PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The No. 1 Boston University Terriers proved once again Friday night why they are the top team in the nation, routing the Providence College Friars by a score of 8-2, and making Senior Night at Schneider Arena a night the Friars would like to soon forget.
The Terriers (26-5-4 overall, 17-5-4 in Hockey East) dominated all facets of the game, and were fueled by a hat trick from Brandon Yip, two goals and three assists from Februarys Hockey East Player of the Month Nick Bonino, and solid goaltending by freshman Kieran Millan.
The first 10 minutes of play, however, were fairly even matched. The Friars (7-21-5, 4-17-5) came out with a spark, but four BU goals in the last half of the first period put the game away.
The difference was goaltending early on, said BU coach Jack Parker. Once we got that first goal, it kind of opened up the flood gates for us. Up until that that point I wasnt happy with the way we were playing and they were coming at us pretty hard. But then, all of a sudden, once again the power play changes the game for us and its game over. Games over after the power play goal.
The power-play goal that Parker spoke of was Nick Boninos first of the game, at 18:34 in the opening stanza, that capped off four straight goals for the Terriers in just over eight minutes.
Jason Lawrence opened up the scoring for the Terriers at 10:33 in the first period, when he rifled a shot from the slot off the cross bar and into the net behind Alex Beaudry. That goal came as a result of good offensive zone movement by the Terriers.
The second goal of the period was the result of hard work, when Yip stuffed home the rebound of a John McCarthy shot, five-hole.
The third goal of the period was a beautifully executed goal by the Terriers fourth line. As Joe Pereira crossed the blue line going up against two Friar defenders, he left the puck behind him for Zach Cohen, who netted the wrister to make the score, 3-0.
Once they get down, its hard to get back up again, said Parker. If they couldve kept in the game 2-1 or 3-2 before the first period got out; get out of the first period alive, it wouldve been different. But when youve been slugged around a lot like they have, its hard to keep up that energy, unless youre in the game. They know theyre not coming back from three-nothing.
I thought we started really well, and that first goal rattled us. The second goal really unsettled us, and I think the wheels came off at that point, although, I really dont think we gave up, said Friar coach Tim Army. I thought we kept plugging tonight, I really did. Theyre an exceptional team, and the margin for error against them is really slim.
The second period started out with more of the same, as Bonino extended the Terriers lead to 5-0 at the 7:54 mark, once again on the power play.
Just working with the line, were getting to know each other a lot better, said Bonino.
Bonino and his linemates Brandon Yip and John McCarthy combined for six goals and six assists for 12 points on the evening.
Its really fun working with McCarthy and Yip. Yips playing unbelievable, so is John. Yip got his 100th [career point] tonight, and everythings falling for us so hopefully that keeps going through the playoffs. I dont see why it wouldnt.
After Boninos second goal of the game, Matt Bergland converted a power play for the Friars to make the score 5-1 at 10:59 in the second. The Terriers answered back quickly, though, as McCarthy netted the Terriers sixth goal of the game at 14:19 to put BU back up by five.
Yips second goal of the game opened up the scoring in the third period. Just as he crossed the blue line, Yip unleashed a shot from just past the Friars bench, and beat Beaudry top-shelf right at 4:38
Eric Baier converted another power play for the Friars at 6:32 in the third when Nick Mazzolini, positioned behind the net, hit him with a pass in front of the net, and was able to put it in before Millan could slide to his right to guard the post.
Yip capped off the evenings scoring at 12:50 in the third period, scoring from the slot through traffic. Yips third goal of the game also marked his 100th career point.
Its a nice little accomplishment but something I wasnt really thinking about until some of the guys mentioned it to me earlier in the week, said Yip. But its nice to get it over with.
The win extended the Terriers nation-best unbeaten streak to 15 games, as they have gone 12-0-3 over that time frame. BU is now also 19-1-4 since November 25, their best stretch of play with just one loss since they went 19-1-2 before falling in the NCAA Regional final in 2006.
Weve mentioned it a couple of times, said Yip, referring to the 2005-2006 Terrier team. The seniors that were on that team had experience and just wanted to tell the underclassmen that teams like this dont come every four years, and were lucky to have two of them. So we want to take the opportunity to make a long, long run at the stretch here.