The Boston University hockey team needed another win against a solid Hockey East opponent to prove that last weekend’s pair of victories was the start of something big.
Friday night BU knocked off the University of Maine, 3-2, to pull its record up to 5-8-1 overall and 4-4-1 in Hockey East. The Icedogs have now won three in row for the first time all season.
“This brought us back from the dead,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “We were so bad during the first half of the year. We were in some really bad shape. Now we’re at .500 in the league. We have a shot at home ice in the league. I liked how we played.”
Junior forward Mike Pandolfo picked up a goal and an assist, while sophomore defenseman Freddy Meyer picked up a goal — his fifth point in three games. Meanwhile, junior goalie Jason Tapp saved 23 of 25 Black Bear shots.
“In general, I thought both goalies played well,” Parker said. “I thought we got one greasy one off of them, but then they made about three or four breakaway saves that were terrific. And I thought our guy played well, too. Tapp had a hell of a night.”
Things got off to a rocky start for the Terriers when forward Martin Kariya tipped in a pass from defenseman Francis Nault on the power play to make it 1-0.
“When they jumped out, 1-0, on the power play, we [didn’t] get rattled, and we [played] hard,” Parker said. “We had a much better second half of the first period after they scored.”
Pandolfo took advantage of a careless mistake from goalie Matt Yeats to tie it up at 1 at 18:38 of the first. Senior forward Nick Gillis skated down the right side and trickled the puck to Yeats, who tried to clear it. That’s when Pandolfo emerged from the right side to take the puck away and fire it past Yeats.
It was the first of three unanswered goals to give the Terriers a 3-1 lead by 5:12 of the third period.
At 6:24 in the second period, freshman forward Frantisek Skladany gave BU the eventual game-winner by tapping a pass from senior forward Carl Corazzini past Yeats to make it 2-1. For Corazzini, it was the 98th point of his career.
“Carl Corazzini had a great night emotionally and physically,” Parker said. “He was banging guys. He did a great job killing penalties.”
Meyer fired a slapshot past Yeats at 5:12 in the third period to give the Terriers a 3-1 lead. Sophomore defenseman John Cronin and Pandolfo contributed on the assists. At 12:13 in the third, forward Matthias Trattnig cut the lead to 3-2, but the Terriers held on, even in the tense final minutes when Tapp faced a barrage of Maine shots.
All three Terrier goals were at even strength, breaking a trend of scoring goals mainly on the power play.
“I think we [used to have] real trouble scoring goals five-on-five,” Parker said. “It used to be the only time we were scoring — on the power play. So it was nice to get goals tonight five-on-five.”
“It was also nice to keep the score down,” Parker added. “We were making some critical mistakes early on. The team that gets the most goals always wins. When you let them go easy on your net and have a difficult time getting past their net, you’re not going to win very many games.”
The win comes as the Terriers prepare for a three-week break from action. The Terriers resume play on Dec. 29 when they travel to Wisconsin to face the University of North Dakota.
“It was real important to play well,” Parker said. “I like how this brought us back to feeling good about ourselves, considering we could have been feeling real bad about ourselves.”