BOSTON – In the opener of a two-game weekend series at Agganis Arena, Boston University (10-9-3, 8-5-2 HEA) coasted to a 4-2 victory over No. 17/15 Arizona State (16-10-1). The win – just BU’s second out-of-conference W – pushes the red-hot Terriers to a 4-1-1 record since the beginning of 2019.
BU last played on Jan. 21, a 7-2 win against Merrimack in which the Terriers converted on three of their four power plays and tallied a shorthanded goal for a teamwide plus-four rating in special teams.
ASU entered the contest reeling from a two-game sweep at the hands of the Big Red of Cornell. The Sun Devils are in the middle of a long six-game road trip – series in Ithaca, NY, Boston and Rochester, NY, in consecutive weekends.
Fresh off their second 2,200-mile flight in two weeks, the visitors burst out of the gates with intensity. Joey Daccord, who’s started all 27 games in goal for ASU, turned away a breakaway chance from Patrick Harper. The opportunistic Devils pushed the puck to the opposite end of the ice and, after briefly losing possession, used a well-executed forecheck and a slick pass from Filips Buncis to Anthony Croston at the right crease to net the game’s first goal at the 5:58 mark.
The Terriers answered four minutes later with Joel Farabee’s seventh goal of the season, as the freshman found space with a nifty toe drag in the low slot. With an assist on the play, Bobo Carpenter (56g, 45a) became the 83rd Terrier to record 100 career points while wearing the red and white.
“It’s pretty special,” Carpenter said after the game. “You don’t really think about it when you first get to campus, but it makes you look back at all the players you’ve played with to get to that mark. But it’s kind of sad too that those kinds of things come at the end, so it’s almost near.”
The teams went back and forth trading hits and missed opportunities with only one stoppage of play in the next nine minutes until Patrick Curry found the back of the net for the sixth time this season after being sprung free with a well-placed pass from linemate Patrick Harper. The goal came with 38 ticks left on the clock in the first period, and it gave the Terriers a lead that they would not relinquish.
The usual chants of “FAR-A-BEE” from the Dog Pound only got louder when the Philadelphia Flyers’ first-round pick scored his second goal seven minutes into the second stanza. Farabee got a little help from Devil defenseman Jarrod Gourley, who unintentionally deflected the shot off his stick and past his goalie.
The goal earned Gourley some choice words from Daccord and a long stint on the bench, which gave him a great view for fellow blue-liner Brinson Pasichnuk’s goal, a rocket of a slapshot from the edge of the offensive zone, two minutes later that cut the BU lead to 3-2.
The Terriers got some insurance with a goal from Chad Krys at the 12:51 mark that extended Shane Bowers’ point streak to five games. The score held throughout a third period that featured two Farabee penalties and 17 saves from Jake Oettinger to give him 38 for the game.
The Terriers were outshot 40-32, and they were beaten on faceoffs 31-28, but fortunate bounces and crisp passing gave BU the win. While breaching above .500 for the first time all season always feels good, Coach Albie O’Connell would be wise to rethink his game plans for the beginnings of games.
BU hasn’t scored the first goal of a game since a 5-2 win over UNH on Jan. 11, and while they’ve been successful in the games since, the Terriers still have another game against the Sun Devils – a team that is 13-2-1 when scoring first – this weekend , and it’s not likely that a top-20 team will drop two games in a row if they’re allowed to strike first blood.