio Network.