As the official waved his arm to signal that the goal was good, the Agganis Arena crowd erupted into a deafening roar. The No. 11/12 Boston University men’s hockey team had secured the lead in a back-and-forth affair against the No. 14 University of Michigan.
Junior forward Matt Lane notched that tie-breaking goal with 3:10 left in the game Saturday evening, giving the Terriers (3-0-0, 1-0-0 Hockey East) a 3-2 win and their third straight victory to open the season.
It was the Terriers’ first win after trailing at the start of the third period since Jan. 4, 2013, and BU’s first 3-0 start since the 2008-09 championship season.
Lane scored that game-winning goal for BU off a deflected pass from freshman defenseman Brandon Hickey, who had received a nice pass from sophomore forward Nick Roberto. Michigan goaltender Zach Nagelvoort, despite a 31-save game, was unable to stop the puck.
“I just remember Bert [Roberto] made a nice pass up to Hickey there at the point,” Lane said after the game. “All week, we’ve just been working on getting in front of the net, so I planted myself in front and I got a stick on it – pretty sure it was below the cross bar – that was good, and basically just getting myself in front and trying to be that front presence on that last shot there.”
Junior goaltender Matt O’Connor had 38 saves, including 16 third-period saves, to anchor BU in the victory.
The Wolverines (2-3-0) attacked the Terriers early, and BU — a night after killing off all six of its penalties — gave up two goals on two of its penalties.
Freshman forward A.J. Greer was sent to the box for roughing 7:32 into the first period. Just 35 seconds later, defenseman Zach Werenski beat O’Connor with a slapshot from the high slot. The goal gave Michigan a lead — and BU its first deficit of the season.
A goal from junior forward Ahti Oksanen — his second in as many games — evened up the score just 34 seconds into the second period. Oksanen was wide open in the slot as junior forward Danny O’Regan sent in a delivery.
“The first goal that we got, [freshman forward] Jack [Eichel] goes to the net, stops at the net front. Danny makes an unbelievable play on the initial rush. Ahti goes to the net looking for a rebound. And that thing was going about eight miles an hour when it went in the net,” Quinn said. “But he was in the right place and Danny just does a great job on the initial rush.”
Michigan regained the lead at 8:33, though, when forward Alex Kile beat O’Connor glove-side. That goal came 13 seconds after freshman Chase Phelps was booked for hitting from behind.
It was the first time all season BU had trailed entering the third period, but the Terriers responded quickly. 2:29 into the third, Eichel deflected in a shot from sophomore defenseman Doyle Somerby from the point to tie up the game. Ultimately, Lane’s goal with just more than three minutes remaining secured the weekend sweep for BU.
Michigan appeared to have taken the lead with a shot at 11:43 in the final frame, but the officials determined there was interference on the attempt. Four of the five goals in the game went under review.
“It’s disappointing when the outcome of the game comes down to the referees sitting in the penalty box looking at a monitor to decide whether the goals were in,” said Michigan head coach Red Berenson. “One was called off on us. I don’t know how we ever played hockey without having to review. … The referees shouldn’t be the final judges, and that’s where the game is now.”