By: Eric Getzoff
NEW YORK — The No. 19 Boston University Terriers will have to wait until next weekend’s series against Boston College to get their first back-to-back wins of the season.
The Terriers didn’t come close to repeating their success in last Saturday’s dominating 7-0 win against Maine, falling 4-3 to No. 7 Cornell in the sixth installment of Red Hot Hockey at Madison Square Garden.
The Terriers’ (6-8-1, 4-4-1 Hockey East) streak of appearing in 108 straight USCHO.com polls will most likely come to an end with the loss. It is the sixth time they have allowed at least four goals this season.
“It’s frustrating because it seems we continue to give up goals too easy and we can’t get them,” said BU Head Coach David Quinn. “There are a couple of things we have to clean up… it’s going to happen. We just have to get ready to get home and play a big league game on Friday night.”
Cornell scored the game’s first three goals and took a 3-0 lead into the third period.
Beau Starrett got the scoring started at the 15:18 mark of the first period when Mitch Vanderlaan found Starrett on the rush for his first goal of the season.
The Terriers had their chances to score in the first period but couldn’t get one past Big Red goaltender Matthew Galajda. Drew Melanson found Patrick Curry in front of the net on a rush at the 5:00 mark, but Curry couldn’t poke it in. Jordan Greenway’s wrist shot went just wide of the net one minute later.
In the second period, the Big Red took less than half the shots as BU (13-6), but outscored them 2-0. The first goal came via Trevor Yates at the 6:51 mark while the second came under two minutes later, when Alex McCrea wristed a shot from the left side that bounced in off a BU defender.
“They were ready from the drop of the puck,” Quinn said. “The two penalties in the first period [Melanson and Cam Crotty] put us on our heels a little bit. The back breaker was the third goal. They throw it from the corner and tipped it in.”
The Terriers entered the third period trying to do something they hadn’t done all season; come from behind.
They cut Cornell’s lead to 3-1 when Dante Fabbro found the net on a power play goal at the 4:48 mark. The strike came after Starrett was whistled for high sticking.
Then, another Big Red notched not only his first goal of the season, but the first of his collegiate career.
Tristan Mullin, a freshman from Cartwright, Manitoba, a small Canadian town with a population of just over 300, scored what proved to be the game winner at the 11:51 mark. Mullin skated past three Terrier defenders and wristed the fourth goal of the game past Terrier netminder Jake Oettinger to give the Big Red a 4-1 lead.
Two minutes later, Cornell again committed a penalty; this time it was Mitch Vanderlaan who was called for holding. Down three with less than eight minutes to play, Quinn opted to pull Oettinger for six skaters. His gamble paid off when Chad Krys found the back of the net on a wrister from the blue line.
BU turned the heat up on Galajda late in the third, continually putting shots on net against the Big Red netminder. They outshot Cornell 29-15 in the second and third periods, combined.
The Terriers’ leading point scorer this season, Patrick Harper, scored off a rebound at the 15:02 mark to cut Cornell’s lead to one. But, BU wasn’t able to tie the game, and skated away with their first loss ever in Red Hot Hockey.
“I give our guys a lot of credit; I thought we showed a lot of resolve and a lot of mental toughness,” Quinn said. “I thought once we got down 3-0 we started playing, and we saw what we’re capable of doing.”
BU finished the game 2-for-3 on power plays against a Big Red team that had an 88 percent mark on the penalty kill coming into the game.
The Terriers will next travel down Commonwealth Avenue to Chestnut Hill and take on the Boston College Eagles Friday night at 7 p.m. They will host BC the next night at 7 p.m. at Agganis Arena.