By: Dan Shulman
The Boston University Terriers scored three times in a 2:58 span late in the third period to cap off a victory over the Maine Black Bears, 4-1, at Agganis Arena on Friday night.
While the stats suggest the Terriers had a dominating performance, the game, in actuality, was anything but dominant for BU.
“It was certainly not the prettiest first two periods,” said BU Head Coach David Quinn. “I thought we were lethargic and really weren’t sharp. We know we’re going to have to be better tomorrow night.”
It was, indeed, a slow start for BU. Standing still in their own defensive end during a Maine power play, the Terriers were victimized by quick puck movement and a bouncing puck that snuck past BU goaltender Jake Oettinger.
Maine held a lead for 19:44 until a late second period equalizer by the Terriers. Clayton Keller collected a loose puck in front of the net a slotted a back hander into the top corner past the out-of-position Maine goalie, Rob McGovern.
“Once one goes in, the whole team starts to feel good,” said Coach Quinn. “You loosen up a little, you’re not pressing as much, and maybe you start to play with a little bit more passion and enthusiasm.”
Following the Keller goal, there was a distinct change of demeanor among the Terriers. They were definitely playing looser, making better passes and creating more chances. BU continued to limit Maine offensively and began to get more openings in their own attack.
With under eight minutes left in the third period, and after going 0-for-5 on the power play, BU finally made the breakthrough. Bobo Carpenter fired a slapshot off the pads of McGovern and into the net. The goal gave BU the lead for good.
Less than two minutes after that, the Terriers extended the lead. Quick puck movement led to a wide-open Jordan Greenway getting an open shooting chance and the sophomore made the most of it on the power play. Greenway fired a wrist-shot that went off the bar and into the net for his first goal since November 18 and seventh of the season.
“They gave me a little bit more space than I thought they were going to,” said Greenway. “I just took advantage of it and found a lane to the net.”
The Terriers finished off the Black Bears by adding a fourth goal late in the period. Nikolas Olsson finished off a nifty pass from Ryan Cloonan from in front of the net to make it a three-goal lead.
Maine goaltender Rob McGovern finished the night with 37 saves while Oettinger had just 13 saves for BU on 14 Black Bear shots. On shot attempts, BU earned an 86-34 advantage on the night.
“[Maine is] a good team,” said BU assistant captain Nikolas Olsson. “You can’t let their record fool you. They’re big, they’re fast, and they’re hard to play against. You have to really show up to do well against them.”
The top line featured a new look today as freshman Patrick Curry stepped in on the right wing with Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Patrick Harper. While they didn’t record a point, the line looked sharper and moved the puck well.
The Terriers get back at it tomorrow with a game at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine at 7:30 p.m. As for who will be in net, Coach Quinn said he’s thought about maybe rotating junior Connor LaCouvee in but will be making a decision tomorrow.