BOSTON – Boston University Men’s Hockey (4-4-5, 3-3-4 HE) played The University of Vermont Catamounts (1-8-1, 0-6-1 HE) Friday and Saturday, collecting a 3-0 shutout win and a 3-3 tie for a three-point weekend.
With a suspension for behavior keeping head coach Albie O’Connell off the bench, associate head coach Paul Pearl led the Terriers to the shutout win despite a slow start in Friday night’s game. With a Terrier power play and two Terrier penalty kills, neither team was able to get on the board during the first 20.
But in the second period, two minutes after killing off the last 26 seconds of a slashing minor assessed to senior captain Patrick Curry, BU got a power play of their own. This time, rather than watching the two minutes tick by with nothing to show for it, freshman defenseman Domenick Fensore found a shot from freshman forward Ethan Phillips in front of the net and redirected it to open scoring for the Terriers with his first collegiate tally.
Senior assistant captain Patrick Harper followed suit later on in the period with a top shelf snipe from the circle to put the Terriers ahead by two.
To end the second, freshman forward Trevor Zegras was assessed a five-minute major for contact to the head-elbowing with just six seconds remaining in the period, sitting the first-line centerman for the night. Not only would the Terriers have to adjust to losing such a key player going into the final 20, they would also be starting the period down a man for nearly five whole minutes.
The Terriers rose to the occasion and kept the Catamounts from gaining any momentum. Vermont was forced to pull their goalie with just under two minutes to play, opening the door for Curry’s ninth goal of the season on an empty net.
Saturday’s game looked to be a continuation of BU’s success from the night before. In his second game since returning from injury, freshman forward Sam Steven, set to work right away, tallying his first collegiate goal just over two minutes in. Sophomore forward Jack DeBoer also made his season debut this weekend.
However, this game proved to be a bit more physical than the night before. The first period saw a total of six penalties between the teams, two of which were five-minute majors assessed 58 seconds apart to senior forward Gabe Chabot and junior defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo.
“We can’t have [major penalties] in our game. You can’t put yourself in a five-on-three situation for four minutes in a game. That could be game over very easy,” O’Connell said in response to the three majors assessed throughout the series.
Vermont’s first goal of the series came on the back of these two majors; with the Terriers playing three men, UVM’s Christian Evers was able to find the back of the net from the top of the circle.
Going into the second period with the game tied at one, the Terriers looked to take back their ice, but with 52 seconds left in a roughing minor called on freshman defenseman Case McCarthy two minutes into the period, Vermont notched its second goal of the night to take the lead. Luckily Stevens acted quickly to tie the game up at two just under three minutes later. Shortly after, during a power play, junior defenseman David Farrance put BU back on top with his eighth power play goal of the season.
The Terriers were able to hold off UVM for the remainder of the second and well into the third, but the Catamounts didn’t go without a fight. With four minutes to play, Vermont tied the game again at three to send it into overtime.
BU’s overtime curse continued as the team, despite a number of grade-A chances and a power play to finish out the extra time, was yet again unable to clinch the W.
Graduate goaltender Sam Tucker stopped 57 of 60 total shots for the weekend, and Vermont’s Stefanos Lekkas saved 47 of 52 total attempts by BU.
The Terriers will take on Sacred Heart in the last game of their homestand on Tuesday at 7:00 pm at Agganis Arena.