The departure of two of Boston University’s most prodigious scorers severely thinned the Terriers’ offensive ranks during the December holiday break. First, Corey Trivino – BU’s leading goal scorer – was dismissed from the team after an off-ice incident. Just four days later, Charlie Coyle left the Terriers to sign with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The absence of Trivino and Coyle – who combined for 21 goals and 31 points before their exit – was palpable in BU’s first game against Notre Dame after the holiday. In the last game of 2011, the Fighting Irish routed the Terriers, 5-2, by posting five unanswered goals against beleaguered BU.
The No. 6 Terriers, however, entered 2012 by rallying around a single New Year’s resolution: fill the offensive chasm left by Trivino and Coyle. Although it is still early, BU’s back-to-back wins over No. 7 Merrimack last week and a surging Northeastern squad tonight is an excellent start.
Although the Huskies – who were riding an eight-game unbeaten streak before tonight’s contest – garnered an early two-goal advantage in the first period, BU’s top two lines issued a resounding, and ultimately game-winning, response.
Leading the charge was junior winger Wade Megan, who made Trivino and Coyle a distant memory by netting the early equalizer and the eventual game-winning goal. First, Megan knotted the score at 2-2 at 9:20 in the second period when he fired a one-timer from winger Ryan Santana past Northeastern netminder Chris Rawlings before he had time to react. Megan made it 4-2 with another one-timer off a pass from linemate Alex Chiasson at 1:52 in the final frame.
“Certainly Megan, Chiasson, Sahir Gill, and [Matt] Nieto – the guys that we know can score goals – have to pick it up for us,” BU Coach Jack Parker said.
However, the Terriers were not forced to rely strictly on their veterans to fill the void. Defenseman Adam Clendening threaded a screen on Rawlings at 8:23 in the second period, picking up his second goal of the season in the process. Rookie winger Evan Rodrigues gave BU a 3-2 lead – and notched his first career tally – by redirecting blueliner Alexx Privitera’s wrist shot past Rawlings at 11:51.
“[Rodrigues] has been playing really well,” Parker said. “He’s getting opportunities. He likes the fact that he’s moved up and when [Trivino and Coyle] left he got a chance to play on the power play. He got a chance to play on the second line, and that line has been going very well.”
Obviously the Terriers have a long road ahead, but two solid wins in January indicate that this may be one New Year’s resolution that just might stick.