By: Denny Hackett
The Terriers (10-13-3) stood no chance against the UMASS Minutemen (21-5-0) and were crushed 4-2 after an encouraging first period.
The Terriers came out firing to start the game in the first ten minutes. In that time frame they won six of the opening eight faceoffs and maintained a heavy offensive zone presence against the Minutemen.
It did not take the Terriers long to score either. After UMASS was called for too many men on the ice just six minutes into the game, Captain Dante Fabbro scored the first goal of the game on the power play and his fifth on the season.
During the first period BU goalie Jake Oettinger was electric in net. He stopped all 14 shots he faced while also making some excellent saves in the process.
However, any momentum the Terriers had after the first period disappeared entirely as soon as the first face off of the second. For the first five minutes of the period, the teams raced up and down the ice with little to differentiate either side.
Then the Minutemen iced the puck after a long shift, resulting in head coach Greg Carvel calling a timeout. Not even ten seconds after the timeout, John Leonard scored UMASS’s first goal of the game, just 6:20 into the period. Just under two minutes later, Jack Suter gave the Minutemen a 2-1 lead off of a pass from Cale Makar.
The Terriers finally had their first real opportunity of the period when Logan Cockerill forced a breakaway but was robbed by Lindberg at the doorstep. But, that opportunity could not stop UMASS’s momentum. Just moments later, the Minutemen were not done scoring in the second and with just under five minutes left in the period Jake McLaughlin doubled UMASS’s lead.
The Terriers looked flat out exhausted and unenthused in the second after UMASS started to take the game over. BU looked incredibly sloppy in the defensive zone and Oettinger was the only reason they did not allow more goals in the period. A lackluster effort in the period ultimately proved to be the difference for the Minutemen
After the game head coach Albie O’Connell said, “The second period started out well and ended bad. And that ended up costing us the game.”
After the first ten minutes of the third, it seemed like the Terriers had solidified their defense, before Joel Farabee was called for tripping. Just 17 seconds later, Marc Del Gaizo effectively put the game away with a goal to put the Minutemen up 4-1. Del Gaizo’s goal was the first power play goal allowed by the Terriers in 26 straight penalty kills.
In the final moments of the game, Shane Bowers scored his tenth goal of the season with just 43 seconds left to play to make it 4-2. But ultimately it meant little to change the Terriers’ fate in the contest.
The Terriers’ lone bright spot in the game was goaltender Jake Oettinger all night long he was making tremendous saves in spite of the rest of the team, who offered him little help. On a third period power play UMASS forward Bobby Trivigno had two break away chances after sloppy giveaways from the Terriers left the puck on his stick. In both opportunities Oettinger kept the game from blowing open even further with two clutch saves.
O’Connell was not upset with his team despite the loss and said, “I liked our effort overall, our smarts at time were not terrific but I thought we competed hard, that’s a good hockey team over there. You gotta tip your cap, they’re well coached.”
The Terriers are back in action on Monday when they take on the Harvard Crimson in the Beanpot consolation game at TD Garden.