Friday, January 6, 2012

BU, Millan Hold Off Merrimack

Tonight, BU did more than just beat a top ten ranked team. They proved that even though Coyle and Trivino are gone, they still have a strong hockey team. BU looked like they regained some of the swagger that helped them roll through late November and into December.

Before BU took over the first period, Merrimack notched a goal less then five minutes into the game. BU came back with two quick strikes. The first from Justin Courtnall, who put his own rebound past MC goalie Joe Cannata. The lone assist went to freshman, Cason Hohmann. Less than a minute later, Alex Chiasson converted on the power play, putting BU up 2-1. All three goals were scored in a minute and one second of game time.

With little over a minute and a half to go in the first, BU picked up their second power play tally of the game. After a perfect setup, Matt Nieto found defenseman Alexx Privitera all alone on the far post. Privitera one touched the puck past Cannata, upping BU's lead to 3-1. Privitera did a great job to sneak down from the point and become an option for Nieto. Clearly it worked, as the freshman defenseman scored his second goal of the year.

Merrimack cut the lead to 3-2 on the power play of their own, nearly half way through the second stanza. Kyle Bigos netted a shot from the point as BU goalie Kieran Millan was screened.

The Terriers regained a two goal lead at the 17:23 mark of the period. Max Nicastro made a heads up play to keep the puck in the attacking zone. He then found Sahir Gill unguarded at the top of the slot. Gill one timed the pass off the posted and into the goal behind Cannata. Nicastro's keep was more of a mistake by Merrimack's Brandon Bradhag than anything else. The junior forward turned toward center ice instead of to the boards where the breakout pass was. Instead of MC breaking out cleanly, Max picked-off the pass and the rest is history.

The score of 4-2 held up throughout the third period, but not without drama. Millan made big save after big save in the closing minutes. Nieto had a chance to salt the game away after making very skilled move to cut against the grain. It left an MC defender wondering where his jock was relocated to. Cannata shut the door on the play with his leg pad though and that prevented what could have been Sport Centers top play of the night.

Since BC was idle tonight, BU is currently in first place in the Hockey East standings with 20 points. BC and MC play Sunday.

BU's next game is Sunday, an exhibition game against the USA U18 team. I will not be able to make that game, so there will be no preview or recap. Sorry.

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