Ice Hockey, Sports

Former Terrier Fortunato gets last laugh in 4-3 win over BU

Brandon Fortunato  handles the puck in an October 2015 game for Boston University. Fortunato left the Terriers after his sophomore season to play at Quinnipiac University. FALON MORAN/DFP FILE

Former Terrier Brandon Fortunato netted an early goal and a last-second game-winner to give No. 7/8 Quinnipiac University a 4-3 win over Boston University Saturday night.

The Bobcats (17-5-1, 7-4-1 ECAC) took the lead in less than four minutes off a short-side shot from freshman Desi Burgart that snuck by junior BU netminder Jake Oettinger. Quinnipiac would double their lead at 12:37 through Fortunato, who fired a wrist shot from Oettinger’s right that got through a sea of Bobcats and Terriers before finding the top right corner.

Fortunato skated at BU for two years before joining Quinnipiac ahead of his junior campaign.

“When he was here, he was really good for us,” BU head coach Albie O’Connell said. “Things just didn’t work out.”

Going behind by two goals for the second game in a row, the Terriers (8-9-3, 7-5-2 Hockey East) found their opener two minutes after the Bobcats’ second.

A feed in front by sophomore Ty Amonte found the upper body of junior Patrick Curry at the goalmouth and redirected into the Quinnipiac goal. It was Curry’s sixth goal on the season and Amonte’s third assist.

With less than two minutes to play in the period, Amonte then provided BU with their equalizer, firing a shot past junior goaltender Andrew Shortridge while the Terriers were on the penalty kill.

Graduate forward Max Willman had the primary assist, which was his fourth of the 2018-19 season. Amonte’s goal was his fifth, capping off a two-point period for the Norwell native.

Despite his team’s rally to come back, O’Connell said he wasn’t satisfied with BU’s early effort.

“When you play a good hockey team, you have to start on time,” he said.

The offensive fireworks stalled in the middle stanza, as both goaltenders came up with big saves. The lone goal of the period came from Quinnipiac forward Daniel Winslow, who poked home a pass inside to regain the Bobcats’ lead 6:22 in.

The Terriers had power play chances throughout the period but ultimately headed into the second intermission down 3-2.

BU found their third goal 7:35 into the third frame, as sophomore forward Shane Bowers lit the lamp off a feed in front from senior forward Ryan Cloonan.

The goal was Bowers’ third in his last two games and gave the Canadian his eighth tally of the season. Cloonan’s assist marked his third as a senior, all coming within the last four games.

The teams traded opportunities for the rest of the third, with the most notable coming on a penalty shot by Quinnipiac sophomore Joe O’Connor. The defenseman’s bid was denied by Oettinger, who finished the game with 40 saves.

“That was a huge play in the game,” O’Connell said regarding Oettinger’s penalty shot save. “I think Jake has played really well these last five, six games.”

The game remained deadlocked into the waning moments of the final period. However, with three seconds left to play, a last-ditch effort from Fortunato on a goalmouth scramble found the back of the net.

It was the senior’s second score of the game and secured the win for Quinnipiac.

With their 2019 unbeaten streak now broken, the Terriers look to turn the page quickly as they host Merrimack (7-16-1, 4-10 in Hockey East) Monday at 4 p.m.

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