DURHAM, N.H. — Boston University ended New Hampshire’s 32-game Hockey East regular-season home unbeaten streak Saturday night with a 4-2 win at the Whittemore Center.
The last time the Wildcats lost a home league game was a 2-1 loss to Northeastern on Feb. 28, 1998. The win also ended a stretch of four consecutive ties between the Terriers and Wildcats at the Whittemore Center over the past four seasons.
“I was pleased that we got some offense going,” Terriers coach Jack Parker said. “I thought we did a much better job at forechecking than we have up here in a while, so we kept UNH a little off balance through center ice. There’s no doubt we played a much more solid and disciplined game tonight [than last night].
“We took a lot of stupid penalties last night, and fortunately didn’t pay with a loss. Our goalie made a couple of fabulous saves, and we got a couple of great saves tonight, especially on the power play from [Jason] Tapp.”
After the Wildcats (16-7-5, 7-5-4 Hockey East) tied the game at 2 at 8:22 of the third period on a goal by Kevin Truelson, Boston University’s John Sabo put the Terriers (10-12-2, 7-7-2) ahead for good just over a minute later.
Lanny Gare failed to keep a puck saved by Tapp in the offensive zone, and Carl Corazzini picked up the puck and skated in two-on-one with Sabo to his left. Corazzini fired a shot that Ty Conklin saved, but left in the crease, where Sabo easily slid it into the empty net at 9:30 of the third period. It gave the Terriers a 3-2 lead they would never relinquish.
“That was a huge goal,” said Parker. “The crowd got into it for one shift, then Carl just sped away. I’ve been telling Sabo all year ‘Johnny, when you see Carl Corazzini take a defenseman out wide, just go to the crease, the puck is going to end up there,’ and he got the rebound. Carl made a great shot to keep the puck low. John’s started to chip away with a few goals.”
Corazzini added an empty-net goal at 19:42 icing Boston University’s second win in as many nights over New Hampshire.
“I thought the entire red line of Corazzini, Baker and Sabo played great,” said Parker. “All three of those guys played great on the power play and killing penalties.”
New Hampshire opened the scoring at 6:35 of the first period. Corey-Joe Ficek won a faceoff to Tapp’s right back to Mark White. White carried around Ficek and wristed a shot from the high slot that beat Tapp to the glove side.
The Terriers responded at 16:02 of the frame when Gregg Johnson banged home a rebound of a Freddy Meyer shot evening the score at 1.
Boston University scored the only goal of the second period.
With Jim Abbott in the box for interference, the Terriers capitalized at 4:56. Dan Cavanaugh carried the puck behind Conklin’s net, and fed a nifty pass to Mike Bussoli, who one-timed it past Conklin’s stick side.
The Terriers carried a 2-1 advantage into the second intermission.
Truelson’s goal briefly gave the Wildcats new life. On the power play, Truelson one-timed a pass from White past Tapp, who was caught too far out of the net.
Boston University picked up its third consecutive win, while New Hampshire dropped its third straight.
“I think we were so successful [this weekend] because our penalty killers and goaltending played real well,” said Corazzini. “We’ve been getting a lot of consistency from our goalies and the team’s been feeding off of them.
“The difference between [last week's loss to UMass-Lowell and the past three games] is that the team is taking responsibility for their actions. Obviously we have the skill to compete with the top teams like we showed this weekend, but we were placing the blame in the coach for not getting us motivated, or for individuals for making mistakes. We pulled together as a team this weekend. We were only two points out of ninth place coming into this weekend, and now we’re only two points out of second.”
“It’s nice to be back at .500 in the league,” said Parker.
“Obviously not the weekend we wanted,” said New Hampshire coach Dick Umile. “It was very disappointing, we had a lot of hard work, but nothing to show for it. Tonight’s game, I think BU came in here and played a solid game, the game was up for grabs and they found a way to win it. We came back to tie it, and they made a great transition play just after a great save by Tapp. They came down and that was the winner. It was good hockey all weekend. They got four points and we got zero. That’s the bottom line. I’m not too excited.”
The Terriers return to action Friday night at home against UMass-Amherst before the Beanpot first round the following Monday. Friday, New Hampshire heads back to North Andover, Mass., to finish the season series with Merrimack, and then Sunday afternoon heads up to Orono, Maine, to face archrival Maine.