By: Jake Reiser
This is crunch time for the Terriers. After a 4-4 tie against UNH last night at Agganis Arena, No. 4 Boston University needs every win it can if it wants to win the Hockey East title, starting with Saturday night’s bout against the New Hampshire Wildcats at the Whitmore Center in Durham, NH. Once again, BU was tested with deficits, but in the end, played as great a third period as Coach David Quinn has seen all season, running the table with an 8-4 victory.
BU went down 1-0 again this weekend, with Jason Salvaggio’s wrister uncovered in the slot beating Terrier netminder Jake Oettinger to give the Wildcats the lead. With less than five minutes to go in the first frame, John MacLeod unloaded a one-time slap shot from the point that beat UNH goaltender Danny Tirone, evening the score. Less than two minutes later, Tyler Kelleher zipped in on a 2-on-1, one-timing a goal of his own to give UNH a 2-1 lead to end the first.
Salvaggio pushed a puck through Oettinger’s left pad, extending the New Hampshire lead to 3-1. From there, the Terriers pushed back to tie the game. First, on a fake shot-pass from Ryan Cloonan, Chase Phelps wristed just his second goal of the season. Coach Quinn recognized just how important it is to have depth players scoring late in the season. Quinn said, “If you’re going to have success this time of year, everybody needs to contribute. Everybody.”
From there, Patrick Harper corralled his own rebound on a blocked shot and went top shelf to tie the game at 3-3. Once again, New Hampshire grabbed the lead, as Ara Nazarian pushed the puck over the goal line on a 2-on-1, but they wouldn’t be able to hold the lead to the intermission. On a power play, Dante Fabbro’s wrist shot through traffic found the twine, tying the game heading into the final frame.
Just like last night, the third period was all Boston University. Patrick Harper started the BU scoring, with a Kieffer Bellows wraparound tally, Bobo Carpenter putting a clean snapper home. and Clayton Keller adding the empty net dagger to seal what felt like a much-needed Terriers victory. Bellows now has two goals in three games, becoming more apparent on the scoresheet and a presence on the ice.
“I feel like I’ve been hitting my stride lately, the whole team has been hitting their stride [this weekend],” Bellows said. “I think we were down after that Beanpot loss, but we pushed that behind us and really brought it in these New Hampshire games and we need to bring it in the Notre Dame games in order to win the league championship.”
“To me, this was about the psyche and winning,” Quinn said. “I didn’t care how we won, we needed to find a way to win, and we found a way to win tonight.
No. 4 Boston University has one last regular season weekend on the docket, two home games slated against the No. 15 University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish.