By: Matt Dresens
BOSTON — In a back and forth game, BU and the University of Connecticut battled to a 2-2 draw in front of the 3,397 in attendance at Agganis Arena, as the Terriers played their first Hockey East league contest of the 2018 campaign.
BU’s struggle to find the back of the net five-on-five continued, but the Terriers were able to find offense in an unexpected scenario: on the penalty kill. Not once, but twice junior forward Bobo Carpenter lit the lamp shorthanded, scoring his first two goals of the young season.
Carpenter’s first tally came midway through the second frame after he picked up a loose puck at his defensive blue line. From there, he used his speed, beat a defender wide and slipped home a backhander past UConn goalie Adam Huska glove side. It was Bobo’s first goal since scoring in the NCAA Regionals against North Dakota.
Carpenter wasn’t done though. Less than ten minutes later, the center posted his second shortie of the night. Huska was out of his crease to play the puck as it came into the zone, but fanned on the clearing attempt, allowing Carpenter to pick his pocket. After corralling the puck, the junior was forced behind the net before attempting to shoot.
“Initially I was thinking ‘shoot it,’” mentioned Carpenter. “I saw a guy out of the corner of my eye and I didn’t want to just shoot it into him. I got it on my backhand and flipped it to the net and got a lucky bounce off of him. It’s nice to see those go in.”
Sandwiched between the two Carpenter shorthanded strikes was UConn’s first tally. Johny Austin wristed home his first of the year from the point on the same power-play that Carpenter scored his first goal on.
Despite trailing BU going into of the third period, the Huskies were able to skate to a tie. Just before the half-way point of the final frame, Alexander Payusove banged home a rebound to retie the game, again on the power play. It was Payusov’s team-leading fifth goal of the year and came 7:30 into the third.
“Our penalty kill let us down tonight,” said Head Coach David Quinn. “You can’t be giving up two goals after you get two shorthand goals. We just don’t have a lot of experience with guys killing right now. That’s going to take some time.”
BU carried the play for the majority of the night, but the third period went to UConn. The Huskies outshot BU 11-5 in the final stanza.
Jake Oettinger made 33 saves on the evening, including 14 in the third period and overtime.
The two teams will be back at it Saturday night in Hartford of the back end of the home-and-home series. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m.