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Men’s hockey earns first sweep of the season in overtime

The Boston University men’s hockey team (6-9-2, 5-5-2 Hockey East) took down the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (7-9-1, 3-7-1 HEA) 2-1 in overtime Saturday night, as graduate student forward Max Kaufman was able to roof a backhander for his second goal of the season.

After a tight 3-1 win Friday night at Agganis Arena, the Terriers traveled north to the Whittemore Center in Durham, New Hampshire. With the overtime win there Saturday, the Terriers secured their first weekend sweep of the season. 

Junior forward Robert Mastrosimone kicks up ice in a hockey match against the University of New Hampshire Friday. The Terriers swept the Wildcats this weekend with a 3-1 win Friday at Agganis Arena and a 2-1 win Saturday in Durham, New Hampshire. MOHAN GE/ DFP STAFF

“All in all, it was a great weekend for us,” BU head coach Albie O’Connell said in a postgame press conference. “We’ve been looking to get points and wins, and we found a way to play two pretty good hockey games.”

The Terriers have gained in the Hockey East standings, now only one point behind Boston College — their next opponent. 

Despite the successful weekend, none of the Terriers’ goals this weekend came 5-on-5. Alongside the three power-play goals, the Terriers scored a 6-on-5 empty-net goal and another during the 3-on-3 overtime. 

When asked what the Terriers need to do to score more at even strength, O’Connell replied, “Probably put the puck in the net.” 

“I don’t think it was due to a lack of chances,” O’Connell added. “If you have good goaltending and good special teams, 5-on-5, if you break even, you give yourself a good chance.” 

After struggling to manage the puck in the defensive zone in the first period of Friday’s game, the Terriers’ defense settled down and was very solid in front of sophomore goaltender Drew Commesso on Saturday night. 

“We handled the front of the net really well, which allowed Drew [Commesso] to see the puck, our wings got out quick,” O’Connell said. “Although [Commesso] was tested quite a few number of times, he was able to see it.” 

After a quiet first period, the Terriers controlled the puck for much of the second period. UNH then made a strong push in the third, outshooting the Terriers 18-3. The strong showing was highlighted by freshman forward Liam Devlin, who scored UNH’s lone goal at 12:53 in the period. 

After being selected to the preliminary roster for the United States World Junior Team, Commesso had a very strong weekend, stopping 55 of 57 shots faced over both games. Commesso’s strong weekend comes off of having allowed six goals on 29 shots last weekend against Cornell in Red Hot Hockey.

“Commesso was dynamite,” O’Connell said. 

Junior forward Matt Brown scored his second goal of the season on the power play at 10:36 of the second period. After being limited in his return from injury last Saturday against Cornell, Brown’s presence was felt much more this weekend with his two points.

Special teams were the difference this weekend for the Terriers. Three of BU’s five goals this weekend came on the power play, while they held the Wildcats’ power play off the board despite their seven chances. 

After scoring the empty-net clinching goal Friday night, Kaufman played hero again when he was able to roof a backhander past Wildcat senior goaltender Mike Robinson in what O’Connell said was the forward’s “best weekend as a Terrier.”

The Terriers have the opportunity to ride their current momentum into one of their biggest games of the year so far, with a chance to prove themselves as a threat in Hockey East this season. Despite the poor start, BU could just be turning it around. 

The Terriers will face off against Commonwealth Avenue rival Boston College Friday at Agganis Arena, with the puck drop set for 7:30 p.m.. On Saturday, the Terriers will welcome the U.S. Under-18 National Development team to town for an exhibition match at 3 p.m..

For complete BU hockey coverage, check out the Boston Hockey Blog and follow along with @BOShockeyblog on Twitter and @boston.hockey.blog on Instagram for updates.

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