By Joe Pohoryles
SCHENECTADY – The Boston University Terriers (1-0-0) started their 2019-20 campaign off with a bang by taking down the Dutchmen of Union College (0-1-0) by a score of 7-3 on Saturday Oct. 5.
With much excitement surrounding this year’s squad, the Terriers finally had the opportunity to showcase the early makeup of the team, with veterans and rookies alike contributing to the victory.
Aggression was the name of the game in the early minutes of the first period, as the Terriers opened with a 8-0 shot advantage, due in large part to an early power play opportunity they failed to capitalize on. The game was scoreless when Union slipped the puck past graduate goaltender Sam Tucker on the power play with 6:46 remaining in the first period. Upon further review, however, the goal was disallowed after it a Union player kicked the puck.
Perhaps that near-miss was the jolt to the system that the Terriers needed, as just over a minute later junior defenseman and assistant captain Cam Crotty found sophomore forward Matt Quercia at the doorstep, who put the Terriers on the board for the first time this season with 5:33 left in the first period.
Senior forward and captain Patrick Curry would add his name to the score sheet not long after, busting in senior forward and assistant captain Patrick Harper’s pass on a quick, close-range one timer. It was the first glimpse of just how lethal the two Patricks will look to be together in their senior seasons.
The Terriers were cruising with under four minutes left in the opening period, when a giveaway on their own blue line fell to the stick of Union’s freshman forward Chaz Smedsrud, who split the Terrier defensemen and scorched the puck to the top corner, cutting the Terrier’s lead in half with 3:27 left. Another sloppy giveaway just a minute later gifted junior forward Sean Harrison with an easy look, allowing Union to tie the game 2-2 entering the second period.
While the more experienced Terriers powered the team early on, it was freshman forward Robert Mastrosimone who put the team back on top early in the second period. A scrum in front of Union’s net knocked the puck back to him, where he struck it low to score his first collegiate goal and make the score 3-2. The second round draft choice to the Detroit Red Wings already had a secondary assist on Quercia’s goal, making his presence on the team known early.
The team went back to their aggressive style to open the second period, leading to some pushing and shoving from both sides after the puck was dead. Deep in Union’s defensive zone, the Terriers worked the puck around to the corner, where a nifty twirl from senior forward Gabriel Chabot brought the Terrier lead back to two with a tight-angled goal.
With the offense humming, the Terriers were given their third power play opportunity of the day, where the Harper-Curry connection struck again, the captain skipping Harper’s pass over the pads of Union’s junior netminder Darion Hanson, making the score 5-2.
A Union power play goal made the score 5-3, but it was smooth sailing from there, as Quercia managed to notch his second of the day less than a minute later, and soon after junior defenseman David Farrance put the game out of reach with another power play goal with just under 90 seconds remaining in the second period. The team finished 2-for-8 in power play opportunities.
Neither team scored any goals in the third period, as the Terriers held on to win their season opener with relative ease. Farrance and Curry led the team with three points apiece, and Tucker let in three goals on just 10 Union shots.
While the offensive output cannot be ignored, the team’s dominance on defense and puck possession overwhelmed Union in the latter stages of the game, not allowing a single shot in the second period until the 8:15 mark, ultimately out-shooting the Dutchmen 37-10.
The Terriers will look to continue their winning ways in just under two weeks when they host Northern Michigan for their home opener on Friday, Oct. 18.