DETROIT — The banners at Joe Louis Arena are a little bit redder.
With a 5-4 win over Michigan Sunday night, Boston University won the Great Lakes Invitational, making the Terriers the second straight team not from Michigan to win the Detroit-based tournament. North Dakota won the GLI last year.
Boston University had to endure a lot from the Wolverines in order to raise its banner next to Detroit’s 1996 President’s Trophy banner, as the Maize and Blue put 41 shots on goal.
“I thought we did a real good job against a team that put more pressure on us, ” BU coach Jack Parker said. “We haven’t had that much pressure on our defense since we played Maine. I think they are very similar as far as their checking ability.”
With three third-period goals, Boston University erased the Wolverines’ 3-2 lead early in the final 20 minutes thanks to special-teams play. With the first five goals scored at even strength, the Terriers finally took advantage of being a man up when freshman David VanderGulik netted his fourth goal of the season.
Defenseman Jekabs Redlihs had the initial shot from between the faceoff circles, center Brian Collins redirected the shot off of Michigan goalie Al Montoya and VanderGulik was open to the left of the sprawling goaltender for the equalizer.
The Terriers then took the lead for the first time since the 17:00 mark of the second period when senior John Sabo found junior forward Mark Mullen streaking down ice for a shorthanded goal. Mullen approached Montoya from the right faceoff circle and shot off Montoya’s chest. The puck squirted into the air, where it appeared that Michigan freshman Andrew Ebbett knocked it in inadvertently.
Sophomore Justin Maiser added the game winner for the Terriers with 7:05 left. Michigan sophomore Jason Ryznar cut the lead to one with a rebound goal off the pads of BU goalie Sean Fields at the 18:24 mark, but the Wolverines managed just one scoring chance after that.
“We had the lead in the third period; that’s the bottom line, we shouldn’t give up that lead but we did,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “I thought Al was solid, he was victimized by the goals more than anything. The power-play shot we let go through and then he made the stop to have a guy wide open on the rebound. On the shorthanded goal Montoya made the stop, but the puck bounced out and Ebbett put it in.”
The two-goal lead that the Terriers built in the third period was the largest that the crowd of 17,789 saw.
At the 6:54 mark of the first period, the Terriers broke the scoreless tie when sophomore defenseman Bryan Miller scored. Miller was set up by a faceoff win from the left faceoff circle by Mullen, which was redirected by forward Justin Maiser to an all-alone Miller, who skated from the left boards to the point. Using a screen from Terrier forward John Laliberte, Miller beat Montoya stick-side.
It didn’t take long for Michigan to respond, as just over a minute later it tied the game at one. The Wolverines used a screen to score their goal as well, but in a different fashion. Defenseman Nick Martens shot from the left side of the blue line, as forwards Mark Mink, Brandon Kaleniecki and Ebbett all screened Fields. Fields couldn’t get a hold on the puck a few feet out of his crease, which allowed Kaleniecki to break free from the cloud of players and score on a wide-open net.
After that the game was dominated by Fields — who recorded 37 saves as the GLI’s Most Valuable Player — and by Michigan’s missed opportunities.
With two penalties against the Terriers’ Freddy Meyer and Mike Bussoli within 16 seconds of each other, the Wolverines found themselves with a 5-on-3 opportunity for 1:44 at the eight-minute mark of the second. But even with five shots on goal, Michigan came away with nothing.
Although Michigan kept attacking — 32 shots in the first two periods — players like Mink and Jed Ortmeyer both saw chances in front of the net squandered.
“Every goal was kind of a turning-point goal,” Berenson said. “And every missed goal was a turning-point missed opportunity. Both teams had their chances to win the game, and obviously we didn’t capitalize on ours.”
Boston University used its one good scoring chance of the second period when center Gregg Johnson found senior forward Ryan Priem streaking down the middle of the ice for a one-timer past Montoya. The 2-1 tiebreaker was Priem’s first of his 64-game career.
Even with momentum on its side, BU was unable to hold a lead for more than two minutes for a second straight time.
From behind the net, senior John Shouneyia found fellow Wolverine Ortmeyer in front of the net, but at the last second Bussoli interrupted Ortmeyer’s stick motion and seemed to end the scoring chance. But the puck found its way to the stick of freshman Jeff Tambellini, who went five-hole on Fields, even with the Terriers’ Kenny Magowan in his face.
Michigan then took the lead when sophomore David Moss scored 1:24 into the third. But the Wolverines then couldn’t find the net afterwards, as they managed just six more shots in the period.
“They obviously tightened up defensively,” Shouneyia said. “We had a couple breakdowns and they played off that and had a couple bounces go their way. They scored on their chances and we didn’t, so they could tighten up defensively while we still had to go after them.”