CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – When two teams are playing for the 275th time over 100 seasons, you can expect that nothing is really shocking.
Well, maybe that’s not always the case.
With two of the league’s top goaltenders – Jake Oettinger and Joseph Woll – squaring off, a battle between last year’s gold medalist ‘tenders for Team USA at World Juniors, you hardly got a goaltending duel as the clubs combined for 11 goals in a 7-4 Boston University win over rival Boston College in front of a sold-out Kelley Rink.
A combined nine players contributed multiple points, paced by BC’s Ron Greco (two goals), and BU’s Brandon Hickey (two goals), Shane Bowers (goal, two assist) and and Patrick Harper (four assists). The seven goals in the winning effort is the most either team has scored against the other since a 10-3 blowout by the Terriers way back in January of 1996.
“It was an exciting BU-BC hockey game,” said BU coach David Quinn. “It was an age-appropriate game for both teams. We’re both a lot of the same age [younger] kids, which doesn’t happen too often. So there’s probably a lot more room [due to mistakes] than either team is accustomed. I think that’s why you saw so much scoring and so many of the chances.”
For the Terriers, there was concern that the game might have been over before, as Quinn put it, “people finished putting the cream in their coffee.”
Indeed the Terriers dug themselves a very early hole, allowing goals to BC’s Aapeli Rasanen and Greco 42 seconds apart at 1:32 and 2:16 of the first. That’s a story that’s played out a few too often for BU’s liking this season. But Friday, at least, this team had a response and a big one.
Goals by senior Brandon Hickey and Logan Cockerill just 3:10 apart midway through the first tied the game. And then with BC on the power play, freshman Brady Tkachuk, who had been stymied on a breakaway by Woll (28 saves) in the early going, knew it was time to cash in.
Tkachuk took a pass from Jorden Greenway at the red line and was in alone, roofing a shot on the glove side.
“This past week, I’ve been trying that out, the high move,” said Tkachuk. “The first time I kind I was kind of panicking, I’m not going to lie. Then Ty Amonte on the bench after the first breakaway said, ‘You’ve got to go back to that move.’
“Luckily I got that second breakaway and tried it out. I’m happy with the outcome.”
Though the Eagles responded to tie the game yet again early in the second on Greco’s second of the night, the Terriers had a response in a big way. Three goals in a 2:58 span, two coming on the power play, became the nail in the side for Boston College.
“There was a span in the second where BU scored on a delayed penalty and then scored on the power play,” said BC coach Jerry York. “Those goals came awful quick – I think they were their fifth and sixth. That was hard for us to recover from.
“The mood swing, you like to keep it as stable as you can… we scored early, got two goals up and got really excited. We lost our poise.”
For the Terriers, they’ve scored seven goals in two of their last three games, a clear sign that the offense that was struggling earlier this season, is finding its rhythm.
“I knew we were going to score, we’re not a team that’s not going to score goals,” said Quinn. “Our power play is getting better. Our young kids are getting more acclimated.
“We’ve had chances. There are plenty of games that we don’t score and it’s not from a lack of chances. We’re getting a little bit of puck luck and we’re getting rewarded for our chances.”
Vermont 2, Maine 2 (OT)
Trailing 2-0 on the road, Vermont sniper Ross Colton netted his ninth and 10th goals of the season in the final 6:34 of regulation to earn a 2-2 tie with Maine. Stefanos Lekkas stopped 41 saves for the Catamounts.
After two scoreless periods, Maine jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Peter Housakos and Canon Pieper. That, though, wasn’t enough as Colton struck twice on the power play, the second goal coming on a 6-on-4 advantage with Lekkas pulled.
Northeastern 3, Merrimack 1
First-period goals by John Picking and Nolan Stevens gave the host Huskies offense a jump start as they fought past Merrimack, 3-1.
Picking added an assist while Garret Cockerill posted two helpers for Northeastern.
Cole McBride scored Merrimack’s lone goal late in the third on the power play but the Warriors could not climb closer.
Massachusetts 4, Connecticut 2
Trailing 2-1 late in the second, the host Minutemen struck three times in 78 seconds to seize a lead, 4-2, which stood as the final.
UConn broke a 1-1 tie at 14:18 of the first when Benjamin Freeman scored his second of the season, and the game remained that way until the 18:03 mark of the second when George Mika Jack Suter and Mitchell Chaffee exploded for the Minutemen.
Ryan Wischow improved to 5-1-0 giving him five wins in six starts. A season ago, Wischow had just four wins in 27 games played.
Providence 5, New Hampshire 2
Erik Foley’s first of two goals broke a 1-1 tie and sparked the Providence attack as they rolled past New Hampshire, 5-2, at home.
Vimal Sukumaran netted two goals of his own for the Friars, while Brendan van Riemsdyk and Marcus Vela tallied for the Wildcats. Hayden Hawkey made 20 saves in the win while UNH’s Daniel Tirone was chased from the game early in the third.