Ice Hockey, Sports

Connolly’s penalty-shot goal lifts BU to three-point weekend

With a possible four-point swing kept off the Hockey East books after No. 2/3 Boston College and No. 7/5 Boston University played to a 1-1 tie Friday night in the first game of a home-and-home series, BU stood tall in the late stages of Saturday night’s finale to claim a 3-1 win on Kelley Rink.

Trading body shots throughout the game, little stood to differentiate the Terriers (10-4-1, 5-4-1 HE) and Eagles (9-5-2, 5-4-2) Friday night at Agganis Arena with the exception of their pre-game rankings. BC captain Brock Bradford answered BU co-captain John McCarthy’s first-period goal with a breakaway tally of his own 19 seconds later.

With both teams anchored by a pair of outstanding performances in goal, BC extended its unbeaten streak against the Terriers to six games with a 35-save effort from sophomore goaltender John Muse.

The third consecutive game in which the Terriers and Eagles skated to a regulation tie, Muse stopped all three scoring bids in the overtime period to preserve the point for the Eagles.

‘This is the third straight OT game, BC-BU,’ BC coach Jerry York said Friday night. ‘I think that reflects the similarities between the two teams as far as level of play, plus just the intensity of the rivalry. The goaltenders made some spectacular saves. I thought Johnny was the sharpest he’s been all year. He made some really remarkable saves.’

On the coattails of a sprawling, desperation stick save by Muse on sophomore Nick Bonino midway through the second period, Terrier freshman goaltender Kieran Millan kept the Terriers’ bid alive with a reflex save of his own in the third.

Positioned between BC forwards Cam Atkinson and Barry Almeida on a 2-on-1, Millan, caught moving to his right to take away the cross-ice feed, robbed Atkinson with his glove as the winger tried to sneak a wrist shot through.

‘It’s great to see [Millan] doing well,’ senior Brandon Yip, who recorded the assist on McCarthy’s goal Friday, said. ‘He was pretty comfortable in net there. He made a lot of key saves. When you’ve got a goalie like that behind you, it makes everyone more comfortable.’

BC would get just two more scoring chances on Millan after that, as bids by forwards Benn Ferriero and Brian Gibbons went for naught in the late stages of the third.

‘I thought it was a fabulous college hockey game,’ Parker said after Friday’s game. ‘In reality, that game should have been 5-5 instead of 1-1. So many great chances. The goalies played great. We had some great opportunities and missed nets. That being said, it’s nice to go right back at it again [Saturday] night.’

And go right back at it they did.

Just 1:59 into the first period Saturday night, freshman Corey Trivino hushed the Superfan sections by converting the first of two uppercuts past Muse.

Collecting the rebound on a blocked shot off the stick of senior co-captain Matt Gilroy, Trivino collected the puck in a pile of BC defenders to Muse’s blocker side before flinging a quick wrist shot past his left pad.

With the early advantage on the score sheet, BU inched its way closer to a three-point weekend when freshman Chris Connolly converted on a penalty shot 10:50 into the second period.

Connolly was awarded the penalty shot after he was hauled down by freshman defenseman Tommy Cross with only Muse to beat. Connolly pulled the puck across Muse’s right pad for the eventual game-winning goal.

The penalty shot was the first converted penalty shot by a Terrier since Gregg Johnson scored against the University of Nebraska-Omaha on Oct. 25, 2002.

‘He’s a goal scorer. He’s a poised kid and he made a nice play on it,’ Parker said.

Despite being held to seven shots in the third period, the Eagles capitalized on a failed backcheck late in the third to cut the deficit in half.

Millan and the Terriers kept their legs under them, however, as BC, on the ropes with Muse on the bench in favor of the extra attacker, couldn’t put the puck past Millan with time winding down.

‘Point-wise it was a profitable weekend,’ Parker said. ‘Beating your biggest rival, getting a point at home and coming up and getting a win tonight and two points ‘-‘- it’s very good, psychologically. It was an amazing two games of college hockey.’

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One Comment

  1. John Belson, Minnesota

    GO Terriors ! Beat BC. Good article in the DP, thought I was actually there over the weekend ! BU should be ranked higher than the eagles this week