Two scenarios lied ahead of Saturday night’s game between No. 8/6 Boston University and Northeastern University. If BU prevailed, they would advance to the Hockey East semifinals at TD Garden. If Northeastern came out on top, a decisive game three would be needed. Luckily for the Terriers, their late drama came out and gave them another 3-2 victory. Chad Krys scored the game winning goal on a power play late in the third, while Jake Oettinger stood large, making 24 saves in the match.
This game was as identical to last night as it could be, with Northeastern getting out to a 2-0 lead in front of Ryan Ruck. First, Biagio Lerario nabbed his first collegiate goal, a bar-down shot over Oettinger not even three minutes into the game. Then as a Chase Phelps holding minor expired, Matt Filipe found Nolan Stevens parked right in front of Oettinger, and the younger Stevens brother tipped the pass home.
Once again like Friday night, a second period power play goal by the Terriers brought life back into Agganis Arena. On the rush, Clayton Keller slid down the left wing while Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson broke coverage to crash the net. Keller’s pass found JFK’s stick, which tipped the puck high over Ruck’s blocker shoulder to put BU on the board. Coach David Quinn lauded his power play as of late, scoring goals in both games this weekend.
“This time of year, your year stats don’t matter. It’s what you’re doing right now, how good is your power play right now. We may be 23rd, 22nd in the country, I could care. I want to know how we look right now, and right now, our power play looks good and we’re being productive,” Quinn said.
Next, an upperclassman evened the score early in the third frame. Coming into the offensive zone 3-on-3, JFK made a pass to Nick The senior Roberto, who skated into open space just above the slot. Still gliding to change the angle, Roberto’s snapper beat Ruck, tying the game at 2.
The late game luck for the Terriers found its way back into the narrative. Garret Cockerill took a hooking call at 18:26, and with just 24.9 to go, Chad Krys swiped a rebound to bulge the twine and give Boston University the lead for good.
“We can’t keep playing with fire the way we have been the last few weeks, but…I certainly like some of the characteristics we’ve shown the last few weeks,” Quinn said. “Being mentally tough and playing well in crucial, critical times, which is something you’re absolutely going to have to do this time of year.”
Next up for BU, they await the other semifinalists to make it to TD Garden in Hockey East. Boston College swept Vermont, and Notre Dame swept Providence as well. UMass Lowell and New Hampshire play their game three at 4p.m. Sunday, and from there, the semifinal opponents will be set.