NORTH ANDOVER, Mass — In a match up of two goal-starved teams, only one could come out on top.
Boston University put the offense in motion and scored three goals, while Terriers goalie John Curry stopped 19 shots for his second consecutive shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Merrimack Warriors Friday night at Lawler Arena.
“I thought it was a real solid road game for us,” Terriers coach Jack Parker said. “John Curry has another good night for us, our penalty killers were terrific.”
Bryan Ewing got things started at 7:45 of the first, when he one-time redirected a Jason Lawrence pass through the pads of Merrimack goalie Jimmy Healey for a 1-0 BU lead.
That lead doubled a few minutes later, as Kevin Schaeffer tickled the twine for the Terriers, seconds after a successful Merrimack penalty kill.
The Terriers took that 2-0 lead into the locker room and continued to press hard in the second period. The only thing that stood in the way of an increased BU lead was Healey, who stood tall through 11 second period shots, including one in which he robbed a point-blank Ewing with his glove.
Healey didn’t prove to be fully impenetrable, however, as Chris Higgins was able to deke the goalie out of his pads and wrapped the puck around Healey and into the net. Higgins’s highlight-reel eighth tally of the season it put the final stake in the Merrimack coffin at 6:05 of the third.
“I didn’t even know at first that I was in all alone,” Higgins said. “It was a huge goal it was a backbreaker for them. To get another goal like that was big, just to give us some more breathing room.”
The breathing room was necessary, as BU gave up eight power plays, though Merrimack was not able to start their offensive engine.
“There’s a reason they are the number two defensive team in the country,” Warriors coach Mark Dennehy said. “From the goaltending out, they’re a very difficult to generate offense against.”
Curry, in his fourth shutout of the season, was quick to give his teammates credit.
“Our defensemen are playing really well, but our team defense is really good right now, mainly our penalty killing, and that’s been the difference,” he said.
While the defensive side of the puck remains strong for BU, their offense was anemic on the power play, as they could not capitalize on the seven Merrimack penalties throughout the game.
“Our penalty kill has been great since the end of November,” Dennehy said. “It’s a lot easier to put together a good penalty kill than it is a good power play.”
Parker agreed with his counterpart, when he noted the strong play of his penalty kill unit.
“We’re doing a good job killing penalties right now,” he said. “Our forwards are really getting a good feel on how to waste some time in the other end and waste some time in center ice. And then all four guys in our zone are doing a good job of denying shots and blocking shots.”
For the stymied Merrimack offense, it was the school-record sixth time this season they’ve been shut out, and the loss dropped them to 3-17-2 (3-12-0 HE). The Terriers grabbed two points and brought their record up to 11-4-6 (8-3-5 HE). The two teams go head-to-head again tomorrow night, when the Warriors look for revenge on the BU turf. The puck drops a 7:00 P.M., at Agganis Arena.