ORONO, Maine — Maine and Boston University renewed acquaintances Friday night for the 124th time in a series that dates back to 1924.
Ahti Oksanen scored twice and Danny O’Regan added two assists to lead the Terriers to a 5-2 victory Friday night.
Oksanen notched the easiest goal of his career when a loose puck trickled to him as he stood alone by the left post. He deposited it into the Maine net for his team-leading 12th goal of the season to stake the Terriers to a 2-0 lead.
Moments later, Maine gathered momentum back when Chase Phelps was whistled for a cross check. On the subsequent power play, Cam Brown deked with his forehand and made a nice move to the backhand to slide it past Sean Maguire. It was Brown’s fourth of the season and the first Black Bears’ power-play goal in the last 21 chances.
But BU was just too much for the Black Bears to handle and the Terriers wore them down. BU reestablished a two-goal advantage when Mike Moran beat Matt Morris for his first goal of the year. He was assisted by Jordan Greenway, who also tallied two assists on the night, on what proved to be the game winner.
Both teams came out flying, combining for 14 shots on goal before the first media timeout. Morris kept the Terriers off the board and was matched by Maguire as both made spectacular saves on furious end-to-end rushes.
Brown had the best chance to put Maine up early with a quick shot from the circle, but Maguire got just enough of the puck to send it inches wide of the cage.
“When you’re winning games and the puck is bouncing your way, that goes in,” said Maine coach Red Gendron. “When you’re not, they don’t. That’s the game of hockey.”
BU broke through at 14:19 of the first period when captain Matt Grzelcyk sent in a shot from the point that eluded Morris. It was the senior’s eighth goal of the season.
Maguire finished with 32 saves, many of the highlight-reel variety. In the sequence just prior to the third goal, Maguire stopped freshman Dane Gibson point blank.
“Those are the saves you need your goalie to make, and he did,” said BU coach David Quinn. “We know what their record is, but this is a tough environment. To get two points out of here is a great accomplishment.”
“It doesn’t matter who the opponent is. If you want success, you have to play a certain way every game.”
“It was a very physical game,” added Gendron.
Quinn observed that Oksanen is 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds and linemate Greenway is 6-5, 227.
“Those are big, NHL bodies [and] don’t get me wrong, they have stick skills, too, but if they’re moving their feet it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to defend them,” Quinn said.
Both teams will play again tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Boston. Gendron lamented that the teams could not use “Star Trek technology” and make the trip down I-95 at warp speed.