By Denny Hackett
The Terriers (16-18-4) Hockey East title defense came up short on Friday after they battled Northeastern (26-10-1) to a 2-1 overtime loss in the conference semifinals.
The Terriers were missing freshman phenom Joel Farabee on Friday with a lower body injury after scoring four goals in last weekend’s series against the UMass Lowell Riverhawks and Head Coach Albie O’Connell thought that hurt their chances against Northeastern. After the game he said, “We had to shorten the bench a bit, not having Farabee thinned out our lineup quite a bit so guys got a little bit gassed.”
Despite ending the period tied at zero, the Terriers dominated the first with some great scoring chances, including a disallowed goal from Logan Cockerill. Bobo Carpenter also had an excellent chance just five minutes into the game when he snaked the puck around two defenders before being robbed at the doorstep by Huskies’ goalie Cayden Primeau. The Terriers ended the period with a 4-3 shot advantage.
After a strong first period, the Terriers came to life in the second period when Ty Amonte gave BU the lead at the tail end of a power play with 12:21 to play in the period. That goal proved to be a shot of adrenaline that put the Terriers on attack for the next several minutes leading to some great scoring chances, including a Patrick Harper shot off of the post that would have extended the lead to two.
However, the Huskies rebounded in the final minutes of the period with a dominant stretch of play of their own. Oettinger buckled down in net to preserve the lead despite the onslaught from Northeastern, making 23 saves in the period.
Just seconds into the third freshman forward Tyler Madden tied the game up for the Huskies and set the tone for the rest of the period. Throughout the frame Northeastern dominated BU, and almost went up 2-1 but the goal was called back on a similar play to the Cockerill goal that was disallowed in the first after it looked like Oettinger was interfered with.
However, the Terriers did get a chance later in the period when Shane Bowers ripped a hard shot off of Primeau’s goal post.
Both teams then traded cheap shots when NU forward Matt Filipe was called for a hit to the head of Terrier forward Matt Quercia. Then just seconds after that power play ended, Terrier defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo returned the favor with a cross-check to the back of Huskies’ forward Biagio Lerario. Despite the two penalties in the last five minutes, neither team could break the tie and for the third time this season a BU Northeastern matchup had to be decided in overtime.
The Huskies started overtime in a flurry, picking up right where they left off in the third. Just four minutes into overtime play, Chad Krys went to the box for a high-sticking call leaving the Terriers down a man with their season on the line.
The Terriers killed the penalty and spent much of the next ten minutes in the Northeastern defensive zone but it would not be enough to keep their season alive. With just four minutes left in the first overtime period, sophomore forward Zach Solow ended the Terriers season with a wrist shot from the slot to send Northeastern to the Hockey East Finals on Saturday.
Despite the loss O’Connell thought his team played well against the Huskies. After the game he said, “It was a tight game, I thought both goalies were good, both teams played well, we were just on the wrong side of it.”