The bye week is over for the No. 8/6 Boston University Terriers and the real season begins. Ending the regular season on a high note with a 4-1 win over Notre Dame, the No. 2 Hockey East seed took on the No. 8 Hockey East seeded Northeastern Huskies in Game 1 of the Hockey East quarterfinals. The Huskies got out to a quick 2-0 lead on freshman netminder Jake Oettinger, but a strong effort in the last two periods and a power play goal in overtime saw the Terriers prevail, 3-2.
Northeastern got on the board first just before the midway point of the first period. On a takeaway behind the goal line, Zach Aston-Reese, college hockey’s leading scorer, glided around the back of the net, came forward and wristed one through Oettinger to put NU up 1-0. Less than three minutes later, on a back-door play, Jeremy Davies found a wide-open Dylan Sikura, easily potting the puck and extending the Huskies lead to two. The Terriers suffered two big losses in the game, starting in the first period. Bobo Carpenter got nailed by Aston-Reese in the corner by NU goaltender Ryan Ruck short-handed and did not return to the game. John MacLeod did not come out to start the third period and never returned to game play.
On a power play in the second period, the Terriers found the back of the net. Right off a faceoff won by Kieffer Bellows, Brandon Hickey went point to point with Dante Fabbro, whose snap shot bulged the twine behind Ruck, cutting the Huskies lead in half. Then in the third, on a nifty turnover forced by Patrick Curry, he centered it to a completely uncovered Chase Phelps. His slot shot one-timer beat Ruck cleanly to tie the game at 2.
“Curry does a great job fore-checking, makes a great pass and Phelps doesn’t stickhandle, he gets rid of it,” Coach David Quinn said.
Quinn said, “I thought we played a really good second period…and just really loved the way we played in the third.”
It would take an overtime period to decide this one, and Jordan Greenway would seal the win. On a power play caused from a Jeremy Davies hooking minor, Chad Krys made an intuitive play to get the rush started quickly after a Northeastern clear. Clayton Keller drove down the right wing, with Greenway tapping his stick for a pass near the edge of the opposite circle. Keller’s past found Greenway’s stick, and he buried a quick release shot past Ruck for the victory.
“We’re a really deep team. All four lines were going tonight, we got big goals out of Phelps, Fabbro…everyone was buzzing tonight,” Greenway said. “That really helped us out a lot and I think that pretty much sums it up.”
Quinn noted, “This time of year, if you’re going to have success, you need to be mentally tough and to play a team like that and be down 2-0 when you know it can be 5-0 in a hurry, to hold the fort and to play well and to play hard, I’m very proud of our team tonight.”
The two squads face off for Game 2 Saturday night at 7p.m. at Agganis Arena.