When it rains, it pours for the Boston University men’s hockey team. The Terriers were washed out of the ballpark Saturday at in front of 25,580 fans at Fenway Park, dropping a waterlogged Frozen Fenway contest to the University of Maine 7-3.
Weather conditions made the contest look more like a swim meet than a hockey game, as an hour and nine minute rain delay made the first period last close to two hours and the rest of the game very, very wet.
Maine (11-7-2, 5-2-1 Hockey East) scored the only goal before that rain delay, as forward Ryan Lomberg received a pass from senior Mark Anthoine and snapped it past BU (7-11-2, 2-5-1 Hockey East) sophomore goaltender Matt O’Connor for a power-play goal. Right after sophomore forward Sam Kurker took a tripping penalty with 12:35 remaining in the first, lightning flashed, thunder boomed and the teams scurried to their respective clubhouses.
The rain delay featured a torrential downpour of rain to go with the thunder and lightning, which flooded the playing surface with around an inch of water. Squeegees and shovels were brought out, as the ice crew shoved waves of water out the zamboni door to re-prepare the surface for play.
“[The ice maintenance crew] even came up to me and said, ‘We did that for you guys, we have never had to do something like that,’” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna. “There was a lot of water removed.”
The Black Bears did not waste any time scoring after the weather delay though, as defenseman Ben Hutton ripped a wrister past O’Connor to give his team a 2-0 lead entering the mid-first-period break where teams switched ends. It was Hutton’s eighth goal of the season, and third point against BU in two contests.
“Don’t underestimate what [the wait] can do to you mentally,” said BU coach David Quinn. “Because you wait for an hour and then you go out there and then boom… It’s 2-0.”
The second half of the first period did not bring any more luck to the Terriers, though. Junior Andrew Cerretani and sophomore Devin Shore scored goals less within a minute of each other with less than five minutes remaining in the frame, giving the Black Bears a commanding four-goal lead. Shore’s goal, which was on a quick wrist shot from the top of the right circle, was Maine’s third power-play goal of the contest.
Shore’s goal also signaled the end of O’Connor’s night, as he was pulled in favor of sophomore goaltender Sean Maguire. O’Connor has now been pulled in each of his last two starts, and has a 15.08 goals-against average and .789 save percentage during that span.
“The first half of the season he was aggressive, he was square, he was big,” Quinn said. “There wasn’t a lot of room there. Now, in the last two games he has played there have been a lot of point shots that have found their way to the net, which wasn’t happening earlier in the season.”
Lomberg struck again in the second period, as a failed centering pass bounced out to his stick and he snapped it over Maguire’s shoulder. It was the winger’s sixth goal of the season.
Freshman forward Dillon Lawrence left the ice with an apparent leg injury during the second period, adding to what was already a large total of injuries for the Terriers. Lawrence returned to action in the third period, though. With senior forward Jake Moscatel and junior forward Evan Rodriguez, as well as defenseman Matt Grzelcyk out of the lineup already, an injury to Lawrence leaves BU without enough healthy skaters to fill the lineup.
Senior captain Garrett Noonan got the Terriers on the board with a one-timer that zipped into the top-right corner of the net, before freshman forward Nick Roberto added a power-play goal later in the third. When junior winger Cason Hohmann added his third goal in as many games, things got a little more interesting.
“I was proud of the way we came together in the third, we stuck together in the third period,” Quinn said. “We did a lot of the little things that we’re trying to accomplish and we’ve got to hold onto that and build onto that.”
However, when the Terriers pulled the goalie, Hutton slid a slow-moving puck the length of the ice and across the goal line before sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanen could clear it away —sealing the BU loss. Shore would add another empty net goal to widen the lead to four.
It was BU’s sixth consecutive game without a win, and it concludes a season series with Maine in which it was outscored 14-3. The slumping Terriers will travel to Conte Forum Friday to take on No. 5 Boston College, which sits atop the Hockey East standings.
“We are in that little funk where you fix one hole in the dam and the other one springs loose and you put your finger in that one and another one springs loose,” Quinn said. “We have to find a way to put all our fingers in all the holes and stop that dam from leaking all over the place.”