Corey Trivino was not supposed to play this weekend due to an ankle injury, but after a 5-0 win by the No. 16 Boston University men’s hockey team over No. 2 Boston College Sunday afternoon at Conte Forum, the team sure is glad he did.
The senior forward had a goal and an assist for the Terriers’ in the first period alone, propping his team (4-4-1, 3-3-1 Hockey East) to a 2-0 lead that it would only build on as the game progressed.
Senior captain Chris Connolly made BU’s first goal possible by driving into the offensive zone and sending a pass to junior defenseman Sean Escobedo. Escobedo – who took two of the seven BU penalties in the first period – sent it to Trivino, who got a wrister by BC (9-3-0, 7-2-0 Hockey Easy) goaltender Parker Milner just 56 seconds into the game for his sixth of the season.
“[Trivino’s ankle] was still bothering him a little bit, but he was battling through it,” Connolly said. “For him to get that goal first shift really gave him his confidence, regardless of how we was feeling out there. It gave him a lot of energy and a lot of adrenaline to really battle through it.”
The early lead was similar to that in the team’s eventual 7-1 loss to UMass-Lowell on Nov. 5, a game in which Trivino scored 16 seconds in, but this time the Terriers didn’t completely disappear. They stayed quiet for most of the rest of the period, leaving the Trivino goal as their only shot on frame for a majority of the time, but netted another at 19:14.
This time, Trivino did the assisting. After a blatant hooking penalty on BC forward Kevin Hayes, junior forward Wade Megan took advantage and found the back of the net for his third goal of the season. Trivino and Connolly were credited with assists on BU’s sixth power-play tally this year.
In the second, BU kept the pressure off before killing a period-opening BC power play. The Eagles were plagued with wide and high shooting for much of the second period, opening the door further for the Terriers.
Assistant captain Alex Chiasson scored at 9:58 in the second on the power play to put BU up 3-0, his first goal since being benched Oct. 29 against the University of Massachusetts. Sophomore defenseman Adam Clendening sent a pass to the junior forward, who promptly blasted a one-timer by Milner.
Later, at 15:43, the Terriers took advantage of a two-man advantage when sophomore forward Matt Nieto sent a centered pass from sophomore forward Charlie Coyle off the right pipe and into the net. Nieto’s team-high seventh goal of the season put BU up 4-0 and took the wind out of most of the BC students in attendance, both on the ice and in the stands.
The second period was arguably the best one for senior Kieran Millan, who turned away all nine Eagle shots on goal. It was part of an impressive game-long performance from the goaltender en route to his 21-save shutout, the first time any BU goaltender shut out BC since 1983, back when both teams were part of the Eastern College Athletic Conference.
“I never knew that,” said BU coach Jack Paker when told of the achievement. “That means something to Kieran and that means something to our team but we’ve played a lot of games in Hockey East. It’s not a very good record then, I guess.”
In the third, the Terriers came about a bit sluggish, but endured three BC power plays to hold the Eagles scoreless. It’s a huge improvement for a team that now ranks fourth in Hockey East with an 83.1 percent success rate on the penalty kill.
“We were the best team in the league last year killing penalties, [and] we looked like we could do that again if we played like we did tonight,” Parker said.
With the game all but over, and after an already impressive night for the special teams, BU got a short-handed goal from Megan at 18:22 to solidify the 5-0 win – one the team desperately needed.
“That was the first full team effort aside from the UNH game [on Oct. 8] that we’ve really put out there,” Millan said. “I think people maybe were starting to doubt us there, even maybe ourselves, but after that game, it’s pretty clear that if we come to play, we can beat anybody.”