AMHERST, Mass. — Boston University forwards Carl Corazzini and Jack Baker were back at it again on Friday night against UMass-Amherst, doing what they do best — terrorizing the Minutemen.
In five games against the Maroon and White last year, the duo combined for 13 points. They provided more of the same heroics against UMass this time out, teaming up to record seven points in a 5-2 Terrier win at the Mullins Center.
The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for BU, and extended the winless skid for the Minutemen to seven games (0-6-1).
“This win was real important for us,” said Corazzini, who tallied a career-high four points with his two goals and two assists. “We have three league games coming up [before going back outside the league]. We just want to win as many as we can and get back to .500. Obviously, it was a good win for us tonight against a good team.”
Added Baker, who handed out three assists: “I don’t know what it is about playing against UMass. Up here [in Amherst], you have the big rink, and we’re able to use our speed. But tonight we caught a couple of bounces, got some good shots on the power play and were able to work hard. I don’t think it’s anything about UMass, but if so, I wish it could translate over to the other teams.”
UMass senior captain Jeff Turner opened the scoring only 2:39 into the contest, but the visitors sandwiched five markers in between the two goals from the Minutemen to earn an important Hockey East win.
Turner’s power-play goal seemed to continue a recurring trend for BU — falling behind early. However, the Terriers regrouped this time around, and goals from Freddie Meyer, Corazzini and Brian Collins sent BU into the first intermission leading 3-1.
“We’ve been doing that [falling behind early] all year,” BU coach Jack Parker said. “We’ve been down 2-0 quite a bit in the first period of a number of games. So to be up 3-1 after the first period was very big for us.”
Meyer started the rally at the 6:18 mark off a feed from Corazzini. The BU senior captain won a battle along the side of the UMass cage and slid a pass to Meyer at the left point. The sophomore defenseman then slipped a shot past Markus Helanen to tie the game at 1-1.
The Terriers took the lead for good just over six minutes later, as Frantisek Skladany delivered a crisp pass to Corazzini, who was streaking down the slot. Corazzini went up high over Helanen to make it 2-1.
Collins capped off the first period scoring with another power-play goal, knocking home the rebound of a shot from Corazzini.
“I think that the game should have been tight from start to finish, but we took ourselves right out of it,” UMass-Amherst coach Don Cahoon said. “It seemed like whatever team made fewer mistakes would win the game, and it was clear that BU made fewer mistakes than we did.”
BU tacked on another goal in the middle frame at the 12:30 mark. Nick Gillis lofted a floater from the high slot that eluded Helanen and increased the Terrier advantage to 4-1.
Corazzini closed out the scoring for the visitors with his club’s third power-play goal of the night. He worked his way from the left wing boards and into the high slot before blasting a slapshot past Helanen.
The Minutemen showed flashes of steady play throughout the course of the evening, including the final 10 minutes of the game. During that flurry came Miljko’s sixth goal of the year, the rebound of a Tim Turner shot that the Etobicoke, Ontario, product batted into the back of the net. Miljko also set up the first UMass goal and moved into a tie for the team lead in points.
“Coming back from being down three or four goals is tough,” Miljko said. “Late in the third period, we just wanted to set the tone for tomorrow night.”
The five goals were a season-high for the Terriers, who also received a solid effort in goal from Jason Tapp [33 saves].
“I think he’s been struggling as of late, and he knows it,” said Parker of Tapp. “But he never quit and he never stopped competing. I thought that tonight was a little breath of fresh air for both him and for the team. He made some really nice saves.”
On the UMass side of things, Cahoon is looking to steer his club back in the right direction and keep the spirits high even as his team is in the midst of a downswing.
“The first thing that I’ve got to do is to get their [his team's] heads cleared so that they can feel free to compete,” he said. “I’ve been involved with teams that are 20-2 going into their 23rd game or 5-15 [going into their 21st], but you don’t get too worried in either case.”
“You take it day by day,” Cahoon added. “That’s been the approach that I’ve taken with any team that I’ve ever coached. You’ve got to get them thinking positive and free of worrying about losing, and back into the reality of playing a game thoroughly enough to succeed.”
The two teams will return to action on Saturday night at 7 p.m. for the back end of the weekend pair at Walter Brown Arena in Boston.