After dropping the first game of the calendar year last weekend to the University of Maine, the Boston University men’s hockey team looked to regain momentum as it took on the University of New Hampshire for the second time this season.
BU (9-11-1, 7-7-1 Hockey East) shutout UNH (9-10-2, 4-6-1 Hockey East) 4-0 in the two teams’ first meeting back in November. In Durham Friday night, the Terriers beat the Wildcats by a score of 3-2, their first Hockey East sweep of the season, and secured their first win of 2018.
“[I’m] just really happy obviously,” BU head coach David Quinn said. “We needed a win … for a lot of reasons. It’s been such a disjointed time for us over the last month.”
The Terriers were forced to play this game without their leading scorer sophomore forward Patrick Harper, who did not play due to illness.
BU opened the scoring early on in the first period.
On a power play, senior defenseman and captain Brandon Hickey took a shot from the point, which was saved by UNH senior goaltender Adam Clark.
Freshman forward Shane Bowers capitalized on the loose puck and scored his ninth goal of the season at 4:26 in the first. Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk also picked up an assist.
The Terriers would ultimately go 1-for-4 on the power play — an area Quinn hopes to improve.
“Our power play obviously was the sore spot for tonight,” Quinn said. “We just haven’t had a chance to work on it. It looks very slow and methodical and we’re going to have to get better at that if we’re going to have a chance to go on a run here.”
Almost 10 minutes later, the Wildcats answered back.
Freshman forward Eric MacAdams took a shot off the boards from senior forward Jason Salvaggio and sent the puck past BU sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger’s gloveside.
“When we needed goaltending, we got great goaltending,” Quinn said. “The first goal was just a fluky goal that they get.”
The score could have been 3-1 in favor of the Terriers after the first period. Two goals were waived off by the officials within a three-minute span after it appeared that both players kicked the puck into the net.
The first was a goal by junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter, and the second was from junior forward and assistant captain Jordan Greenway.
“We had two goals called back, which I thought were right calls,” Quinn said. “The fact we’re in position to have goals waved off is a good sign.”
UNH broke the tie just over a minute into the second frame.
After a turnover, Salvaggio and MacAdams found themselves on a two-and-one in BU’s zone. Senior defenseman John MacLeod attempted to fend the pair off, but Salvaggio took a pass from MacAdams and found an opening on Oettinger’s right side for his sixth goal of the year.
Freshman forward Hank Crone passed the puck to fellow freshman forward Ty Amonte, who beat Clark to knot the game at two for his third goal of the season.
“I think they’re going to be big for us moving forward,” Quinn said of the two freshmen. “I thought that line was very good.”
The Terriers would score one more time in the period to keep the 3-2 score advantage.
Greenway scored the game-winner with a wraparound goal off Tkachuk’s initial shot for his eighth of the year with 1:45 left in the period. Greenway and Tkachuk’s linemate graduate transfer forward Drew Melanson picked up the secondary assist on the play.
Both Amonte and Greenway scored in the previous meeting between the two Hockey East foes.
BU found itself in the penalty box for the first time of the contest, just over eight minutes into the final period.
Sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro was sent to the box for interference and a little over six minutes later, Greenway was sent into the box for tripping. While penalties hindered the Terriers against Maine (11-8-2, 5-5-1 Hockey East), BU was able to kill both penalties and pick up a 3-2 victory.
With the win, the Terriers now go to .500 in the conference. BU will take on Providence College Saturday night at home, in search of its first back-to-back victories since its first two games of the season.
“It’s really a great effort and a great win for our guys,” Quinn said.