By: Jake Reiser
Boston University’s bout against the Michigan Wolverines had a lot to live up to in comparison to last year’s matchup. On October 25th, 2014, the Terriers rallied from 2-1 down after two periods, with then-freshman phenom Jack Eichel tying it before Matt Lane tipped one home off of a shot from Brandon Hickey to give BU the 3-2 lead. This year lived up to its expectations and then some, with the Terriers climbing out of a 2-0 hole in the third period to win the game 3-2.
BU seemed to come out flat-footed in the first period and on a jam play, junior Alex Kile took advantage. Linemate Tyler Motte came around from behind the net and spun around to flip a puck on goal. BU starting goalie Connor LaCouvee couldn’t hold the post firmly, and Kile jammed the puck through, putting Michigan up 1-0.
Just four minutes later, Kile helped contribute once again, this time on the power play. Kile sent the puck down low on the right wing side for third-line center Cooper Marody to chip high over LaCouvee’s glove, putting the Wolverines up by 2.
In the second period, it was Boston University’ discipline that seemed lacking and at points killing what could have been momentum swings for the Terriers. Early in a second period power play stemming from a 5-on-3, freshman Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson took a tripping call back in the defensive zone, killing off any time the Terriers would have had with the man advantage. Doyle Somerby had a high sticking call three minutes later, and on a good net-mouth chance in front of Michigan senior goalie Steve Racine, Ryan Cloonan slashed the stick out of a Wolverine player’s hands.
“Those first two periods were tough to watch,” coach David Quinn said. “I don’t think we had a lot of jump in our step, I thought they [Michigan] were much quicker to loose pucks, they were quicker in general, they were much more alert than we were. We really didn’t have a lot going on for ourselves.”
“He [Coach Quinn] said if everyone’s just a little better, the whole team is going to be better, and that’s what happened,” said junior Robbie Baillargeon. “Everyone, no matter how much you play in the third period, was a little bit better, and look at what happened.”
Coming out for the third, the Terriers tightened up their play, and on a power play coming from a Brendan Warren hook, senior Danny O’Regan wristed one home to get BU on the board.
“Actually, the breakout was drawn up by Albie O’Connell, did a great job on the initial rush, we kinda tweaked our power play breakout a little bit,” Quinn said. “Albie did a great job drawing it up, it was executed, and then it goes in the net.”
Momentum shifted in favor of the Terriers just 12 seconds later, Baillargeon wrapped a puck through the pads of Steve Racine, trying the game and sending Agganis Arena into a frenzy. Frenzied play continued for both sides, as 36 seconds after Baillargeron’s tying goal, Motte sprung on a breakaway, and Somerby slashed Motte’s stick, drawing a penalty shot. Connor LaCouvee came up big with a save with Motte using his speed on his 1-on-0 chance, and gave quite the celebration after the stop.
With under three minutes to go in the game, Somerby walked in from the left point, and through traffic wristed one high for the game winner.
“The puck bounced out from in front of the net, I think their D tried to clear it. Luckily, I was able to keep it in just before the blue line,” Somerby said. “One thing we talked about is that they sell out for shots and they try and block everything they can, I just tried to fake it and get around him, and it was a great net front presence by Ahti, I just put it on net, anything can happen, lucky enough, it went in.”
BU held on despite a hitting from behind call from A.J. Greer, winning the game.
“Really proud of our guys,” Quinn said. “It’s not an easy thing to do when you don’t play well for two periods and be able to pull it together and give yourself a chance in the third, and that’s what I thought we did.”
The Terriers face the Wolverines one more time this weekend at Agganis Arena, a 4:00 p.m. puck drop at Agganis Arena.