HANOVER, N.H. — Boston University’s third-best-in-the-nation couldn’t do much about how it went down in the opening round of the Ledyard National Bank Classic last night. Or maybe it could.
St. Lawrence’s Mike McKenzie beat BU goaltender John Curry on a penalty shot 2:30 minutes into overtime, capping a late Saints comeback in an unlikely 4-3 victory at Dartmouth College’s Thompson Arena.
McKenzie’s opportunity came as a result of a penalty on the ninth-ranked Terriers’ Matt Gilroy for deliberately dislodging his own net in the midst of a St. Lawrence attack.
McKenzie faked Curry (19 saves) down and lifted a backhander over the senior’s glove at the right post. McKenzie paid off the faith of his teammates by converting the shot.
Brock McBride, owner of one goal entering the night, netted three to power the Saints (9-8-1).
“I think every guy on our team thought he was the guy to take the shot,” SLU coach Joe Marsh said. “He’s pretty sure-handed with it and he’s just a goal-scorer. He’s real confident with it.”
McBride tied the contest with 3:50. Catching the puck as it popped out of a corner scrum, McBride bolted along the goal line to Curry’s left, tucking the puck through the netminder’s legs.
BU (6-4-5) was its stingy best until the third. The Terriers allowed just 23 shots on Curry for the night, and wiped out six of SLU’s seven power plays with nary a serious scare until McBride’s man-up game-tying strike.
BU coach Jack Parker had assistants deliver a computer to review the call that led to McKenzie’s game-winner before addressing the media.
“We had five penalties in the second period and we still played decent hockey, but in the third period we acted like the game was long gone, long over,” Parker said. “We didn’t compete hard enough. They took advantage of some stuff that shouldn’t have happened out there.”
Asked if that “stuff” was anything BU could control, Parker clarified: “Stuff that was beyond our control. Read between the lines.”
Jason Lawrence scored twice and Pete MacArthur once for the Terriers. Alex Petizian earned the win for the Saints with 27 saves, including a denial of a penalty shot by BU’s Ryan Weston in the second period.
Greg Fennell covers Dartmouth College hockey for the Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H.