uplifting as Monday’s 5-4 double-overtime Beanpot victory over No. 4 Boston College was, Friday night’s 5-1 loss to Merrimack College at Agganis Arena was the opposite for the Boston University men’s hockey team.
The visiting Warriors (7-19-3, 5-11-3 Hockey East) broke the game open with two shorthanded goals in the second period, and BU head coach Albie O’Connell said that was the turning point.
“They got a lot of momentum and belief out of that and they ran with it,” he said. “Special teams definitely let us down tonight for sure.”
The Terriers (10-9-7, 7-5-5 Hockey East) took the lead three minutes into the game when freshman forward Robert Mastrosimone snuck a goal in on a BU penalty kill to score his second in as many games, but it was all downhill for Boston from there.
After Warrior junior defenseman Dominic Dockery’s blast tied the game with 2:49 left in the first, senior forward Tyler Irvine and sophomore forward Logan Drevitch both struck shorthanded in the second period to give Merrimack a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Warrior head coach Scott Borek said Irvine’s go-ahead tally brought belief to his team.
“It just put us in a great position,” Borek said. “I think our team played with a lot more confidence then.”
Freshman goaltender Jere Huhtamaa silenced the Terriers on each of their three second-period power plays en route to 36 saves on the night, and Borek said Huhtamaa’s performance was critical towards the victory, especially in the middle frame.
“I felt that Jere really stepped up [in the second period],” Borek said. “Now looking back on it, that was the game.”
The Terriers came back from 3-1 down in the third on Monday but the magic ran out Friday as the Warriors added two more goals from junior defenseman Patrick Holway and freshman forward Regan Kimens in the final stanza to seal the win.
O’Connell said BU let a chance at two critical conference points slip away.
“It’s disappointing that we gave up the opportunity, especially in the league, especially after a good night the other night,” O’Connell said. “I really like our team, I just didn’t like the way a good chunk of them played tonight.”
Turning the page, the Terriers will try to return to their winning ways under the bright lights of TD Garden at the Beanpot Championship game against Northeastern University (15-8-2, 8-7-1 Hockey East) Monday night.