By: Matt Dresens
BOSTON — Bobo Carpenter’s overtime goal delivered BU a victory in Game One of the Hockey East Quarterfinals against Connecticut Friday night at Agganis Arena, after the Terriers overcame two third-period deficits to force the extra session.
Just 5:02 into overtime, Carpenter wrapped home his astounding seventh goal against UConn this season to give the Terriers the 5-4 win, putting them up 1-0 in the best-of-three series against the Huskies.
“I honestly have no idea how it snuck in,” Carpenter said. “I just wanted to get it to the net. We really have focused the past two weeks on getting pucks to the net, causing those rebounds, and I was fortunate enough to get it in.”
Logan Cockerill and Shane Bowers helped win a battle in the corner, which allowed Carpenter to swoop in, pick up a loose puck behind the cage and try the stuff attempt. Somehow, the puck squeezed through UConn goalie Adam Huska – who made 33 saves on the evening – and plopped in behind the goal line.
With the assist, Cockerill now has points in nine straight games, dating back to January 26 at Arizona State.
BU made it into overtime thanks to a late Chad Krys goal, which tied things up at 4-4 with 3:38 left. Krys initially lead a charge up ice and had a backhand bid turned aside by Huska. The ensuing rebound was kicked out, but Krys stayed with the play and picked off the errant clearing pass from Joseph Masonius close to the blue line. From there, the sophomore defenseman wheeled in and ripped home a wrist shot from the high slot, beating Huska high, glove side for his seventh goal of the year.
“I think there were three guys in front of me,” mentioned Krys on what he was looking at before taking the shot. “Tried to use them as a screen and maybe saw a little bit up high. Luckily, I don’t think he saw it off my stick.”
“We knew the opponent we were gonna face,” added head coach Dave Quinn. “We knew how tough it would be. I mean they have been the hottest team in the league. They have a good hockey team, great goalie, well coached, and I’m not surprised this game went to overtime. If we thought tonight was hard, tomorrow night is going be that much harder.”
Back in the first, UConn opened the scoring on a strange play. BU had a chance that looked to have deflected up into the protective netting, but the play was never blown dead. UConn went the other way and Max Kalter netted his sixth goal of the season to put the Huskies up 1-0.
Eight seconds later, the tough break was neutralized. Jordan Greenway deposited his first of two goals on the night, this one coming via a breakaway. Drew Melanson closed out the scoring in the first after shoveling in a rebound goal to Huska’s left less than three minutes after the Greenway tally.
UConn wasted little time tying the game in the second frame, as Karl El-Mir found paydirt from the edge of the crease on BU goalie Jake Oettinger, who stopped 36 shots in total. The Huskies would take the lead later in the stanza on former BU commit Maxim Letunov’s 12th goal of the year.
Jordan Greenway re-tied the proceedings just 2:02 into the third, after deflecting a Dante Fabbro point shot past Huska, leveling the score, 3-3. UConn then took the lead again late in the period on an unassisted power-play goal from Benjamin Freeman. That set the stage for Kry’s late heroics.
“You gotta find a way to win playoff games,” voiced Quinn. “We obviously found a way to win tonight. I’m really happy with the way things ended and the result, but I’m certainly not happy with the way things started. We just looked sluggish. They had a lot more will than us. I thought they were faster than us.”
The most impressive aspect of the win for BU was their resiliency. The Terriers were 1-11-0 when trailing after two periods coming into Game One. This was almost the exact opposite of what happened two weeks ago in Hartford, when BU held leads of 3-1 and 4-2 in the third period, only to see the Huskies win 5-4 in overtime.
“The great news is we responded every time they scored, which was a good sign,” Quinn said.
With the loss tonight, UConn falls to 0-7 in Hockey East tournament play. Game Two is scheduled for Saturday night with a 7 p.m. puck drop at Agganis Arena.