Sometimes in sports, a team just has your number.
This seems to be the case with Minnesota State University, Mankato and the Boston University men’s hockey team.
Four times the No. 8 Terriers (0-2) have faced the No. 11 Mavericks (2-0) over the last two seasons, and four times BU has left the rink with a tally in the loss column.
Despite managing to erase an early 3-0 deficit, tying the Mavericks in shots with 31 and five power play opportunities, the Terriers never led in the contest and are now 0-2 after a 5-3 loss Saturday night at the Verizon Center in Mankato, Minnesota.
“Obviously a tough loss,” Terriers head coach Albie O’Connell said. “First period we started out kind of limp. It was like a lacrosse game. They won a lot of faceoffs, and they got possession and zone time, and then they got a pretty big lead.”
In the series opener in Mankato, the Terriers succumbed to the Mavericks 4-3. Saturday was more of the same for the road team.
The Mavericks came out of the gates firing, scoring three goals in the first period alone.
Minnesota State forward Jared Spooner opened up the scoring eight minutes into game.
After Maverick defenseman Edwin Hookenson ripped a shot from the point, Spooner got his stick in the way and managed to tip the puck past junior goaltender Jake Oettinger.
The team doubled its lead three minutes later after sophomore Ty Amonte was called for interference.
Minnesota State capitalized on the powerplay when sophomore defenseman Connor Mackey lasered a shot from the blue line through the cloak of Oettinger.
With 2:20 left in the first stanza, the Mavericks struck again.
Junior forward Parker Tuomie found sophomore defenseman Riese Zmolek ahead of the break for a partial breakaway, parking it past Oettinger for a three-goal lead.
Going into the second period, however, the Terriers owned offense with an 18-6 shot advantage.
On the penalty kill after graduate forward Max Willman went to the box, freshman forward Joel Farabee drew a tripping penalty.
Farabee managed to retain his balance, keep the puck on his stick and score on the breakaway for his first collegiate goal.
“We ended up getting one, and then we got some momentum,” O’Connell said. “I thought the second period was a red wave.”
Two minutes later, it was senior forward Bobo Carpenter’s turn.
The co-captain redirected a shot past Maverick goaltender Dryden McKay for his second goal in as many days, scoring off assists from junior forward Patrick Harper and sophomore defenseman David Farrance.
Later in the period, sophomore forward Shane Bowers joined the party as the line potted another goal.
Harper gained possession of the puck and sliced it to Farrance, who then dished it to Bowers for the forward’s first goal of 2018-19 with just 23 seconds remaining in the second period.
Farrance managed to finish the weekend with four assists.
It appeared as though the Terriers would waltz into the second intermission with momentum and the tilt tied, but the Mavericks had opposing plans.
With a second left on the clock, Minnesota State forward Charlie Gerard beat Oettinger glove-side off a rush. Tuomie supplied the pass and junior forward Marc Michaelis was credited with an assist.
Michaelis scored one of his own to provide his team with some insurance in the third period, an empty-netter with 21 seconds left off an assist from Zmolek.
The Terriers will head back to Agganis Arena for their second exhibition game of the season against the U.S. Under-18 Team before heading to Merrimack College to resume regular season play Saturday night.
Despite the loss, O’Connell said the battle back from the first period lead proved the team’s character.
“We have high character, we got great leadership,” O’Connell said. “Down three goals, up against it, the building in the WCHA, it’s not easy and we climbed back.”