Men’s Hockey: Wild Third Period Comeback in Terriers Victory

By: Jake Reiser

Tonight was No. 11 Boston University’s first contest after the winter break, and it would not come easy despite the game being just down the road. The Terriers traveled to Bright-Landry Center to take on the No. 4/5 Harvard Crimson, a team thriving with leading Hobey Baker candidate and native Massachusetts forward Jimmy Vesey, along with star freshman goaltender Merrick Madsen.

In fact, it was Vesey who scored the goal scoring started at 8:23 of the first period. On a power play from a Brien Diffley interference call, Vesey caught the rebound of a Clay Anderson shot and slid it past BU starting netminder Sean Maguire to make it 1-0 Harvard. The first period in general was a slow one for Boston University and Maguire had to come up large to keep it just a one goal deficit. After a power play of their own and another penalty kill, the period came to an end, the shot differential a staggering 18-2 in favor of the Crimson.

With that in mind, the Terriers came out fast to start the second and were able to capitalize. Matt Lane took a pass from Robbie Baillargeon and wristed it past Madsen to even the score, 1-1. Only 24 seconds after that equalizer, Sean Malone gave Harvard the lead once again, catching Maguire down.

At 12:33, Lane re-tied the game from Mike Moran, and, yet again, just 1:22 after that, Malone put Harvard up 3-2. The second period would come to and end, shots looking more even, 11-8, still in favor of Harvard.

The third period was filled with action and momentum swings, starting with a Jake Horton goal that squeezed between Maguire and the post ,in what could have been a dagger, and the Crimson up by two goals. On the power play from a Victor Newell slashing minor, however, Danny O’Regan found the back of the net to bring the Terriers within one. Exactly at the halfway mark of the third, Kyle Criscuolo scored his 10th goal of the season, re-setting a two goal Harvard lead, and what could have been a second dagger to Boston University.

All the momentum changed when Colin Blackwell was handed an unsportsmanlike conduct at 15:49. In the Terrier defensive zone, freshman defenseman Charlie McAvoy landed a hip check on Blackwell, who subsequently slid into the boards. Some contentious conversation back up the ice by Blackwell to the referee, and the penalty was called. 12 seconds into the man advantage, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson fed the puck to senior captain Matt Grzelyck, and with traffic in front, snapped one over Madsen’s blocker shoulder.

Boston University wouldn’t stop there, as just 1:04 later, JFK went tic-tac-toe with McAvoy and O’Regan, the goal-scorer, evening the game up once again.

With the ice tilted in favor of the Terriers, they kept the pressure on, and after Jordan Greenway forced a turnover from Desmond Bergin behind the goal line, Lane sent the puck to Ahti Oksanen in front, who caught an un-ready Madsen and shot home the game-winning goal.

The Boston University Terriers (10-6-3, 4-3-2 HE) have a day of rest before taking on the UMass Amherst Minutemen at Agganis Arena. Puck drop is at 7:00p.m. on Friday evening.

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