By: Jarett Leonard
BOSTON — After the way Boston University fell to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell on Friday, the Terriers knew it would be crucial to put that loss behind them heading into a long layoff. They did that and more, dominating from start to finish in a 9-3 rout of the River Hawks.
“It’s great to feel the way we do right now,” Quinn said. “You get nine goals, obviously that’s a great thing, but it was the way we did it. It wasn’t luck, it wasn’t bad bounces on their end, we earned it. I feel really good for our players.”
Senior Jordan Greenway netted his first career hat trick while sophomore Patrick Harper added two power play goals as the Terriers scored early and often and didn’t look back.
Freshman Brady Tkachuk opened the game just as he did Friday, scoring an early goal to get BU’s offense going. He took a pass from senior Drew Melanson on a 2-on-1 break, got Lowell goaltender Tyler Wall out of position and tucked home the backhander.
But unlike Friday, BU kept the pressure on and extended the lead. Just under a minute and a half later, junior Bobo Carpenter raced past Lowell defenseman Croix Evingson and fed Greenway in the low slot for a shorthanded goal.
“I thought the loss last night put us down a little bit,” Greenway said. “We were up for the most of the game so losing like that upset us. We wanted to come out strong and on fire and we got some early goals which helped us out.”
Harper made it a three-goal lead with his first man-advantage tally of the night late in the period when he beat Wall with a wrister from the right circle.
“I loved how we played after we got up 2-0,” Quinn said. “We really played well after that. We spent a lot of time in the offensive zone, took a lot of shots, attempted a lot of shots. It’s a great way to end the half.”
Charlie Levesque gave Lowell life heading to the first intermission, but BU soon silenced any hope of a comeback, as the Terriers scored the next three goals to break it wide open.
With the River Hawks on a power play, sophomore defenseman Chad Krys blocked a heavy drive with his leg and was helped to the bench. But Krys returned to the ice moments later, only to score BU’s fourth goal of the game after getting to his own rebound and beating Wall.
“I totally froze up and thought I shattered my knee cap or something,” Krys said. “I went to the back and caught my breath and I ended up being okay. Luckily next shift I ended up scoring so it ended up working out pretty well.”
It only took eight seconds for the Terriers to get the next one past Wall, as Greenway took a giveaway in the slot and ripped it past the sophomore net minder. Cam Crotty later got in on the action with a wrist shot from the line that deflected off a defender’s stick and into the cage for his first collegiate goal.
The River Hawks responded to a goaltending change, as Christoffer Hernberg replaced Wall, with a goal from Connor Wilson, but Harper answered with a half-minute remaining in the second. After quick puck movement from Krys and sophomore Dante Fabbro on the man advantage, Greenway fed it in front for Harper to finish.
Kenny Hausinger’s power play tally cut the lead to four in the third period, but freshman Kasper Kotkansalo restored the five-goal lead with a wrist shot from the high slot. Greenway later capped the scoring with his third of the night, collecting a rebound and sliding it past Hernberg. BU outshot Lowell 47-18.
“Certainly the way you want to end the first half,” Quinn said. “I thought we were ready from the drop of the puck and we played at a pace that we haven’t played at in a while.”
BU has now scored seven or more goals in three games this season, all of those coming since mid-November, and while inconsistencies have plagued the Terriers, Quinn said the team is still in a good position after the first semester.
“When the dust settles, people are going to evaluate the season by the season not the half,” Quinn said. “That’s something we just talked about and we’re .500 in our league, we feel like we’ve done a lot of good things and we really believe our best hockey is ahead of us.”
For Greenway and the Terriers, the win was an important one heading into a nearly month-long break. BU will not play again until Jan. 5, when it hosts the U.S. Under-18 Team in an exhibition contest at Agganis Arena, and Saturday’s win sends them into the layoff on a high note.
“Going into break, it’s really good to get a win like that,” Greenway said. “Everyone just wanted to go into the break feeling confident because we have to live with this one for a month.”
Five Terriers will now head to World Junior evaluation camps, as Tkachuk, Harper and goaltender Jake Oettinger will join the U.S. team while Fabbro (Canada) and Kotkansalo (Finland) were also invited to camps.
“It’s a fun time for us to sit back and watch them play,” Quinn said. “It’s fun for us, we’re certainly proud of those guys and we follow it with a lot of passion and a lot of interest.”