BOSTON — Maybe Boston University should start their next game by putting the puck in their own goal.
The Terriers scored 33 seconds into tonight’s game while hosting No. 20 UMass, only to be outplayed in the first and third period. The end result was a 5-3 win for the Minutemen in front of 5,793 at Agganis Arena. BU is now an eyebrow-raising 0-3-1 when scoring first in a game this season.
UMass was just three for 32 on the power play coming into this weekend, but scored two goals with the man advantages tonight. Freshman Chase Langeraap scored his first collegiate goal and added an assist, while fellow rookie Paul Dainton made 26 saves for the Minutemen. Senior Pete MacArthur led the way for the Terriers with two goals and an assist.
“Obviously I wasn’t sure that the night was going to turn out the way it did at the end with the way it started with Pete MacArthur scoring on the first shift,” UMass coach Don ‘Toot’ Cahoon said. “So to be able to recover from that and to be able to put a solid performance together was a real plus for our team, something we hadn’t seen before this season, recovering from such a disappointment. I actually think that we had a good first period after that, and that set the tone for the game.”
Terrier coach Jack Parker was obviously less pleased than his former assistant coach. “Viewing it strictly on paper, it looks like an even game,” Parker said. “Shots on goal, they dominated the first period, we dominated the second period. But then the third period looks like an even period, but its not. I thought that they played much better than we did in the third period. I was very, very disappointed about how unprepared we were to come out to play the game at the start and then how unprepared we were once we made it 2-2 and kind of dominated the second period.”
MacArthur’s early goal may have led the team to believe that it would be more of the same after a 7-4 win versus Lowell last Saturday. The left winger corralled a puck off a Minuteman skate and wristed a shot through traffic from the left-wing boards to make it 1-0.
However, UMass tied it on the first power play at 3:11. The Minutemen controlled the puck nicely in the zone until the puck finally came out to Michael Kostka near the blue line. The shot found its way through a screen to beat newly anointed number-one Terrier goalie Brett Bennett.
From there it was mostly UMass for the rest of the period. On the heels of a boneheaded play that left Cahoon fuming following a too many men penalty, his team scored 39 seconds later on the ensuing four-on-four with a Topher Bevis goal.
It could’ve been worse, as Bennett thwarted Cory Quirk on a shorthanded breakaway at 17:44 and then stoned Quirk after he had a very long look at the net from close quarters on another power play at 19:00.
The second period was all BU, as the Terriers clamped down defensively and outshot the visitors by a 15-3 margin. They tied it up at 7:38 when MacArthur teed up a Brian Strait shot that Bryan Ewing tipped home. MacArthur had another good bid on a right-wing rush at 14:00, and then Bennett was fortunate to have the net come off its moorings at 16:22, just before Alex Berry buried the puck.
Terrier fans expecting another third-period explosion like last weekends were disappointed. Just 15 seconds into their first power play since the first period, UMass scored. Langeraap notched his first collegiate goal by gathering a puck that came out of a scrum and shooting it in.
It was an impressive turnaround for the UMass power play. “I think the power play hasn’t been as bad as the numbers suggest,” Cahoon said. “The movement’s been there most of the year. We weren’t getting the puck to the net, and we weren’t playing with the sense of urgency that you need to play with to be productive with it. We worked pretty hard this week and had a real good power-play week. It’s funny how practice doesn’t make perfect but perfect practice does and when you have a good power-play week, you hope it carries over into the game.”
BU did respond by tying it up less than two minutes later when Chris Higgins stickhandled out of a corner and flipped it toward the net, where MacArthur tipped it home to tie it at 8:23.
However, a Justin Braun shot conveniently bounced off a BU stick and right to Will Ortiz for the game-winner at 13:14. “It was just more coming off the cycle,” Ortiz said. “[Shawn] Saunders, using his speed, got the puck. As the game progressed, we knew that the D were open right away off the cycle, so Saunders threw it up to the point, Braun took a quick shot, and I was right at the night and the puck bounced on to my stick.”
P.J. Fenton added an empty-netter to seal it after Terrier d-man Kevin Shattenkirk tried to keep the puck in the zone but went down, setting up the easy breakaway.
“Give them credit; they played hard; they got good goaltending, and they played well on the power play,” Parker said. “I thought that was the best part of their game and the worst part of our game. They really undressed us down low on the power play, and we had no answer; we stood around watching. Our penalty-killing units tonight were inept. A lot of it had to deal with how they executed, but we were skating in sand, almost like we were afraid to go after anybody.
“We took a big huge step backwards tonight. We’re too easily satisfied. For a team thats 2-4-1 coming into tonight’s game to come into tonight not ready to play is embarrassing.”
BU (2-5-1) travels across town to play Northeastern on Saturday night, while UMass (4-2-2) goes up to Lowell.